December Mine Disaster Anniversaries in 2021


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1


View the planets for this day1907
Naomi
Mine Explosion
Fayette City, PA
No. Killed - 34

2


View the planets for this day1905
Diamondville No. 1
Mine Explosion
Diamondville, WY
No. Killed - 18

3
4
5
6


National Miners' Day

View the planets for this day1907
Monongah
Mine Explosion
Monongah, WV
No. Killed - 362

View the planets for this day1962
Robena No. 3
Mine Explosion
Carmichaels, PA
No. Killed - 37

7


View the planets for this day1904
Mine No. 5
Mine Explosion
Burnett, WA
No. Killed - 17

1932
Jones
Mine Explosion
Madrid, NM
No. Killed - 14

1907
Rolling Mill
Hoisting Accident
Negaunee, MI
No. Killed - 10

8


View the planets for this day1981
Mine No. 21
Mine Explosion
Whitewell, TN
No. Killed - 13

9


View the planets for this day1911
Cross Mountain
Mine Explosion
Briceville, TN
No. Killed - 84

1926
Francisco No. 2
Mine Explosion
Francisco, IN
No. Killed - 37

1899
Carbon Hill No. 7
Mine Explosion
Carbonado, WA
No. Killed - 31

1932
Zero
Mine Explosion
Yancey, KY
No. Killed - 23

1914
Tripp
Hoisting Accident
Scranton, PA
No. Killed - 13

10


View the planets for this day1925
Overton No. 2
Mine Explosion
Acmar, AL
No. Killed - 53

11


View the planets for this day1910
Leyden
Mine Fire
Leyden, CO
No. Killed - 10

12
13


View the planets for this day1916
Fidelity No. 9
Mine Explosion
Stone City, KS
No. Killed - 20

14
15


View the planets for this day1917
Yukon No. 1
Mine Explosion
Bluefield, WV
No. Killed - 18

16


View the planets for this day1907
Yolande
Mine Explosion
Yolande, AL
No. Killed - 57

1913
Vulcan
Mine Explosion
New Castle, CO
No. Killed - 37

17


View the planets for this day1929
Old Town
Mine Explosion
McAlester, OK
No. Killed - 61

18


View the planets for this day1895
Cumnock
Mine Explosion
Cumnock, NC
No. Killed - 39

View the planets for this day1885
Nanticoke No. 1
Quicksand Inrush
Nanticoke, PA
No. Killed - 26

19


View the planets for this day1907
Darr
Mine Explosion
Jacobs Creek, PA
No. Killed - 239

View the planets for this day1984
Wilberg
Mine Fire
Orangeville, UT
No. Killed - 27

View the planets for this day1917
Barbour No. 6
Mine Explosion
Catoosa, TN
No. Killed - 11

20


View the planets for this day1895
Nelson
Mine Explosion
Dayton, TN
No. Killed - 28

21


View the planets for this day1951
Orient No. 2
Mine Explosion
West Frankfort, IL
No. Killed - 119

22
23


View the planets for this day1932
Moweaqua
Mine Explosion
Moweaqua, IL
No. Killed - 54

1899
Braznell
Mine Explosion
Brownsville, PA
No. Killed - 19

24
25
26


View the planets for this day1945
Belva No. 1
Mine Explosion
Fourmile, KY
No. Killed - 24

27


View the planets for this day1957
Pocahontas 31
Mine Explosion
Amonate, VA
No. Killed - 11

28
29


View the planets for this day1908
Lick Branch
Mine Explosion
Switchback, WV
No. Killed - 50

30


View the planets for this day1970
Finley 15 & 16
Mine Explosion
Hyden, KY
No. Killed - 38

31


View the planets for this day1907
Bernal
Mine Explosion
Carthage, NM
No. Killed - 11

View the planets for this day1910
Lick Fork
Mine Cars
Thacker, WV
No. Killed - 10

1

Did You Know? December has produced 71 mine disasters with 5 or more fatalities; 99 successful rescues (longest - 50 days); and the death of 18 rescuers in 8 incidents.

