March 2018 Mine Disaster Anniversaries

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View the planets for this day1915
Layland No. 2
Mine Explosion
Layland, WV
No. Killed - 115

View the planets for this day1910
Mine Explosion
Treadwell, AK
No. Killed - 37

View the planets for this day1961
Mine Explosion
Terre Haute, IN
No. Killed - 22

View the planets for this day1923
Mine Explosion
Arista, WV
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1911
Rock Slide
Virginia, MN
No. Killed - 14


View the planets for this day1881
Almy No. 2
Mine Explosion
Almy, WY
No. Killed - 38

View the planets for this day1897
Kansas and Texas 44
Mine Explosion
Huntington, AR
No. Killed - 14


View the planets for this day1968
Belle Isle Salt
Mine Fire
Calumet, LA
No. Killed - 21


View the planets for this day1900
Red Ash
Mine Explosion
Red Ash, WV
No. Killed - 46


View the planets for this day1924
Castle Gate No. 2
Mine Explosion
Castle Gate, UT
No. Killed - 172

View the planets for this day1926
Crab Orchard 5
Mine Explosion
Eccles, WV
No. Killed - 19

View the planets for this day1960
No. 22
Mine Fire
Holden, WV
No. Killed - 18


View the planets for this day1976
Mine Explosion
Oven Fork, KY
No. Killed - 26


View the planets for this day1937
Mine Explosion
Logan, WV
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1884
Mine Explosion
Pocohontas, VA
No. Killed - 112

View the planets for this day1917
Henderson No. 1
Mine Explosion
Hendersonville, PA
No. Killed - 14


View the planets for this day1940
Willow Grove 10
Mine Explosion
St. Clairesville, OH
No. Killed - 72

View the planets for this day1907
Bond and Bruce
Mine Explosion
Tacoma, VA
No. Killed - 11


View the planets for this day1925
Mine Explosion
Barrackville, WV
No. Killed - 33


View the planets for this day1839
Black Heath
Mine Explosion
Richmond, VA
No. Killed - 40

View the planets for this day1905
Rush Run-Red Ash
Mine Explosion
Red Ash, WV
No. Killed - 24


View the planets for this day1855
Mine Explosion
Coalfield, VA
No. Killed – 55


View the planets for this day1912
San Bois No. 2
Mine Explosion
McCurtain, OK
No. Killed - 73

View the planets for this day1895
Red Canyon
Mine Explosion
Red Canyon, WY
No. Killed - 60


View the planets for this day1929
Mine Explosion
Parnassus, PA
No. Killed - 45


View the planets for this day1906
Century No. 1
Mine Explosion
Century, WV
No. Killed - 23


View the planets for this day1896
Mine Explosion
Du Bois, PA
No. Killed - 13


View the planets for this day1922
Mine Explosion
Sopris, CO
No. Killed - 17


View the planets for this day1947
Centralia No. 5
Mine Explosion
Centralia, IL
No. Killed - 111

View the planets for this day1944
Katherine No 4
Mine Explosion
Shinnston, WV
No. Killed - 16


View the planets for this day1912
Mine Explosion
Jed, WV
No. Killed - 81

View the planets for this day1942
Sandts Eddy Quarry
Allentown, PA
No. Killed - 31

View the planets for this day1930
Mine Explosion
Arnettsville, WV
No. Killed - 12


View the planets for this day1908
Hanna No. 1
Mine Explosion
Hanna, WY
No. Killed - 59

View the planets for this day1924
Yukon No. 2
Mine Explosion
Yukon, WV
No. Killed - 24

View the planets for this day1916
Mine Explosion
Kimball, WV
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1888
Keith & Perry 6
Mine Explosion
Rich Hill, MO
No. Killed - 24


View the planets for this day1930
Kettle Island
Mine Explosion
Kettle Island, KY
No. Killed - 16


View the planets for this day1902
Mine Explosion
Dayton, TN
No. Killed - 16

View the planets for this day1919
Mine Explosion
Aguilar, CO
No. Killed - 13

Did You Know? The month of March has accounted for 91 mine disasters in which 1,865 miners were killed; 25 successful rescues (longest - 19 days); and the death of 116 rescuers in 13 incidents.

