April Mine Disaster Anniversaries in 2021


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1


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

2
3


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

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

4


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

5


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

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

6


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

7


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

8


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

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

9
10


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

11
12


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

13


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

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

14
15


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

16
17
18


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

19
20


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

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

21


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

22


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

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

23


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

24


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

25


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

26


View the planets for this day1905
Conyngham
Hoisting Accident
Wilkes-Barre, PA
No. Killed - 10

27


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

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

28


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

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

29


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

30


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

1

Did You Know? April has produced 65 mine disasters with 5 or more fatalities; 67 successful rescues (longest - 1 week); and the death of 47 rescuers in 12 incidents.

Successful Mine Rescues Rescuer Deaths All April Mine Disasters

Successful Mine Rescues in April
1869 KY-Yellow Jacket Gold Mine Fire, Gold Hill, Nevada — James Dunlevy was the sole survivor of nine miners on the level where the fire started.  He felt himself suffocating and he lay down on the floor of the level and put an overcoat over his head.  All his eight companions on the same level were imprisoned by the falling rocks.  Their bodies were never recovered.  It was hours after Dunlevy had been rescued in the cage before he regained consciousness.  Source document External Link
1879 Sugar Notch No. 10 Colliery Cave-in, Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania — Seven miners were rescued after being trapped by a cave-in for 5 days and 15 hours in the Sugar Notch No. 10 Colliery near Wilkesbarre.  The men sustained themselves on mine water and the cooked flesh of a mule they killed that was trapped with them.  They cooked the meat in the lids of their cans held over three lamps.  The men were in good shape when they reached the surface and except for 2 that lived 2 miles away, the other five men walked to their homes.  The mine was operated by the Lehigh & Wilkesbarre Coal Company.  Source document PDF Format
1884 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person Rescue, Leadville, Colorado — Richard Swan, a mining speculator of Leadville, Colorado, was rescued from a horrible fate, being found in the bottom of a deserted mine shaft, into which he had fallen six days before, and which had been his living tomb.  His rescue was by the merest accident.  James Barry and Charles A. Dean, two miners, while on their way to work heard the groans of someone in distress.  Ropes and mining timbers were procured and Barry was let down the shaft.  On reaching the bottom and striking a match he found a man lying face downward just in the entrance of a drift leading from the shaft.  The man was unconscious, and his face unmistakably depicted the agonies of death by starvation.  The unfortunate man was raised to the surface and carried to the city, where, after restoratives had been applied, he recovered consciousness.  From the fall he suffered a sprained ankle and a bruised arm, but was not otherwise hurt.  Source document PDF Format
1896 Hope Mine Asphyxiation, Basin, Montana — A party of rescuers succeeded in descending to the 100-foot level of the Hope mine at Basin, Montana.  The body of Albert Boulware, who went down the day before and was overcome with gas and unable to climb the ladder to the top and was left for dead.  He was still alive, in spite of the fact that he had been in the mine over fourteen hours.  Source document PDF Format
1903 Farrel Shaft No. 2 Fire, Butte, Montana — Had it not been for the heroism of Peter Keri, two men working in a crosscut in Farrel Shaft No. 2, of the Pittsburg & Montana Mining Company, might have suffered death as a result of the fire which occurred at the mine.  How the fire started was a mystery. Keri came to the surface, and as soon as he discovered the true condition of affairs, ordered the engineer to lower him into the mine again, going to what at the time appeared to be certain death.  The engineer demurred and told Keri he was going to his death, but Keri insisted and the engineer began letting him down.  One hundred feet from the bottom of the shaft, the engineer driven from his post by the flames, put on the brakes and stopped the cage.  Kerl, below ground, realized what had happened, but still maintained his wonderful self-possession.  Setting the dogs on the cage, the safety devices, he took the extra precaution of lashing the cage as fast as possible to the side of the shaft.  He knew the cable would be burned through and feared the cage might fall.  Keri crawled through into the other compartment and after making the trip in safety started into the crosscut after his two companions, Nick Frantia and Ike Peterson.  They started back at the utmost speed and began the long and tedious journey up the ladder in the pump shaft.  At the best this was a terrible task for even a strong man, but with death both above and below them the three men climbed like monkeys toward the surface.  At one of the lower levels, the three were met by a rescue party.  It was stated by miners that it was one of the bravest deeds ever performed in the history of the many in the list of mining rescues.  Source document PDF Format