Successful Mine Rescues Rescuer Deaths All December Mine Disasters

Successful Mine Rescues in December
1869 December 18, 1869 - The East Sugar Loaf Colliery cave-in in Stockton, Pennsylvania claimed 10 lives on Dec. 18, 1869; only three bodies were ever recovered.  The cave-in occurred at 5 a.m. when two houses were swallowed into the ground.  A third home went into the subsidence and all but one person got out.  It was a young girl who was later rescued from a rooftop.  One outcome of the Stockton Mine cave-in was that houses were not built so close to mines after the incident.  See more.
1884 McLean County Mine Cave-in, McLean County, Illinois — Peter Johnson, a miner employed in the shaft of the McLean County Coal Company, was rescued from a cave-in following a difficult and undisclosed period.  Johnson was at work when the earth overhead gave way and fell upon him, knocking him down and burying him in earth and rock between two and three feet deep.  Luckily, other persons were working nearby and at once set to work to extricate him, and he was reached just in time to save his life, for had he remained buried a few moments longer he would have been smothered.  When they found him, a heavy rock lay on his head, and it took three men to lift it off, and it was all that they could do to lift it.  Once Johnson was released and taken home, the examining physician found a large cut on the forehead as well as numerous cuts and bruises all over his body.  The doctor said that he was very severely hurt, but did not think that his injuries would prove fatal.  Source document PDF Format
1885 Nanticoke No. 1 Mine Inundation, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania — Of the dead, many were fathers and sons of families throughout Nanticoke.  One family lost three sons in the disaster, with the fourth being rescued "with difficulty," according to the Wilkes-Barre Record.

Twenty-nine men and boys were rescued through the air shaft by means of ropes, which were lowered and fastened about their bodies, and one at a time they were drawn to the surface.  The disaster is now believed to have been caused by the caving in of a large swamp covering several acres, upon which culm was being dumped, the accumulating weight of which is supposed to have forced the bottom out.  Source document PDF Format
1893 Crystal Ridge Mine Fire, Hazleton, Pennsylvania — Four miners who were imprisoned by the fire in the Crystal Ridge mine were found by the rescuing party and taken out safely through an adjoining mine.  Source document PDF Format
1894 Olyphant Mine Fire, Scranton, Pennsylvania — Fourteen miners were rescued after spending the entire night in the Olyphant mine of the Lackawanna Coal Company.  The rescued miners included William Evans, foreman; Frank Benni, engineer; Patrick Brennan, Charles Williams, Frank McCable, and nine Hungarian laborers.  Source document PDF Format
New Castle Mine Fire, Coal Creek, Washington — A fire broke in the Oregon Improvement Company’s New Castle coal mine at Coal Creek, and the creek was turned into the mine to extinguish the flames.  In the midst of wild confusion Superintendent Anderson telephoned below, telling the 125 men in the mine how to escape, and remained at the telephone until fire drove him away.  By this time the 125 men had come out, but more remained, and five men, Will Hann, Andy Reynolds, John Erickson, Andy Stewart and John Morgan, went down the air shaft to warn them, though the slope was burning within 100 feet.  The fans were kept going though they fanned the flames and enormously increased the loss, and men worked heroically to keep the flames from them, for a moment's stoppage would have meant death.  The last man was brought out and the roll was called.  Source document PDF Format
1895 Cumnock Mine Explosion, Cumnock, North Carolina — After pumping fresh air into the shafts following the Cumnock mine explosion, several miners were prevailed upon to venture down and investigate.  They found and brought out 24 men from shafts Nos. 2 and 3.  Five or six of them were badly wounded and some of them would probably die; others were slightly wounded.
Rich Hill No. 15 Mine Explosion, Rich Hill, Missouri — Dick Tones, the last of the three men entombed in the No. 15 mine by an explosion, was found alive and rescued after he had been buried for thirty-one hours.  He was half a mile from the mouth of the mine, and unconscious when brought to the surface.  Source document PDF Format
