April 2018 Mine Disaster Anniversaries

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View the planets for this day1893
Mine Fire
Shamokin, PA
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1867
Bright Hope/Clover Hill
Mine Explosion
Winterpock, PA
No. Killed - 69

View the planets for this day1905
Mine Explosion
Zeigler, IN
No. Killed - 49


View the planets for this day1887
Old Savanna No. 2
Mine Explosion
Savanna, OK
No. Killed - 19


View the planets for this day2010
Upper Big Branch
Mine Explosion
Montcoal, WV
No. Killed - 29

View the planets for this day1915
Mine Explosion
Panama, IL
No. Killed - 11


View the planets for this day1885
Roof Fall
Raven Run, PA
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1911
Price Pancoast
Mine Fire
Throop, PA
No. Killed - 72

View the planets for this day1869
KY-Yellow Jacket
Gold Hill, NV
No. Killed - 37


View the planets for this day1911
Mine Explosion
Littleton, AL
No. Killed - 128

View the planets for this day1895
Blue Canyon
Mine Explosion
Lake Whatcom, WA
No. Killed - 23


View the planets for this day1947
Mine Explosion
Wyoming, PA
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1930
Mine Explosion
Carbonado, WA
No. Killed - 17


View the planets for this day1909
Granville Quarry
Granville, NY
No. Killed - 37

View the planets for this day1910
Nazareth Quarry
Nazareth, PA
No. Killed - 11


View the planets for this day1981
Dutch Creek No. 1
Redstone, CO
No. Killed - 15


View the planets for this day1946
Great Valley
Mine Explosion
McCoy, VA
No. Killed - 12


View the planets for this day1910
Mine Explosion
Mulga, AL
No. Killed - 40

View the planets for this day1892
Mine Inundation
Minersville, PA
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1910
Mine Explosion
Amsterdam, OH
No. Killed - 15


View the planets for this day1938
Keen Mountain
Mine Explosion
Grundy, VA
No. Killed - 45

View the planets for this day1906
Mine Explosion
Tercio, CO
No. Killed - 18


View the planets for this day1913
Mine Explosion
Finleyville, PA
No. Killed - 96


View the planets for this day1911
Ott No. 20
Mine Explosion
Elk Garden, WV
No. Killed - 23


View the planets for this day1963
Compass No. 2
Mine Explosion
Dola, WV
No. Killed - 22


View the planets for this day1905
Fall Down Shaft
Wilkes-Barre, PA
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1917
Mine Explosion
Hastings, CO
No. Killed - 121

View the planets for this day1905
Mine Explosion
Du Bois, PA
No. Killed - 13


View the planets for this day1914
Eccles 5 and 6
Mine Explosion
Eccles, WV
No. Killed - 183

View the planets for this day1924
Mine Explosion
Benwood, WV
No. Killed - 119


View the planets for this day1919
Mine Explosion
Majestic, AL
No. Killed - 22


View the planets for this day1927
Federal No. 3
Mine Explosion
Everettville, WV
No. Killed - 97

View the planets for this day1905
Mine No. 19
Mine Explosion
Wilburton, OK
No. Killed - 13

Did You Know? The month of April has accounted for 69 mine disasters in which 1,583 miners were killed; 15 successful rescues (longest - 60 hrs.); and the death of 40 rescuers in 9 incidents.