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.
1907 Seven miners were rescued after 100 hours in the flooded Mine No. 38 of the Berwind-White Operations at Foustwell, Pennsylvania.  Their rescue was made possible by the bravery of Stiney Rodon and Charles Ream who located the men by swimming 50 feet through a water-filled heading.  Earlier, four others made a similar attempt, but were unsuccessful and returned half-drowned.  Mike Boyla, a mine contractor, took charge of the group of trapped men and led them to the highest point in the heading where they waited for rescuers.  Source document External Link
Otto Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Although burled alive under tons of coal dirt for over half an hour, James Maley of Branchdale was rescued alive at the Otto colliery.  He was unconscious for several hours after being dug out, but it was believed his life would be saved.  Maley was shoveling at the base of a high culm bank when the top collapsed and fell upon him, completely burying him.  Source document PDF Format
Good Enough Stope Fall of Horse, Tombstone, Arizona — A remarkable cave-in occurred near the corner of Fifth and Toughnut streets in Tombstone at 1:00 p.m. on April 21, 1907.  A horse and wagon belonging to the Tombstone Improvement Company were suddenly precipitated some 75 feet below street level.  The driver had climbed down to see why his horse had stumbled only to find himself standing on the edge of a gaping aperture with his horse and wagon far below.  Although considerably bruised, the horse was found to have apparently suffered no serious injury.  The animal was found pressed beneath the wagon and some timbers and was rescued before the rapidly descending earth smothered him.  The wagon was badly wrecked, both front wheels being broken.  By means of ropes the vehicle was pulled out through the opening on the surface, while the horse was taken through the drifts of the old workings and brought to the surface near the old Visna shaft, some distance from where he went under.  Source document PDF Format
1908 Hammond Mines Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — Richard Brown rescued alive after being entombed in Hammond Mines at Mahanoy City for more than thirty-six hours.  Brown was unhurt and except for his enforced abstinence from eating, which had weakened him, he was in good condition.  Source document PDF Format
1909 M & B Mine Cave-in, Duenweg, Missouri — Thomas Gibbs, the remaining miner of five entombed by the M & B mine cave-in near Duenweg, Missouri was rescued after an undisclosed period, but he died just as he was brought to the surface.  His death was the third in this incident along with Charles Evans and George Bennett.  Two other miners caught in the cave-in, Albert Winthrop and James R. Jones, fought desperately for their liberty and managed to escape.  Source document PDF Format
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.
Packer Mine No. 5 Cave-in, Girardville, Pennsylvania — After being imprisoned for 18 hours by a fall of coal at the Packer No. 5 mine of the Lehigh Valley colliery, near Girardville, Robert Metukas was rescued uninjured, but died an hour later from an excess of joy on being taken from the tomb.  Source document PDF Format
1911 Banner Mine Explosion, Littleton, Alabama — Following the explosion that would kill 128 miners, forty-five of the miners either reached the outside to safety or got within hailing distance in the shaft and were taken out by rescuers.  Scores of volunteers were on hand, brought by the alarm spread through the valley, and many made heroic rushes into the mine to bring out the victims.  This work proved effective until the deadly gases reached the main shaft into which the men were headed, and then it meant death for all who entered the workings.  Source document PDF Format
1912 Five Points Mine Cave-in, Globe, Arizona — Henry Paryman was rescued after being trapped for 100 hours following a cave-in that occurred in the Five Points Mine of the Manitou Copper Company at Globe, Arizona.  Aside from the obvious hardships he was forced to contend with, rising water in the space in which he was confined was an issue throughout his ordeal.  Source document PDF Format
No. 8 Colliery Cave-in, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — After having been imprisoned for 36 hours by a fall of coal at the No. 8 colliery, John Rubicar, a laborer, was rescued practically uninjured.  Evan Tonkin, imprisoned at the same time, but rescued shortly after, was fatally injured. Source document PDF Format
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 document External 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.
1915 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — After they had gone missing for a week, two small boys were located by searchers in a long-abandoned mine.  The boys were in a small 5-foot drop that had several inches of water in it.  Albert Tomlinson, age 10, was found barely alive, and hungry.  His companion, William Hale, age 5, was dead, believed to have starved to death.  The Hale boy was partly submerged in water and his head was held in the lap of Tomlinson. Source document PDF Format
