Shamokin PA

Sunday Chronicles: One dies in gas explosion

One victim of a gas explosion at the William Penn colliery died Sunday, Feb. 24, 1895, at the Miners’ Hospital, Fountain Springs, and another was said to have such extensive injuries he was not expected to survive.

Felix Adrich, 40, Shenandoah, suffered burns in the accident which occurred on Thursday, Feb. 21, at the colliery. A report in the Monday, Feb. 25, issue of the Evening Herald said he incurred burns of the face and neck which were not expected to be life threatening but death was caused by internal injuries which resulted from inhaling flames when the gas exploded.

George Kupchinski, also of Shenandoah, incurred similar injuries and doctors at the hospital did not expect him to recover. A man named Goff injured in the same explosion was said to be still delirious, but chances for his recovery were believed to be good.

Thomas D. James, the fire boss at the colliery, was recovering at home. Two other men who were not identified received minor injuries.

The explosion occurred at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 21 and the cause was not immediately known.

“The three (most seriously injured) men entered the breast, with the fire boss in the lead and after they ascended some distance the explosion occurred. It was supposed the place was free of gas. The explosion was a light one. The gas is supposed to have been ignited by one of the men who were following the fire boss.”

In the same article, the Herald reported there were 105 patients in the 95-bed hospital on Feb. 25, a figure that was not a record. The high number for the institution was 115 patients in the wards on one day.