1896 Baltimore No. 2 Mine Explosion, Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania — A terrific explosion of gas occurred in Baltimore shaft No. 2 of the Delaware and Hudson Coal company.  Over twenty miners were imprisoned, but at a late hour fourteen had been rescued alive following an undisclosed period.  One of the rescuers who was first to discover the bodies says the men were huddled closely together.  They had apparently abandoned all hope of rescue and were resolved to die together.  The supposition is that the men, when they realized their danger, made their way to the highest point on the plane.  The smoke found its way to them, however, and they were all but suffocated when found.  Source document PDF Format
1899 Carbon Hill No. 7 Mine Explosion, Carbonado, Washington — Two men were rescued more than 18 hours after the explosion.  They are Peter Merp, a Frenchman, and Michael Kulsh, a Pole.  Merp had been blindly groping around in the darkness most of the night on his hands and knees, seeking for some avenue of escape.
Unnamed Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Wadesville, Pennsylvania — While John Wagner and a party of miners were filling an air hole at Wadesville, the earth gave way and Wagner, falling into the hole, was buried alive.  Leaping after Wagner, one of the miners shoveled him out of the earth just in time to save his life.  Source document PDF Format
1901 McAlester No. 1 Hoisting Disaster, Hartshorne, Oklahoma — Two miners were rescued from the McAlester No. 1 mine after an undisclosed period.  The cage was ascending with eight men when it jumped its guidings about 100 feet from the bottom of the shaft.  6 of the 8 dropped to the shaft bottom to their death.  The other two, who held on to the cage, had to be drawn up to the surface with ropes.  Miraculously, these men were said to be only slightly injured.
1904 Woodside Coal Company Mine Fire, Springfield, Illinois — After being imprisoned for hours in the burning shaft of the Woodside Coal Company, 14 men were rescued.  The top works of the mine were destroyed and the flames spread to the underground workings.  Source document PDF Format
Eldorado Mine Explosion, Eldorado, Illinois — Thanks to the bravery of Patrick Reed, mine boss, four miners were rescued and were resting in their homes following an explosion in the Eldorado Coal and Coke company's mine.  The explosion, the cause of which was unknown, damaged the machinery and the cage could not be raised.  Mine Boss Reed volunteered to go down to aid the men and was lowered in a bucket.  He groped his way through the blinding fumes and found the four after an undisclosed period.  Four other men were entombed in the mine, with no hope for their rescue.  Source document PDF Format
1905 Horton Mine Fire, Horton, West Virginia — After an undisclosed period, two of the miners who were in the more remote sections of the mine were rescued.  These men, who were overcome by smoke, were revived after being brought out.
Coxey Shaft Mine Rescue, Pittston, Pennsylvania — Joseph Davies, a miner, was found in the Coxey Shaft of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company almost starved to death having gone without food for eight days.  When found, he was slightly demented and could not account for his wanderings.  While lost he had nothing to eat and drank the sulfur water of the mine.  Source document PDF Format
1906 Edison Tunnel Cave-in, Bakersfield, California — Rescuers worked around the clock to release Lindsay B. Hicks from his tomb in the Edison Tunnel near Bakersfield, California.  Trapped there with five other miners on December 7, Hicks’ freedom finally came after his 15 day entrapment.  He was the only survivor.  On December 12, speaking through a pipe, Hicks told rescuers that he had survived on 40 cents of chewing tobacco.  Victory finally came for his rescuers on December 22nd at 11:25 p.m.  Source document External Link
1907 Monongah Mine Explosion, Monongah, West Virginia — In his book, Davitt McAteer tells about Monongah survivor Peter Urban.  Urban, a Polish immigrant, was found by rescuers sitting on the body of his injured brother, Stanislaus, trying to protect him.