1917 Silver Belle Mine Cave-in, Gleeson, Arizona — Pat Noland was severely injured in a cave-in in the Silver Belle mine when tons of earth came down upon him.  He was rescued by his comrades after an undisclosed period and brought to the company hospital, where word today was to the effect that he was not expected to live, owing to the severe injuries.  No word was received as to how the accident happened and where the blame lies.  Source document PDF Format
1918 Winchester Magnesite Mine Cave-in, San Jacinto, California — After being imprisoned in the Winchester magnesite mine for fourteen hours as a result of an earthquake, Foreman Edward Sexton and Edward Cole, a miner, were rescued.  20 men who had labored frantically to release them.  Shut in an airtight, pitchy dark hole, six feet long and four feet high, Sexton and Cole breathed thru a 10-foot pipe that was forced down thru the imprisoning rock and dirt.  With lips pressed tight about the ends of the pipe, the two prisoners sucked air from the outer world.  That the men were still alive was proved by faint sounds of tapping on the pipe.  When released Cole and Sexton were weak from lack of food and anxiety, but it was believed they would be none the worse for their ordeal.  Source document PDF Format
1923 Maple Hill Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Charles McCloskey was trapped for 5 hours after a fall of rock occurred at the Maple Hill Colliery at Pottsville, Pennsylvania.  He was uninjured with the exception of slight bruises of the legs.  Source document PDF Format
Cactus Mine Cave-in, Globe, Arizona — W. Castanado was rescued 24 hours after he became entombed in the Cactus Mine sixteen miles from Globe, Arizona.  He was uninjured when reached by rescuers who had to dig through 30 feet of dirt in the tunnel to reach him.  Source document PDF Format
1924 Black Diamond Mine Cave-in, Seattle, Washington — Stanley Cooney, 24, was rescued alive after being trapped for more than a day in the Black Diamond mine near Seattle, Washington.  Two other miners died in the accident.  The body of Robert Pouchette was recovered and the search for O. C. Wise was called off.  Source document PDF Format
Anthracite Mine Fall of Person Rescue, Centralia, Pennsylvania — John Lavelle had a narrow escape from death while returning to his home from the Germantown colliery shop where he was employed as a laborer, when he fell into a treacherous mine breach and was rendered unconscious for a considerable length of time.  The unfortunate miner was homeward bound before daybreak after working on the night shift and was walking along the path from Germantown to Centralia when he veered from the path and walked into the mine hole.  He was found several hours later by miners who had occasion to pass that way.  He was found to be badly bruised and lacerated and suffered greatly from shock due to his frightful experience.  Source document PDF Format
1925 Eagle Hill Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — After being buried several hours, Norman Lavenberg, a miner at Eagle Hill colliery, was rescued alive.  Lavenberg was imprisoned when a big mass of coal blocked him off from his fellow miners.  Miners worked frantically to rescue him before he became a victim of mine gas and when rescued he was taken to the Pottsville Hospital without any apparent serious injuries.  He was suffering severely from shock.  Source document PDF Format
Hecla Mine Fire, Burke, Idaho — Fourteen men, trapped by fire in the lower working of the Hecla silver-lead mine at Burke, seven miles from Wallace, put into commission a pump within the mine, fought the flames for more than twelve hours and came out alive and well.  They had been imprisoned in the Star workings of the Hecla, about two miles from the shaft.  Mine rescue crews had poured water down the shaft of the mine upon the blaze that had broken out in the pump station of the 2,000-foot level.  The fourteen men, turned back by smoke and fumes when they sought the shaft after discovering the fire, had gone into the Star tunnel and obtained a pump.  Then it was simply a matter of pumping water on the fire and waiting for the smoke to clear.  Source document PDF Format
1926 Grizzly Mine Cave-in, Oroville, California — Thomas B. McDermott was rescued after being entombed for 72 hours in the Grizzly mine near Oroville, California.  He was the lone survivor of the cave-in.  Two others, Billy Cope and Horse McBride, did not last to be rescued.  Source document PDF Format
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.
Gimlet Colliery Cave-in, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania — Joseph Dragon and Steve Kieski were rescued from their 20-hour entrapment in the Gimlet Colliery of the Shipman Coal Company.  The two miners became trapped when a squeeze closed the manway.  After a span of 25 feet of heading was opened, rescuers worked night and day to drive a pillar hole 50 feet up the pitch.  Source document PDF Format
Wise Mine Inundation, Henryetta, Oklahoma — Nineteen miners were rescued after an undisclosed period from the flooded Wise mine near Henryetta, Oklahoma.  Two mules had also been trapped and the men.  Knowing what it meant to be imprisoned underground, the rescued miners volunteered to work without pay to man the pumps and free the mules.  Source document PDF Format
1929 Frisco Mine Cave-in, Wallace, Idaho — Oscar Johnson and John Amonson were rescued 48 hours after a cave-in occurred at the Frisco mine at Wallace, Idaho.  The cook of the Frisco mine was the chief hero of the rescue party.  At 2-hour intervals, food was carried up the mountainside including great bowls of savory smelling soup and warm milk which were passed through a pipe to the trapped miners.  Source document PDF Format
1930 Carbonado Mine Explosion, Carbonado, Washington — 16 miners were rescued from behind a barricade several hours after an explosion in the Carbonado mine in Carbonado, Washington.  Source document PDF Format
