The Daily Union- Leader


Wilkes-Barre, Saturday Evening, October 28, 1882


The Deadly Damp.

Fatal Explosion in the Pine Ridge Shaft


  A terrible explosion of gas occurred in the Pine Ridge colliery of the D. & H. Company at Miners yesterday afternoon. The shock was felt at the surface and naturally men, women, and children rushed from their houses in nervous anticipation lest the news should come that some of their own had fallen victim to the dreadful fire damp.  A large number of men were at work in the mine and immediately after the explosion everybody outside was quite anxious to know in what part of the colliery, and how, the accident had occurred. Soon the true state of affairs was learned to the great relief of hundreds of anxious wives, mothers, and sisters who stood about the top of the shaft in all conditions of mind. It appears that Gavin Burt and Peter Lamb, two young tracklayers, had gone into an abandoned  part to take up a portion of the track and remove the rails. Unfortunately they entered with naked lamps, which ignited a large quantity of gas and caused a fearful explosion. About fifty feet away a party of ten men were at work, who, through the nature of the workings, were sheltered, and escaped injury. These gave alarm to the rest of the miners and they all made their escape by the Mill Creek opening about a mile and a half distant. As soon as possible an explosion party went down in search of the two track layers. Reports were rife that the mine was on fire and so it proved. Pails were in great demand and everybody in the neighborhood contributed what they had. Cars were made water tight and lowered down the shaft. Finally the flames were subdued, and at seven O’clock the dead bodies of Burt and Lamb were found horribly disfigured by the fire.

The above information was donated by Tammy Lamb

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