Successful Rescue Summary Rescuer Death Summary All April Mine Disasters

Successful Mine Rescues in April
1905 Cabin Creek Mine Explosion, Kayford, West Virginia — Nine men were still within the mine when the explosion occurred.  Of these four reached safety with the assistance of friends.  Three of the number were so seriously injured that they are not expected to live.  Those rescued were William Jacobs, George Eastman, Morrey Darby and William Robinson.  The last three men were seriously injured.
1910 Nazareth Limestone Quarry Explosion, Nazareth, Pennsylvania — A large force of men made every effort to reach the victims, but it was some time before the first man was found.  He was still breathing, but unconscious and that he might die at any moment.  All the victims were Hungarians and Italians and were known about the quarry only by numbers.
Amsterdam No. 2 Mine Explosion, Amsterdam, Ohio — Seven bruised and burned men were rescued alive after an undisclosed period from the pit of the Youghiogheny and Ohio Coal Company's mine at Amsterdam where a terrific explosion snuffed out the lives of fifteen other miners.
1913 Sixty-seven miners escaped from the Cincinnati Mine following the explosion that claimed 98 lives on April 23, 1913, including one apparatus wearing rescuer.  Two miners were rescued after 60 hours.  See more.  Source documentExternal Link
1914 Eccles Mine Explosions, Eccles, West Virginia — A rescue party was rushed to the scene of the disaster from Beckley, which is only two miles away, but after removing two men from the debris of No. 6 their activities were checked by the deadening fumes of coal gas.  Later the party was more successful in bringing forty more men to the surface.  Two of the men, P. M. Ellison and N. Jones, were seriously injured.

Supt. Donaldson, an experienced miner, with an expert rescue crew, was lowered down the shaft of No. 6 mine.  For a time the steadily growing crowd of frightened women and children waited in suspense, but soon the signal came to hoist away and the cage responded.  It bore two men badly hurt, a few of the rescue party, and two bodies.
1927 Federal No. 3 Mine Explosion, Everettville, West Virginia — Nine men were cut off in the south main section until one came out through the smoke and returned with a party wearing self-rescuers.  The eight men who had barricaded themselves in a room were supplied with self-rescuers and walked out after an undisclosed period.
1934 Sinclair Mine Fire, Switz, Indiana - Five miners escaped death in the Sinclair mine after fire broke out there.  They walled themselves into a space 24 by 12 feet for an undisclosed period more than 100 yards away from the blazing wooden shaft, and awaited rescue.  The rescued miners were Jack Hineman, Dennis Combs, Thomas Barnett, Henry Johnson, and Roll Himebrook.  Source documentExternal Link
1937 Toiling for 27 hours, rescue squads removed Anthony Vinscavage, 48, from a "bootleg" coal hole near Tamaqua, Pennsylvania.  Vinscavage was trapped while working with son, John, who had escaped and called for rescuers.  Source documentExternal Link
1946 Great Valley Mine Explosion, McCoy, Virginia — A rescue squad from Radford donned gas masks and made its way to the site shortly after the explosion.  Eleven were found dead of burns.  The twelfth miner, Paul Price, was brought to the surface but died without regaining consciousness at a hospital here.
1956 A roof fall at the Kaiser Coal Company mine near Sunnyside, Utah occurred trapping 4 miners.  Three of the miners were rescued after 44 hours.  The rescued were Lavell Golding, Joe Archuletta and Lloyd Allen Heath.  Deceased in the accident was Joseph Otterstrom.  Source documentExternal Link
1968 Two Carlsbad, New Mexico miners trapped over 34 hours were rescued by workers using their bare hands and chisels.  They became trapped when a 50-foot potash slab collapsed in the Southwest Potash Company mine.  The two miners rescued were Fred Crabtree and Arnold Delso.  Source documentExternal Link
1980 Clyde Waddell was rescued 13 hours after a roof fall at the Florence Mine near Huff, Pennsylvania.  The mine was owned by the Florence Mining Company.  Source documentExternal Link
1981 Dutch Creek No. 1 Mine Explosion, Redstone, Colorado — Seven miners working in other areas of the mine at the time of the explosion survived.  Three were injured and were rescued; the other four were not injured and escaped unassisted to the surface.  The injured miners were admitted to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs for treatment of burns, bruises and shock.  Source documentExternal Link
1985 Trapped for 37 hours following a roof fall accident, Curtis Sanders was rescued and walked out of the Powderhorn Mine in DeBeque Canyon, Colorado.  Source documentExternal Link

Rescuer Deaths in April
1887 Old Savanna No. 2 Mine Explosion, Savanna, Oklahoma — Thirteen miners were overcome by toxic gas and suffocated while attempting to rescue the 6 victims of an explosion which occurred in the Old Savanna No. 2 mine near Savanna, Oklahoma.
1905 Zeigler Mine Explosions, Zeigler, Illinois — 49 miners died as a result of two explosions in the Zeigler Mine.  In an effort to recover the entombed men, five rescuers were overcome by afterdamp.  The rescuers were let down by hand.  In two instances, the men above were nearly overcome by gas.  Source documentExternal Link
1911 Price-Pancoast Mine Fire, Throop, Pennsylvania — Two pipeline men noticed smoke coming from the direction of the shaft and discovered that the North Slope engine room was on fire.  When the fire in the engine room was under control, the crew noticed that the timbers and a large number of mine cars on the passing branch were also burning.