1931 Tunnel Ridge Colliery Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — After being entombed in a gangway at the Tunnel Ridge colliery for about eight hours, rescue crews found Charles Walaconis uninjured.  Twenty feet of debris separated Walaconis from freedom.  When the entombed man responded to tapping signals on a pipe line that ran through the debris, the rescue party worked faster in the hope of reaching the man before serious injury or death could occur.  He was guided by instructions carried over the pipe line and was finally taken to his home without a scratch.  Source document PDF Format
1932 Mary Ann Lead and Zinc Mine Shaft Entrapment, Picher, Oklahoma — Toddling after his workbound father, Gerald Collins, age 3, fell into a 250-foot drill hole and became wedged in the hole about 20 feet down.  He remained trapped there for 11 hours until rescuers dug a parallel shaft to reach and free the child.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External Link
1935 U. S. Gold Mine Cave-in, Butte, Montana — Trapped nine hours beneath 25 feet of rock in the U. S. mine near Butte, Harvey Konen, 45, had suffered only a few scratches and bruised when rescued by a crew of 20 men.   Konen descended the 60-foot shaft of the gold mine shortly before 9:30 a.m.  After hearing dangerous rumblings above him, he was ascending a ladder when the timbered shaft crashed in ahead of an avalanche of rock.  Workers at the shaft rushed to Butte and recruited veteran miners who were taken to the property where an opening was made in the caved-in shaft and Konen was brought to the surface.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Newtown Hill, Pennsylvania — Roy Gauntlett, 32, was rescued from an abandoned mine working at nearby Newtown Hill, where he was held trapped by a fall of coal for eight hours.  Gauntlett was taken to a hospital to be treated for exposure and exhaustion.  A score of men tunneled through the fall to the spot where he was buried, while he directed the rescue.  Source document PDF Format
1936 Clyde Westcott Mine Fall of Person, Mt. Sterling, Ohio — Raymond Blackstone, 28, was injured when the coal car which he occupied fell down a 35-foot shaft of the Clyde Westcott mine, three miles south of Mt. Sterling.  He was reported in critical condition in Bethesda hospital. Blackstone suffered a fractured skull and a broken jaw.  Portions of wood driven into his brain and skull by force of the fall were removed yesterday by the attending physician.  He was found unconscious at the foot of the shaft by Robert Lane, a pony-driver in the mine.  After an undisclosed period, fellow workmen assisted in bringing him to the surface where first aid was given.  He was taken to the hospital in the Bateman ambulance.  The injured man had been employed at the mine for three years.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External Link
1940 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Edward Forbes, 29, suffered multiple injuries after having been buried by a rock fall for more than two hours in a bootleg coal mine.  Forbes, who was buried about 50 feet from the mine entrance, was treated for shock, body contusions, possible rib fractures, and lacerations of the hands and feet.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Anthony Dziezyk, 24, was rescued alive from a perilous position in a collapsed bootleg mine working 300 feet below the surface of the Turkey Run Mountain, south of Shenandoah.  The youthful miner was working 300 feet down the slope when the rib pushed out, trapping him under debris and covering him to the waist.  Dziezyk was alone in the slope, engaged in loading a wagon when the rush occurred.  Yanking hard on the signal wire to apprise fellow workers on the surface that all was not well, the signal was misunderstood, and Joseph Michalkewicz, in charge of the engine … an improvised automobile motor … tried to hoist the wagon.  When he was unable to do so he realized something was wrong and descended half-way down the slope to learn from Dziezyk that he was trapped and threatened with death.  For nearly five hours rescuers worked cautiously as they held back the rock with timber until they were able to release the young miner, who was in constant pain and suffering greatly from shock.  After the timbers had been installed and rock lifted out of the slope to release young Dziezyk, he was placed in a wagon and hoisted to the surface.  An ambulance and physicians from Locust Mountain Hospital were in waiting, gave first aid and hurried the accident victim to the hospital, where examination revealed severe abdominal injuries, extensive contusions of both legs and the patient in severe state of shock.  The hospital indicated the youth was expected to recover.  Source document PDF Format
Mattie Gold Mine Cave-in, Idaho Springs, Colorado — Imprisoned 13 hours by a cave-in at the Mattie Gold Mine, Jack Ward, 25, was rescued uninjured.  Ward was made a prisoner in a six-foot-square hole when a 20-foot wall of rock and dirt crashed down from the tunnel’s celling while he and two others were replacing old timbering yesterday.  He was trapped about 600 feet from the entrance of the mine.  When the cave-in occurred Ward jumped one way and his fellow workers, Albert Harrison and Oscar Hyman, jumped the other.  They escaped imprisonment and gave the alarm.  A rescue crew of 20 men worked in relays, three at a time, to reach Ward in the narrow tunnel.  Source document PDF Format
1941 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Centralia, Pennsylvania — Lawrence Burns, 45, was rescued after an undisclosed period from a mountain coal hole where he and a younger companion were trapped by a cave-in.  Hope for saving his companion, Joseph Loftus, 18, was virtually abandoned.  Burns was taken to a hospital suffering from severe shock.  The two were caught behind a wall of coal and debris while driving a horizontal shaft.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Asphyxiation, Branchdale, Pennsylvania — Albert Gudinas, 26, was rescued alive after an undisclosed period from a gas-filled coal hole at Branchdale by the heroic effort of his brother, Joseph.  The brothers were engaged in pumping water from their slope when Albert entered the mine to replenish the supply of gasoline in the engine operating the pump.  When the brother failed to reappear, Joseph entered the mine to find him unconscious, victim of carbon monoxide.  Summoning other miners, it was with difficulty they made their way into the gas-filled operation and conveyed the unconscious Albert Gudinas to the surface and eventually to the Pottsville Hospital.  Surgeons at the hospital administered oxygen and stimulation and after a time revived Gudinas.  Source document PDF Format