"Peter and Stanislaus had run to escape the explosion, but Stanislaus fell and Peter stopped to try and help him up," McAteer writes.

"He was unable to move Stanislaus, and they remained there for five and a half hours.  Underground, the rescuers attempted to remove Stanislaus, but just then, he expired.  Stanislaus, a father of four, would be brought out days later."

On Oct. 9, 1926, almost 19 years later, Peter Urban was killed by a fall of coal in the same Monongah Mine.  Source document PDF Format
Fridley, Murry & Mosher Mine Fall of Person, Jamestown, Illinois — Harry Mosher of Jamestown in Scott County fell fifty feet down a mine shaft into ten feet of water and received no more than a few bruises.  Mr. Mosher was employed at the Fridley, Murry & Mosher mine.  He stood on a plank over the mouth of the shaft, hoisting a plug to release water from a tank.  The plank broke in the middle and Mr. Mosher went twisting and somersaulting down the shaft.  The water at the bottom of the shaft saved his life.  When he came to the surface of the water, he seized a piece of the plank which had fallen with him and thus sustained himself until help arrived.  Source document PDF Format
1908 Lick Branch Mine Explosion, Switchback, West Virginia — At 11 o'clock p.m., 8 hours after the explosion, eighteen of the entombed men had been taken out of the colliery alive.  They had been stifled by smoke and were not seriously injured enough to make their removal to a hospital necessary.
Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Brockwayville, Pennsylvania — William P. Harris, 30, boss mine driver, assisted in an attempt to rescue Michele Rubino, 28, miner, and helped to rescue Francis P. De Santis, 28, miner, from a mine cave-in, Brockwayville, Pennsylvania, December 12, 1908.  De Santis and two others were trying to rescue Rubino, who had been caught by a fall of rock, when a second fall occurred, catching DeSantis’s trouser leg and pinning him to the floor.  While other falls impended, Harris crawled close enough to hand De Santis a knife, with which he freed himself.  Rubino, along with his two companions, Guiseppe Petruccelli, and Vincenzo Stefanelli, when released, were found to be dead.  Mr. De Santis survived.  For their demonstrated bravery in the rescue operation, Messrs. Harris, Petruccelli (posthumously), and Stefanelli (posthumously) were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award.  Source document External Link  
1909 Mine A Explosion and Fire, Herrin, Illinois — James Guinney, Superintendent of the mine, and Robert Hueston, manager, headed the first relay of rescuers within five minutes of the explosion.  Despite the blackdamp, they penetrated the workings.  After sending to the surface three unconscious persons they found the first of the deceased miners.  Afterdamp then forced them to retreat.
Bolen Darnell Mine Explosion, McAlester, Oklahoma — Superintendent John Brown was rescued alive after being trapped for twenty-eight hours in the Bolen Darnell Company mine.  Brown risked his life attempting to save Angelo Ascinar, a shot firer who was entombed following an explosion in the mine.  It was speculated that Brown would have died within another hour.  Source document PDF Format
Negaunee Iron Mine Cave-in, Negaunee, Michigan — Frank Cobdello, entombed for 7 days in the depths of the Negaunee mine, was rescued alive.  He was found in a pocket behind the cave-in which had trapped him and Peter Mundi.  The latter's dead body was beside Cobdello's barely conscious form.  Two others were trapped in the same incident, Victor Mattila and Peter Makki.  The body of Victor Mattila was recovered on the 23rd, terribly crushed. No further word was found on the location of Peter Makki.  In 1902, ten miners were killed in a cave-in in this mine.  Source document PDF Format
Hammond Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Buried to the neck in the rush of hundreds of tons of coal that swept into the gangway in the West Holmes vein at Hammond Colliery, Anthony Connell, 21 years old, was rescued alive and practically unhurt.  He had been hemmed in twenty-four hours and at one point given up for dead.  Miners acquainted with conditions said he could not survive the entombment.  A rescuing force working in relays of eleven men removed over three hundred tons of coal and rock before reaching him.  Source document PDF Format
1910 Greeno Mine Explosion, Tacoma, Virginia — Four miners were either rescued or otherwise made their way to the surface after more than twelve hours following the explosion in the Greeno mine which killed eight.  The four included John Swede, James Rosenburg, John Ritsky, and G. E. Lehman.  Rosenburg was badly burned on his head, face and hands.  The others were reported to be in good condition.  Note: corrected name spellings are taken from the final accident investigation report.
1911 Five miners were found alive after 58 hours following an explosion in the Cross Mountain mine at Briceville, Tennessee.  Discovery of Andrew Johnson was made when a dead miner was found in a sitting position in one of the interior chambers.  Johnson and the other men were suffering from blackdamp.  Source documentExternal Link  Source document 2 PDF Format
Packer Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Joseph Reed and Thomas Levan, two miners who were entombed in the Packer Colliery of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company were rescued and would spend Christmas at home with their families.  The men were working on the night shift when there was a rush of coal and refuse, preventing escape.  So immense was the wall that mine officials feared it would take several days to dig through and that the men might be asphyxiated if not crushed to death by a further movement of the cave-in.  All available men, working in short relays at high speed, made rapid progress and the men soon were reached.  Source document PDF Format