Victims included 69 miners and four rescue worker who fell victim to poisonous gas, including Joe E. Evans, who was the Foreman of Federal Rescue Car No. 1.  Also killed while attempting to help others were: Walter Knight, mine foreman; Isaac Dawe, fire boss; and John R. Perry.  These men rushed beyond the flames to warn others farther in the workings.
1913 Cincinnati Mine Explosion, Finleyville, Pennsylvania — An explosion occurred in which 97 men were killed and subsequently one of the rescue party wearing breathing apparatus lost his life.  About 167 men were in the mine at the time of the explosion.  About 67 escaped uninjured through old workings, and three were rescued alive - one by the first rescue parties and 2 some sixty-hours later by exploring parties.
1917 Hastings Mine Explosion, Hastings, Colorado — On May 6, 1917, Walter Kerr, a member of a mine rescue team of the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, died wearing a Dräger 2-hour oxygen breathing apparatus, while helping to recover bodies, after an explosion in the Hastings mine of the Victor-American Fuel Company, Hastings, Colorado, in which 121 men were killed.  The explosion was caused by a mine inspector striking a match to relight his safety lamp about 120 feet from the face of 7 South entry.
Mountain King Mine Asphyxiation, Mariposa County, California — Two men obtained permission from the mine foreman to investigate the results of blasting on the 1,400-foot level.  When they did not return, the foreman went to investigate, returned, and with two others climbed down to the 1,400-foot level, where all three were overcome.  Before proper supervision could be obtained and rescue work begun, three others had attempted to help by going to the 1,400 foot level (all at different times).  Only one was able to return to safety.  Seven men lost their lives from asphyxiation.
1927 Connellsville By-Product Company Mine Asphyxiation, Morgantown, West Virginia — Two mine rescue men sacrificed their lives in a fruitless effort to save a fellow rescuer from deadly gas in the Connellsville By-Product Company mine near Morgantown, WV.  The three victims were part of a crew from Parnassus, PA.  Crews of helmet men were sent in to explore sealed workings to determine whether flooding of the mine had extinguished a fire.  C. Roy Rushton, Frank Burns and William Heagy formed this crew.  For some unexplained reason, Rushton removed the mouthpiece of his breathing apparatus.  He soon collapsed, a victim of carbon monoxide.
1971 Barnett Complex H2S Poisoning, Rosiclare, Illinois — Two brothers, William and Philip Long, entered an area of the mine and were subsequently overcome by Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) gas.  An additional 5 employees made several attempts to reach the Long brothers and bring them to fresh air.  After finally reaching the downed brothers and loading them onto a locomotive to bring them out, they too were overcome and killed by the toxic gas.
1978 Moss No. 3 Portal A Inundation, Duty, Virginia — Two of the four miners who were advancing the drainway when the inundation occurred successfully retreated to the surface (one dragged the other).  However, the other two miners perished.  The blackdamp also killed three other men who went underground without protective equipment or adequate gas testing equipment to search for the missing men.  Similarly unequipped during rescue attempts, two other men were also overcome by blackdamp, but were successfully assisted to the surface.  The deceased included the Mine Superintendent, the MSHA Sub-District Manager and a Service Manager from National Mine Service.  Posthumously, Willis D. Ison was bestowed a Valor Award for bravery.

Download these documents to read the entire story
Microsoft Word Format Master File
Listed by the month when they occurred, this file contains hundreds of successful rescues and incidents of rescuer death in the United States.
Successful Mine Rescues
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains hundreds of successful rescues in the United States.
Incidents of Rescuer Death
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 100 incidents of rescuer death in the United States.