Kehoe-Berge Coal Mine Cave-in, Duryea, Pennsylvania — Shock was believed to have contributed to the death of Stephen Olenik, 45-year-old Duryea miner.  Olenik died at Pittston Hospital from injuries suffered April 30 when he was trapped for twelve hours in a cave-in at the Kehoe-Berge Coal Company mine.  Source document PDF Format
1942 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — Charles King, 48, one of two miners rescued from a bootleg mine after being trapped 12 hours following a cave-in, died from injuries at the Coaldale Hospital.  His death resulted from internal injuries, a broken arm and shock.  His partner, Raymond Herring, 40, sustained only minor injuries.  Both had been pinned from the waist down by coal and debris 125 feet below the surface and had watched helplessly as rescuers dug toward them.  Three other men were working in the tunnel of the old Dunkelberger colliery working when a set of supporting timbers collapsed, causing the cave-in.  They escaped and spread an alarm.  The working was abandoned about 50 years ago.  Ten miners from the Lehigh Navigation Coal Company and an equal number of volunteers worked throughout most of the night to save the men.  Source document PDF Format
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.
1947 Schooley Mine Explosion, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — The Schooley mine explosion killed nine anthracite diggers, and injured nine others as they worked 350 feet underground.  The explosion, so terrific that it splintered supporting timbers and crumpled mine chamber walls, came soon after the day work crew reported at the shaft of the Knox Coal company.  Dust and smoke rose from the pithead, as rescue forces rushed into the operation near Wilkes-Barre.  Two bodies were removed immediately.  Injured were speeded to nearby Pittston hospital where doctors said some had been burned, others overcome by fumes.  Source document PDF Format
1951 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Shaft, Pennsylvania — Henry W. Eckley, Sr., 61, coal miner, died as the result of attempting to rescue Anthony Woznicki, 46, coal miner, from a cave-in.  During the course of the rescue, a large quantity of debris fell from near the ceiling and partially buried Eckley, who sustained severe internal injuries and a broken leg.  Eckley and Woznicki were removed from the entry by other miners and were taken to the surface.  Woznicki was disabled six months.  Eckley succumbed to injuries three days later.  Posthumously, Mr. Eckley was awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source document External Link  
1953 Lehigh Coal & Navigation Mine Cave-in, Coaldale, Pennsylvania — Steve Oblas, 26, was set free after a 9-hour entrapment in the mine at Coaldale, Pennsylvania operated by the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company.  Thirty miners participated in the rescue.  Source document PDF Format
Monarch Mine Fire, Harlan, Kentucky — Fifteen miners were rescued without injury after an undisclosed period at the Monarch Mine of the Blue Diamond Coal Company.  The State Department of Mines and Minerals said it understood a locomotive reel cable caught fire and the motorman was unable to shut off the power.  Source document PDF Format
1955 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Thomas Margelavage, 44, was buried in a bootleg mine up to his neck in a pile of coal for six hours before rescuers could set him free.  The Mine Inspector said a wall of coal collapsed and buried Margelavage.  He was set free only 20 hours after the body of another miner had been recovered from a nearby mine.   Margelavage was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was treated for cuts, bruises and shock.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External Link
1963 Old Sparks Well Entrapment, Rupert, Idaho — Two amateur gold prospectors were rescued from a 600-foot deep dry well 12 hours after they became trapped.  Floyd Gambrell and Darnell Hamilton were imprisoned when a bucket being lowered to lift them to the surface broke loose, dropped halfway down the shaft and became wedged in the narrow hole.  With their communications severed and their exit block, their companions on the surface summoned help to free the men.  This shaft, known as the "Old Sparks Well" claimed the life of another prospector 25 years earlier when a bucket of tools fell on him in a similar incident.  Source document PDF Format
Box Mine Cave-in, Hamilton, Alabama — Rescuers removed two brothers from a coal mine where they had been trapped for three days deep in a cave-in.  Bobby Gene Johnson, 23, and Lewis Ray Johnson, 20, were unharmed by their ordeal.  They were taken to a Winfield hospital for rest and observation.  Officials said rescuers bypassed a rock and tunneled through coal to reach the trapped men.  A rock slide pinned the brothers more than 2,000 feet in the Box mine.  Officials said the men were removing rock deep inside the mine when the cave-in trapped them.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External Link
1978 Clinchfield Coal Company, Moss No. 3 Portal A Inundation — William Joe Arden External Link, and Willis Ison External Link, and Richard L. Shelby External Link died attempting to save fellow workmen from suffocation, April 4, 1978.  Strickler Mullins External Link helped to save Charles L. Breeding in the same incident.