Successful Rescue Summary Rescuer Death Summary All March Mine Disasters

Successful Mine Rescues in March
1871 E. Bast and Company Breaker Boiler Explosion, Ashland, Pennsylvania — Following the boiler explosion at the E. Bast and Company Breaker, Mark Daniels was buried in the scalding, burning debris.  Through the almost superhuman efforts of six men, he was rescued from the terrible position in which he was suffering the most excruciating torture and slowly burning to death.  Sadly, he died a few hours later, after suffering such agonies as beggar description.
1881 Almy No. 2 Mine Explosion, Almy, Wyoming — After an undisclosed period following the Almy No. 2 mine explosion, two of the white miners were brought out in a crippled condition, and 15 Chinamen were rescued through the ventilating shaft, all of whom were more or less injured.
1886 Uniondale Mine Explosion, Dunbar, Pennsylvania — After an undisclosed period, a rescue party led by Columbus Shay, of the Mahoning works, and James Henderson, of the Calvin mine managed to get past the flames and smoke to the injured miners.  They were lying in every direction buried under masses of debris.  Several of them were horribly burned.  Their sufferings were terrible.  Twelve of them were found almost in a dying condition and two others were dead -- mangled almost into an unrecognizable mass.  The names of those killed were John Williams and Joseph Cope.
1897 Kansas and Texas No. 44 Mine Explosion, Huntington, Arkansas — Immediately after the explosion, Mine Superintendent Vail directed the work the work of looking for those unable to walk up the slope.  One by one the more seriously injured were brought out and taken to their homes in hacks and wagons.  How many of the men are burned internally the doctors could not say, as their efforts were employed solely in dressing their wounds.
1906 Century No. 1 Mine Explosion, Century, West Virginia — Within one hour after the accident Superintendent James Ward had a relief gang in the mine.  The first trip out brought ten men, five dead and five badly burned.  During the second expedition, twenty injured men were making their way towards the bottom of the shaft and were brought to the surface by the rescuers.
1912 Following an explosion and cave-in, a total of 25 workmen were rescued after an undisclosed period from the San Bois No. 2 coal mine near McCurtain, Oklahoma.  Of the last 14 rescued, three had to be removed by stretcher.  They were located in a small area where they had placed a curtain to exclude foul air.  Tapping sounds through a water pipe led to their discovery.  73 miners perished in the disaster.  Source documentExternal Link
1915 On March 2, 1915, an explosion occurred at the Layland No. 3 Mine in Layland, West Virginia.  The explosion occurred at 8:30 a.m., resulting in the deaths of 114 men inside the mine and 1 outside.  Fifty-four men afterward escaped alive from the mine.  Seven came out from 2 to 5 hours after the explosion; 5 more escaped unassisted at 8 a.m. on March 6 (4 days later), and 42 others were rescued an hour later.  Of those killed, 44 died from suffocation.  The store porter passing the drift mouth at a distance of 100 feet at the time of the explosion was hurled against a post and killed.
1916 King Mine Explosion, Kimball, West Virginia — Following the explosion, rescuers worked throughout the morning to free a large number of miners.  Masses of coal and slate and cut off their escape.  At 2 p.m., it was stated that all the men who had entered the mine had been accounted for.
1924 Yukon No. 2 Mine Explosion, Yukon, West Virginia — After an undisclosed period following the explosion, six of the thirty-two men in No. 2 mine escaped death, and were rescued by fellow workmen from the No. 1 mine.
1926 In Eccles, West Virginia, ten miners were imprisoned in the Crab Orchard No. 5 mine for 26 hours following an explosion there.  The men credited their rescue to the experience and coolness of P. J. Davis, night foreman and the leader of the little band.  He had the men build a wall of lumber, stones and soft mud, which experts said, would have successfully repelled the foul air indefinitely.
