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1910 - POWDER EXPLOSION KILLS 3, HURTS 18 - Miners' Christmas Merry-Making Has a Tragic Ending. DANCER'S CLOTHES ARE SET AFLAME.

Many Saved From Death by Blankets - Cause Unknown, But Vengeance is Hinted.

Greensburg, Penn., Dec. 25. - Three persons were killed in an explosion, eight are in danger of death from their injuries and ten more are in the West Moreland Hospital tonight, either as victims of somebody's vengeance or in penalty of somebody's carelessness.

While miners were holding a Christmas celebration at Keystone shaft near here last night twenty-five pounds of blasting powder was set off under the stairway of the house in which they had gathered.

The accident occurred at the home of Michael Wilding, while he was entertaining a party of about twenty-five men and women, some of whom had come from Youngstown, O., to seek work in the mines here. It is believed one of the men in the party, while a dance was in progress, threw a cigarette butt carelessly under the stairway. Twenty-five pounds of black mining powder is said to have been stored there in an open can. Flames from the explosion shot through the room and the smoke blinded the dancers as they tried to escape.

The three who were fatally burned and died soon after removal to the hospital are:

Josephine Fagetta, 24, married, of Youngstown, O.

Michael Wilding, 22, the host, of Keystone Shaft.

Jack Hemlinger, 30, single, of Keystone Shaft.

The clothing of nearly all the dancers took fire from the explosion, and, although the room was burned and blackened, the house was not seriously damaged. Men in adjoining houses rushed in with blankets and wrapped them about the burning women, saving many from death.

Superintendent H. B. Bovard of the mine arranged for a special train which brought the injured to this city.

Early rumors that a bomb had been exploded under the stairway by striking miners cannot be verified.

The Boston Journal
Boston, Massachusetts
December 26, 1910

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Greensburg, Pennsylvania, USA

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