Arden, 25, Shelby, 56, Service Manager from National Mine Service, and Ison, 45, Mine Safety and Health Administration subdistrict manager, entered the tunnel to give aid but, before reaching any of the men, were overcome.

One of the three men was removed from the tunnel and revived; but Arden and the others died.  Messer's Arden, Shelby, Ison and Mullins were posthumously awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  
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 document External 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, age 32, was rescued and walked out of the Powderhorn Coal Company's Roadside mine in DeBeque Canyon, Colorado.  Sanders had been hunched over and nearly waist-deep in water in the cab of a large mining machine during his period of entrapment.  He was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, where nurses in the emergency room said he was in good condition.  Source document External Link
1986 Lewis No. 2 Mine Roof Fall, Harlan County, Kentucky — One miner was killed and another miner was trapped for more than 2 hours by a roof fall in the No. 2 mine of the Paul and Robert Lewis Coal Company at Cumberland, Kentucky.  The trapped worker, Terry Rigney, was rescued unharmed.  The body of the other miner, Paul Lewis, was recovered after Rigney was freed.  Source document PDF Format
1997 Lehigh Coal & Navigation Strip Mine Rescue, Coaldale, Pennsylvania — Heroic overnight efforts by about 70 people saved two Lansford teen-agers stuck in a 500-foot stripping pit for up to 11 hours Wednesday and Thursday.  John Urso, 18, and a 13-year-old boy escaped with minor injuries.  The two, along with Howard McLaughlin, 20, of Lansford and another boy apparently entered the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company property in Coaldale.  All four were walking around and climbing the walls of the Springdale mining pits.  Trouble started when Urso and the 13-year-old became stranded around 4:30 p.m.  The pit is about a quarter-mile wide and 500 feet deep and consists of a number of narrow, descending ledges spaced 50 to 60 feet apart.  McLaughlin and the unidentified boy climbed out of the pit, while Urso was stranded on a ledge about 200 feet from the top and 300 feet from the bottom.  The 13-year-old was 300 yards away, on a ledge 400 feet down.  "Urso was holding onto a tree so he wouldn't fall farther down."  Rescuers with spotlights stationed on one side of the wide pit illuminated the opposite side, where others worked their way down ledges to the 13-year-old and placed him in a basket.  He was raised to safety at 1:49 a.m.  The boy was treated for minor scrapes and ankle injuries at Miners Memorial Medical Center, Coaldale.  Urso refused medical treatment.  Source document PDF Format
1998 Mine Shaft Rescue, Acton, California — A man was rescued after being trapped for nearly six hours on a ledge 150 feet down a mine shaft.  He was trapped after falling in the 800-foot vertical mine shaft prompting an effort by more than 60 rescuers.  He had fallen off a ladder, but details about what he had been doing were unavailable.  Source document PDF Format
2020 Isaban Mine No. 3, Gilbert, West Virginia — Timothy Kennedy, 26, who had been missing for more than a week, was located by MHST, West Virginia State Police, MSHA personnel, and a Southern Pocahontas Mine Rescue Team in the closed Isaban Mine No. 3 of Frasier Creek Mining, LLC.  Besides having to wade through some water, the rescuers did not encounter extreme adverse conditions and did not need to turn on their breathing devices.  They did find evidence of copper removal during their search.  The man was brought to the surface and examined by Elite Care Ambulance personnel before being taken to a hospital by life-flight for an evaluation.  Source document PDF Format
2021 Abandoned Eureka Copper Mine Shaft Rescue, Corinth, Vermont — Police responded to a call someone had fallen in an abandoned copper mine shaft at the Eureka Mine on Pike Hill.  The man, who officials said was about 30 years old, tumbled down about 150 feet.  Firefighters assembled a twin-tension rope rescue system and lowered two paramedics into the shaft.  They then packaged and pulled up the patient in a basket.  After his — three-hour — confinement, the man was transported by ATV to a nearby helicopter, which took him to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.  There was no word on his injuries or his identity.  Officials said the entire rescue took less than one hour.  Source document PDF Format