1929 Kinloch Mine Explosion, Parnassus, Pennsylvania — Lawrence Allshouse, aged 28, was found alive and carried from the pit.  Still alive after lying in an injured condition for twenty-seven hours, Allshouse was removed to a hospital where it was said he probably would die.  He was semi-conscious.
1930 New Peerless Mine Explosion, Helper, Utah - Eight men escaped alive after the blast.  A. L. Ross and L. S. King were burned about the face and hands and badly gassed.  They owe their lives to Vic Bain and Tony Canrinker, who placed the injured men in a mine car and signaled to have it drawn from the mine, but the apparatus was damaged by the explosion and failed to function.  Bain and Canrinker then carried Ross and King toward the entrance of the mine until they encountered fresh air.  Others rescued were B. W. Hall, Ole Swenson, Roy Story and Frank Hensley.
Wolf Run Mine Fire, Amsterdam, Ohio — Owing their lives to the desperate work of the Steubenville Fire Department and mine rescue squads, 87 miners were brought out of the mine after an undisclosed period.  About a dozen of them were unconscious when carried to the surface.  Two rescuers, Sidney Wales and Arnold Horton, collapsed from exhaustion after trampling for miles searching for workmen.  Two other miners died in the accident.
1933 Bootleg anthracite miner, John Cheslock, was rescued from the abandoned Sayre colliery near Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania.  In a state of collapse, but conscious, Cheslock was rescued following a 4 day entrapment.  Source documentExternal Link
1936 Gus Brown and his three husky sons rescued “Fannie,” their pet pony from the family coal mine in Louis Hollow near Crooksville, Ohio.  Fannie, trapped 19 days due to a cave-in, emerged sleepily and appeared none the worse for her experience.  The pony, led through hastily-driven shafts was taken into the Brown home and given a warm place by the kitchen stove.  Source documentExternal Link
1940 Willow Grove No. 10 Mine Explosion — An explosion in this mine resulted in the death of 72 miners.  Twenty-two others were overcome by afterdamp, rescued and taken to the surface.  Seventy-nine uninjured men were temporarily imprisoned and rescued five hours later.  Investigators believe that the explosion was caused by the firing of a shot charged with black powder.
1942 Teddy the mule was rescued following an 8-day entrapment after a roof fall occurred in the Cracker Jack mine near Boulder, Colorado.  Teddy survived the ordeal by nibbling on bark from pine roof props and drinking from pools of water in the damp mine.  The owner, Joe Robertson, turned Teddy out to pasture to rest for a month following his ordeal.  Source documentExternal Link
1947 Centralia No. 5 Mine Explosion, Centralia, Illinois — Rescue workers kept digging in a gaseous, clogged-up passage 540 feet underground.  The picking and the toiling slow work in the thick of the lingering fumes, in about 20 hours had accounted for only nine survivors of the 131 who were caught in the blast just a few minutes before quitting time.
1957 Abandoned Coal Mine, Harlan, Kentucky — 50-year-old, Cantrell Owens, was rescued from an abandoned Kentucky coal mine near Harlan after spending more than 2 days lost in mine.  Rescuers had to give up the search once because of the foul air they encountered.
1969 William "Buck" Jones was rescued 8 days following a cave-in at the Deep Lark lead, zinc and silver mine near Lark, Utah.  The elderly miner was tired but able to laugh following his ordeal.  He was greeted on the surface by his wife and 11 children.  Source documentExternal Link
1977 Ronald Adley survived after being trapped for nearly 6 days following an inundation of water at the Porter Tunnel Mine owned by the Kocher Coal Company in Tower City, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.  Nine miners were killed in the accident.
1979 Trapped for 6˝ hours by a rockslide at the Upper Taggert Coal Mine at Oven Fork, Kentucky, Larkin Napier was rescued.  Two other miners, Grant Sturgill and Ernest Stetzer, were crushed by the falling rock.  Source documentExternal Link