1912 Copper Mountain Avalanche, Cordova, Alaska — Nine miners were killed when a snow slide on Copper Mountain carried away seven buildings of the Great Northern Development Company.  Two miners, John McCarthy and a Japanese named Kee, were rescued after an undisclosed period.  McCarthy was seriously injured about the body and Kee's legs were broken.  Source document External Link
East Lehigh Coal Colliery Cave-in, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — After being imprisoned nearly — 40 hours — behind a fall of coal and rock, eight of the nine men entombed in the East Lehigh Coal Company colliery were rescued.  The other man, Joseph Walters, was believed to have been killed.  Source document PDF Format
1913 Golden Cycle Mine Cave-in, Cripple Creek, Colorado — Fighting against tons of rock and dirt, hundreds of miners working in shifts of 25 minutes each, struggled to reach the remaining three men entombed in the Golden Cycle mine at Cripple Creek, Colorado.  Grave fears for the safety of these men were expressed by rescuers that a second slide had occurred between them and the imprisoned men.  Four men were entombed in the Golden Cycle mine by a cave-in the day before.  One miner, Thomas Spindel, was rescued alive following an undisclosed period.  A fifth miner, Frank Cabris, entombed in the adjoining Christmas mine was rescued after nine hours.  Source document PDF Format
1914 Diamond Colliery Hoist Rescue, Scranton, Pennsylvania — On December 9, 1914 about 6:20 a.m. the north cage failed in the north hoistway of the Tripp Shaft, Diamond Colliery of the D.L. & W.R.R. Coal Mining Department.  During the act of lowering the third cage load of men from the surface to the Dunmore Seam, 13 men were dropped in the cage to the bottom of the shaft.  The floor of wooden cage gave way dropping men to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of about 200 feet.  After an undisclosed period, one man was rescued from the wrecked cage at the Clark seam, 15 feet below the point of failure, or 330 feet from the surface.  John Bolinski, the man who escaped, had an instinctive fear of the mine cage and had made it a practice for several years to cling to the side bars every time he rode up or down.  Aside from the severe shock Bolinski was uninjured, but on account of the severe shock he has not returned to work in the mines.  This text taken from MSHA’s fatality database.  Source document PDF Format
1915 Richards Colliery Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — After being entombed by a rush of coal at the Richards colliery for a period of 96 hours, Joseph Renock, a miner, was taken out alive.  A force of 120 men had been working for four days at the risk of their lives in an effort to rescue the imprisoned man.  The rescue work was exceedingly dangerous owing to the many hundreds of tons of loose rock and coal which separated the workers from the miner.  The men encountered a large steel car in the gangway and it was necessary to chisel the car away before the rescue work could be continued.  When released, Renock was able to talk, but was in such a weakened condition from exhaustion and lack of food that he was immediately rushed to a hospital.  He would recover.  Source document PDF Format
A rock slide choked the main gangway in the Newcastle Mine of the Pacific Coast Coal Company near Seattle, Washington, trapping Thomas Zathias for nine hours.  Rescuers expected to find his crushed body when they broke through the 60 feet of debris, but instead, they found him calmly sitting on his dinner bucket, awaiting deliverance.  Source document External Link
1916 Fidelity No. 9 Mine Explosion, Stone City, Kansas — Eleven miners were rescued from the Fidelity No. 9 mine after an undisclosed period.  Overcome by the toxic gases, these men had to be resuscitated by pulmotor.  Some of those rescued were badly burned.
Oliphant-Johnson No. 1 Mine Explosion, Bruceville, Indiana — 42 miners were rescued from behind two barricades 2¾ hours after an explosion in the Oliphant-Johnson No. 1 Mine at Bruceville, Indiana.  There were 25 miners in one group and 17 in another.  Two miners were killed in this incident.  Source document PDF Format
Degnan-McConnell No. 5 Mine Explosion, Wilburton, Oklahoma — Twelve rescuers descended into the Degnan-McConnell Coal Company’s No. 5 mine following an explosion which killed two shotfirers, the only occupants of the mine at the time.  The rescuers were not able to proceed far before they were overcome by afterdamp, and fell prostrate in their tracks.  Each group succeeded in carrying back the fallen before they themselves were overcome by the gas.  Volunteers had to be called in to drag out the rescuers, and finally, when the last man was rescued, there were twelve prostrate men lying at the mouth of the slope.  Students from the Oklahoma School of Mines and citizens of Wilburton worked heroically with these men, resorting to artificial respiration.  All were saved except Tom Vickers.  A pulmotor was used in his case, but to no avail.  Several of those resuscitated re-entered the mine to continue with the rescue work.  Source document PDF Format
1917 Acme Mine Explosives Detonation, Fleming, Kentucky — Four men entered the mine on a Sunday to blast some holes; after the holes were loaded and lighted, they started to leave the mine, but when they were about 500 feet from the point of blasting, all the holes went off at about the same time.  A rush of wind down the entry caught the men and extinguished their carbide lights.