Rescuer Deaths in April
1887 Old Savanna No. 2 Mine Explosion, Savanna, Oklahoma — Twelve 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.
1890 Spring Valley Shaft No. 2 Mine Fire, Spring Valley, Illinois — Following efforts to extinguish the fire, John Eustice, the foreman of the mine, along with two volunteers, entered the mine to examine the extent of the damage.  When they did not return, others commenced the difficult task of finding the three men amid the smoke and gas given off by the fire.  The three were found within 130 yards of the shaft where they became victims of asphyxiation.  The two volunteers assisting Eustice were N. P. Akeyson and Jacob Williamson.
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 document 1 External Link  Source document 2 PDF Format
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 Drδger 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.
1922 Almena Mine Roof Fall, Morgantown, West Virginia — Gabrielle Pascuzzi, 20, and H. L. Wallace, 23 were killed and two others were injured when they were crushed under a fall of slate while searching for the bodies of 2 miners who met death in a cave-in several days earlier in the Strum Coal Company’s Almena Mine.  Source document PDF Format
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.
1951 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Shaft, Pennsylvania — Henry W. Eckley, Sr., 61, coal miner, died as the result of attempting to rescue Anthony Woznicki, 46, coal miner, from a cave-in.  During the course of the rescue, a large quantity of debris fell from near the ceiling and partially buried Eckley, who sustained severe internal injuries and a broken leg.  Eckley and Woznicki were removed from the entry by other miners and were taken to the surface.  Woznicki was disabled six months.  Eckley succumbed to injuries three days later.  Posthumously, Mr. Eckley was awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source document External Link  
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 Clinchfield Coal Company, Moss No. 3 Portal A Inundation — William Joe Arden External Link, and Willis Ison External Link, and Richard L. Shelby External Link died attempting to save fellow workmen from suffocation, April 4, 1978.  Strickler Mullins External Link helped to save Charles L. Breeding in the same incident.

