At least one man was killed and a number of others seriously injured when a small engine hauling miners at the Midvale colliery failed in December 1895 and plunged down a mountainside.
The Reading Eagle of Dec. 19 said James Hollister, 23, of Maysville, the engineer, attempted to work the reverse lever when the engine stalled near the top of the slope. But a pin fell out and the train began sliding back the mile grade.
“The brakes would not work, and away went the train to what appeared sure death to all on board. Some jumped and escaped with slight injuries. Near No. 1 slope there is a bend in the road, and when the engine struck the curve, she left the tracks, pulling the rest of the train with her.
“The result was that the engine rolled over and over, with the mine wagons scattered and broken above and around her. It was a wreck of twisted rods and timber, all piled in a confused heap.”
Hollister was pinned beneath the engine and was scalded with water from the boiler. Though he was taken to the Miners’ Hospital with the other injured, he did not survive. Others injured in the accident included:
John Leibig, a woodchopper, compound fracture of both legs; Edward Allebach, cut on head, right thigh broken and internal injuries; Charles Gallagher, injuries to arms and scalded on face and body; John Helor, miner, internal and leg injuries; George Smithen, cuts to head and hand and bruises; Joseph Lobenbofski, back, head and leg injuries; Stanley Yepei, head and hand injuries; George Ziepe, broken leg and bruises; George Miller, miner, crushed leg; Aaron Mulaw, leg injury, and William Kolis, head and hand injuries. All of the victims were from Mount Carmel, except for Ziepe, who lived in Wilburton.