Two men jumped into a room and the other two stayed on the entry.  The rush of wind was followed by a gust of flame.  The two men that stayed in the entry were badly burned but were able to make their way out of the mine, where they were found by a rescue party.

The rescue party found the other two men, both badly burned, in the room into which they had gone.  Their lights had been put out by the explosion and they had become so badly confused that they were unable to find their way out.  All four men had entered the mine without the consent of the mine officials.
1918 Cleveland-Cliffs Mine Cave-in, Ishpeming, Michigan — Confined 63 hours in an area four feet square from a cave-in, three miners in the Cleveland-Cliffs mine were rescued alive.  A fourth miner in their group died.  Although the other three had existed without food or water, they were able to climb 400 feet to the shaft.  They were in the best of health, apparently.  As a last resort they had planned to feed themselves on cedar bark from a timber protruding into their tiny prison.  Source document PDF Format
1920 Sacramento Mine Ground Fall, Bisbee, Arizona — Falling ground at the Sacramento mine entombed James Toots, a miner, on the 1500 level, for what seemed like an eternity while comrades frantically dug to extricate him.  Toots was imprisoned for about half an hour but was finally freed and was none the worse for the experience.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Bellaire Mine Rescue, Bellaire, Ohio — Ross Julian, 40, gave thanks for his life to the promptness of the helmet men in effecting his rescue from asphyxiation by black damp in an abandoned mine at Bellaire, Ohio.  Julian said that if the rescuers had been a half-hour later, he would have succumbed to the deadly gases.  The man’s lamp gave out while he was in the mine and, becoming confused, he walked away from the mouth of the mine.  He wandered around in the darkness for several hours and was beginning to lose consciousness when mine inspectors reached him.  Source document PDF Format
George F. Lee mine Cave-in, Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania — Ten mine workers caught behind a fall in the gangway of the George F. Lee mine were rescued after nine hours imprisonment.  Rescue forces worked throughout the night to reach the men.  Source document PDF Format
1922 Fox Mine Cave-in, Marshall, Colorado — Kenneth Baldwin, 30, was rescued 18 hours after he became trapped in the Fox coal mine at Marshall, Colorado.  He was brought out alive and uninjured.  A companion miner in the same stope with Baldwin barely escaped the slide and rushed thru the mine calling to other miners.  Fifty men started the work of rescue.  An hour after the cave-in, Baldwin’s companions were so certain that he was dead that they called the Coroner.  Note: The headline says 18 hours and the article says 9 hours.  It is unknown which is correct.  Source document PDF Format
Vulcan Colliery Cave-in, Hazleton, Pennsylvania — After having been closed in for several hours at the Vulcan colliery, Michael Grando was rescued alive.  He said he had sufficient mental torture to last the rest of his days.  Source document PDF Format
1923 Unnamed Clay Mine Cave-in, Brazil, Indiana — Reuben A. Brown, 50, mine driver, attempted to save Andrew J. Hamilton, 35, clay miner, from a mine cave-in, Brazil, Indiana, December 3, 1923.  Hamilton was caught under a fall of shale in a cross cut in a clay mine.  Brown, who was 14 feet from Hamilton, hurried to him but was unable to lift a large slab of shale that rested on his back.  Three other miners were attracted, and as Brown and two of them attempted to lift the slab off Hamilton, a second fall occurred.  Brown was struck and held fast against the wall, and one of the miners, J. Franklin Elson, was instantly killed.  Four other miners then arrived, and although bits of shale continued to drop, they freed Brown and Hamilton.  Hamilton sustained a broken arm and cuts and bruises.  Brown was severely lacerated and bruised and was disabled five weeks.  The following men were given the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery: Reuben A. Brown; J. Herbert Batchelor; Amos J. Stamper; R. Delane Tabor; Walter Penman; Robert F. Buchholz; John E. Martin; and J. Franklin Elson (posthumously).  Source document External Link  
1924 Thomaston Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Although he was rescued alive after being entombed under a fall of coal, Edward Haughney died half an hour after he had been released by fellow-miners.  It was believed the reaction after the terrible strain caused Haughney’s death as much as any injuries.  All precautions failed to save Haughney.  Richard Pippsett, a miner entombed with Haughney, was rescued after an undisclosed period with slight injuries.  Source document PDF Format
1925 Overton No. 2 Mine Explosion, Acmar, Alabama — A Negro miner owed his escape to his mule.  Back somewhere in the pit when the gas was worst and conditions appeared darkest for the entombed men, out through the slope opening flashed a big fat mule.  Clinging to the mule's tail was the Negro who had become temporarily blinded by the blast and took this means of saving himself.  He said he knew the mule would "get out if there was any getting."