Arden, 25, Shelby, 56, Service Manager from National Mine Service, and Ison, 45, Mine Safety and Health Administration subdistrict manager, entered the tunnel to give aid but, before reaching any of the men, were overcome.

One of the three men was removed from the tunnel and revived; but Arden and the others died.  Messer's Arden, Shelby, Ison and Mullins were posthumously awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  

Mine Accident Research Documents
Successful Mine Rescues  (MS Word format)    (PDF format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains hundreds of successful rescues in the United States.  See more.  
Incidents of Rescuer Death  (MS Word format)    (PDF format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 120 incidents of rescuer death in the United States.  See more.  
Carnegie Hero Award Recipients  (MS Excel format)
Inspired by the bravery that Daniel A. Lyle and Selwyn M. Taylor External Link displayed at the Harwick Mine Disaster in 1904, Andrew Carnegie started the Carnegie Hero Fund External Link.  The file linked here includes awardees associated with mining along with additional resources which you may find interesting.
Children Killed in Mine Accidents (MS Excel format)
This is a compilation of more than 100 incidents involving the death of children in mines.  Source documentation links are provided.  See more.  
Women in Mine Accidents (MS Excel format)
This is a compilation of more than 50 incidents involving the death of women in mines.  Source documentation links are provided.  See more.  
Loss of Life Among Wearers of Oxygen Breathing Apparatus
From 1911 to 1940, 26 men lost their lives while wearing oxygen breathing apparatus.
And many, many more . . .