1916 in the New York city, 3 subway workers experienced an unusual chain of events that cost the life of 2.
In short a blow-out caused much more damage than was at first believed. Travis H. Whitney of the Public Service Commission made a two-hour investigation yesterday and found that the water had filled the tube, making it necessary to stop all work for the time. The compressed air was kept on and it was possible to locate the point where the break occurred by the great air bubbles which rose three or four feet above the surface.
Mabey, who received no serious injury, took his narrow escape without much show of concern. The sandhogs, as tunnel workers are known, expect something to happen in their kind of work, he said.
“The first thing that told me something was wrong,” he related yesterday, “was when I saw an opening in the earth ahead of the shield which was used to protect the tunnel as we went along. The hole was then about eighteen inches in size. Frank Driver, my partner, and I grabbed hold of a big plank and threw it at the hole to stop it up. I found that the air pressure was pushing me toward the hole, and I tried to save myself by grabbing the air pipes. I missed them, and then I felt myself being pushed into the hole.
“As I struck the mud it felt as if something was squeezing me tighter than I had ever been squeezed. I was smothered and I guess I lost consciousness. They tell me I was thrown about twenty-five feet above the water when I came out, but I don’t remember that.
“I am a good swimmer and I kept my mouth shut and came up to the surface. I had on my big rubber boots and they bothered me but I managed somehow to keep my head above the surface. My left leg was numb but I could move it. Finally men on a pier threw me a rope and I held on until I was taken out of the water.”
Mabey is 28 years old and has a wife and four children. Mrs. Mabey made this comment about the accident:
“Of course I know that Marshall is in danger every time he goes to work but all work is dangerous and my husband is as careful as he can be. His job is a good one and I am glad he has it.”[SOURCE](http://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/Tells_How_It_Feels_to_Go_Up_In_A_Geyser_(1916))