Cardinal Mine Fire, Nederland, Colorado — 20 miners were rescued from behind a barricade sixteen hours after a fire in the Cardinal gold mine in Colorado.  One miner was killed in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
1926 Locust Run Mine Cave-in, Centralia, Pennsylvania — Caught underneath a fall of top at the Locust Run mine, William Shemanski suffered fractures to both legs, a number of broken ribs and possible internal injuries.  Following an undisclosed period, he was taken to the Fountain Springs Hospital where he was listed in very critical condition.  Source document PDF Format
Mine No. 2 Explosion, Francisco, Indiana — One man was killed and a score injured in an explosion which wrecked the shaft of the Francisco, Indiana Mine No. 2, shortly after fifty-two men had been lowered to work.  The shaft was badly wrecked, but not completely blocked and rescue work was started at once.  At 10 a.m. forty men had been brought to the surface and twenty of them were taken to hospitals.  Many were walking home uninjured.  Some were painfully burned.  Two hours after the explosion, two dazed workers crawled to safety through a man-way, but they could tell but little of what had occurred.  Source document PDF Format
1927 Luke Fidler Colliery Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Twenty-one hours after they had been entombed in the Hickory Swamp slope of the Luke Fidler colliery, two men were rescued alive, without a scratch to show for their experience.  The men, John Kowloski, and Wasil Rapunski became entombed when a shot of dynamite they had fired brought down tons of coal and earth, blocking the slope in which they were working.  Mine officials began an investigation when wives of the two men told them the men did not return home after work.  It was the first day of work for both men as miners in this mine.  Source document PDF Format
Coal Hollow Mine Cave-in, Princeton, Illinois — William Glover and James Terrando were saved by a pile of coal they had mined when a cave-in occurred at the Coal Hollow Mine near Princeton.  The men were working alone in a pocket of the mine and had a large quantity of coal piled and when they heard props crashing above them took refuge behind the coal.  A great slide of earth came upon them, partially covering them, and it is believed that the coal saved their lives, holding back the full force of the slide.  Miners in a nearby room heard the fall and rushed to the rescue and within half an hour they were freed.  Both were recovering in the Princeton hospital.  Glover received a deep scalp wound, a fractured shoulder and a badly bruised ankle.  Terrando's injuries were cuts and bruises and were not serious.  Source document PDF Format
1929 Old Town Mine Explosion, McAlester, Oklahoma — Two miners found their exit blocked after the explosion.  At this point, one of these men, Frank Gonzales, saw a third miner, Arnold Kissinger, collapse.  Mr. Gonzales and the second miner, Joe Ponsella, next dragged Mr. Kissinger into a room where there wasn't much smoke and worked with him for about three hours.  "After a while, said Gonzales, when no one came to help us, we believed we would die.  I said my prayers but I was not scared."  Rescue workers reached the three men five hours after the explosion.
East No. 5 Mine Explosion, Stotesbury, West Virginia — 12 miners were rescued from behind a barricade three hours after an explosion in the East No. 5 mine in West Virginia.  Two miners were killed in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
Croft Mine Cave-in, Crosby, Minnesota — Rescuers were denied seeing the victim of this cave-in continue a normal life.  For six days they toiled and successfully released Gus Snyder, 47, from his tomb.  He was removed from the mine to the hospital, but due to his extensive internal injuries he died there.  Source document PDF Format
Brock Mine Cave-in, Cassville, West Virginia — Three men, trapped by a fall of coal 200 feet in length in the Brock Mine of the Continental Coal Company at Cassville were rescued after an undisclosed period.  A crew of 100 men worked with cutting machines in the hope of saving the lives of the three.  It was thought they might have been crushed by the fall.  Source document PDF Format
1931 Abandoned Mine Cave-in, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — Clarence Bohman, 31, trapped by a fall of slate and dirt digging coal in an abandoned mine near his home was rescued by nearby residents after an undisclosed period.  Source document PDF Format
1932 Morgan Jones Mine Explosion, Madrid, New Mexico — Following the first impact of the explosion, some ten men near the outer edge of the area made a dash for the main passageway.  Three of these, including Jimmie Taylor, 19, son of H. L. Taylor, assistant superintendent of the company's Madrid mines, were overcome.  They were picked up and carried out safely by their comrades.  Andrew Sampria, rushing out, picked up a prostrate form and carried it with him.  When he had reached the area of clean air, he learned that it was his own son, Pete, he had rescued.