Rescuer Deaths in March
1905 Rush Run and Red Ash Mine Explosions, Red Ash, West Virginia — Five hours after the mine ceased operations for the day, an explosion occurred in the Rush Run mine, in which 8 men lost their lives.  The explosion extended into the Red Ash mine, where 5 more men lost their lives.  To rescue these men, 11 men entered the Rush Run mine and were lost in a second explosion.  Source documentExternal Link
1907 Seattle Electric Company, Renton County, Washington — Victim’s little son was waiting for his father to finish work so that he might ride the horse to the barn.  As the father was dumping his last car, the boy fell into the hot ashes.  The father jumped to rescue him and both were so badly burned that they died a few days later.
1908 Hanna No. 1 Mine Explosions, Hanna, Wyoming — Mine Superintendent, Alexander Briggs, along with 19 volunteers were killed by an explosion in the Union Pacific Coal Company’s Hanna No. 1 mine.  This group had gone into the mine to fight a fire that had been raging there since the previous Saturday.  A short time later, a second explosion occurred in the mine, killing 39 others, including State Mine Inspector, D. M. Elie, who had gone into the mine with hopes of rescuing the first group.  In all, 59 were killed in this disaster.
1915 At Black Hawk, Utah, Grant S. Miller, a member of the Black Hawk Coal Company's rescue crew, was overcome while fighting a mine fire, and died in spite of courageous efforts of his comrades to save his life.   Source documentExternal Link
1924 Castle Gate No. 2 Mine Explosions, Castle Gate, Utah — Before experienced apparatus men arrived, a member of a crew from a neighboring mine was killed by inhaling carbon monoxide due to removing his nose clip in some way.
1937 Kramer Mine Explosions, DuBois, Pennsylvania — A spark from a locomotive ignited a body of methane in the first explosion, a fire ignited the 2nd.  Two were killed in the first explosion and 7 were killed in the second explosion.  The others died in an effort to rescue their fellow man, when a second explosion of gas took place.  Source documentExternal Link
1940 Willow Grove No. 10 Mine Explosion, Neffs, Ohio — On this Saturday morning 176 men were in the mine, when an explosion killed 66 by burns and violence and 3 by burns and afterdamp.  Two others attempting rescue were asphyxiated, and 1 rescued man died 6 days later from the effects of afterdamp.
1944 Katherine No. 4 Mine Explosion, Shinnston, West Virginia — Firefighting crews were formed after all miners were withdrawn from the Katherine No. 4 mine to fight a fire discovered there at 11:00 p.m.  A subsequent explosion of methane and coal dust occurred, killing everyone in the mine fighting the fire at the time.  Windows were shattered in homes 2 miles away and buildings were rocked.
1953 O'Brien Mine Explosion, Lovilia, Iowa — Three of the victims of the O'Brien mine disaster were men in an inspection party which entered the mine several hours after the original explosion.  They were Gerald Lane, 59; James Love, 54, and Thomas Little, 48.  They were in a party of five which entered the mine to look it over.   Love earlier had been a member of the squad which brought out the bodies of Harold Barnes and Ben Nichols.
1971 Nemacolin Mine Fire, Nemacolin, Pennsylvania — On April 16, 1971, at about 1:30 p.m., William L. Groves, State Deep Mine Inspector, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, was accidentally drowned during the firefighting operations.
1976 Scotia Mine Explosions, Ovenfork, Kentucky — On March 11, 1976, at the time of the second explosion, 13 men were underground near the entrance of 2 Southeast Main; 11 died as the result of the explosion and 2 repairmen working a short distance outby escaped without injury.  Among the 11 killed on March 11 were 3 Federal Mine Inspectors: Kenneth Kiser, age 45; Richard Sammons, age 55; and Grover Tussey, age 45.  This disaster gave birth to the Health and Safety Act of 1977 External Link, including new rules for mine rescue teams, stations, and training.

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.