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Mine Disasters in the United States


Alabama By-Products Corporation
Segco No. 1 Mine Roof Fall Accident

Parrish, Walker County, Alabama
October 11, 1977
No. Killed 1

Fatal Accident Investigation Report  PDF Format
Successful Rescue

Following a roof fall entrapment lasting 8 hours in the Segco No. 1 mine in Parrish, Alabama on October 11, 1977, Kenneth W. Ely risked his own life and successfully rescued Ollis A. Bryant.  When the cave-in occurred, Bryant, age 46, was pinned beneath a huge slab of shale and sandstone that was propped up slightly at one side, resting on a low mining machine.

Mr. Ely, age 29, and a federal coal mine inspector, wriggled under the slab and, by moving debris and digging into the clay floor, created a crawl space to the machine where Bryant was trapped.  After freeing Bryant from the debris around him, Ely drew him into the crawl space and external workers pulled Ely by the feet as he in turn pulled on Mr. Bryant.  In that manner both men were drawn from beneath the slab.  Unfortunately, the section foreman, Brady Kilpatrick, was killed in the same roof fall.

For his bravery, Mr. Ely was awarded the Department of Interior Award for Valor, the Holmes Safety Association Medal of Honor, and the Carnegie Hero Award.  Source document.



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