Trapped Rescue Workers Rescue Themselves

Moweaqua Mine Explosion, Moweaqua, Illinois — Cut off by a fresh fall of rock and shale, twenty-three rescue workers had to dig themselves to safety in the community cooperative Moweaqua coal mine.  The fall occurred shortly after the rescue squad discovered two more bodies in the north shaft of the mine where most of the 54 men trapped there the previous Saturday were working.  Seven men were still unaccounted for but there was no hope they might be found alive.  The group of 23 workers were cut off from the main shaft for a short time when the roof of one of the tunnels collapsed.  They succeeded in digging their way through to safety.  Source document PDF Format
1933 Carson Hill Mine Fall of Person, San Andreas, California — Herman Cordes, Jr., had a bad scalp wound and he was bruised and shaken.  Yet Herman was not complaining.  He thought it could be worse.  Cordes fell 100 feet in an ore stope at the Carson Hill Mine.  Fellow workers were about to dump a carload of rock when they heard shouts at the bottom of the stope.  They held back the ore and rescued Cordes.  Six stitches were taken to close a cut on his head.  Source document PDF Format
Idaho Maryland Mine Cave-in, Grass Valley, California — Nineteen men of the night shift of the Idaho Maryland mine, headed by Foreman Charles Mills, were freed after being trapped for 7½ hours by a cave-in of the 1,000-foot level.  Source document PDF Format
1934 Wyandotte Dragline Rescue, Wyandotte, California — When the lights on a Wyandotte dragline dredger suddenly went out as he was about to go on his midnight work shift, Charles Anderson of Oroville fell into a 12-foot prospect hole in which there were six feet of water.  His calls for help were heard by a fellow employee who threw a cable down the shaft to Anderson and then called to Anderson's son, nearby in an automobile, to throw the car head-lights over the hole.  Wallace found a ladder, tied a rope on it and threw it down the shaft to Anderson who climbed out safely.  Source document PDF Format
1935 Wolf Run Mine Explosion, Amsterdam, Ohio — 20 miners were rescued from behind a barricade 1 to 2 hours after an explosion in the Wolf Run mine at Amsterdam, Ohio.  Four miners were killed in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
1936 Pioche No. 3 Mine Cave-in, Pioche, Nevada — Six miners were rescued from a cave-in in the Pioche No. 3 mine after an undisclosed period.  The first three were freed uninjured during the overnight hours and the last three were rescued shortly after noon.  Only one the last three was injured having been buried to his chin in broken rock.  One of his arms and 4 of his ribs were broken.  Source document PDF Format
Alden Coal Company Hoisting Rescue, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Ten workers in the Alden Coal Company colliery were rescued after an undisclosed period from a cage hanging precariously in a 1,200-foot vertical shaft.  The cage was jammed against the walls of the shaft by ice.  The miners were brought to the surface one at a time with a block and tackle arrangement.  Source document PDF Format
1937 Briar Hill Mine Rescue, Pinckneyville, Illinois — Lawrence Lee, a 28-year-old bookkeeper, was led to safety after being lost for 41 hours in the Briar Hill workings near Pinckneyville, Illinois.  He had gone into the mine to explore some new workings and bring out some empty powder kegs.  On his way out he miscounted the rooms he had passed and somehow got lost.  His clothing ripped and his legs torn and bleeding, he wandered around in the dark until he ended up in the nearby Beaucoups No. 6 mine, whose fans were operating.  Feeling the air current on his face, he following it in the dark until he reached an air shaft where he shouted for help and was rescued.  Source document PDF Format
1938 Butte King Mine Cave-in, Sterling City, California — Trapped two days in a mine cave-in, Bruno Rhinehardt, 39, was rescued from a "living death" and rushed to Butte county hospital suffering serious injuries.  Rhinehardt was imprisoned by a cave-in at the Butte King mine at Sterling City, a mountain town 30 miles east of Chico.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Maryd, Pennsylvania — Frank Morzarko was rescued by nearby miners after being entombed 40 feet beneath the surface for two hours.  The 50-year-old miner had been working in a bootleg coal hole operated by John Blonis at Maryd, near Tuscarora, when he was caught in a fall of coal and dirt.  Other miners nearby rushed to liberate the entombed man.  They were assisted in this work by investigating officers of the Tamaqua detail, State Motor Police.  Rescue workers dug through from another bootleg hole to reach him and bring him to the surface two hours later.  The man suffered only from shock.  Source document PDF Format
1939 Leggett's Creek Colliery Fall of Person, North Scranton, Pennsylvania — Albert Owens, 17, was recovering from injuries and exposure after a fall down a deep shaft at the Leggett's Creek Colliery of the Penn Anthracite Company near his North Scranton home.  He finally was rescued and brought to the surface after he had clung to bracing timbers that had broken his fall.  If he had lost his hold, police said, he would have plunged 700 feet to certain death.  Young Owens and his brother, Frank, 15, were playing near the mine entrance, when Albert dropped down the chasm.  The brother ran to a house a half-mile away and State Motor Police were notified.  Patrolman John Owens first attempted to rescue the youth but the rope was too short.  A ladder then was placed across the shaft and with a longer rope Nicholas Williams descended and was pulled up with young Owens.  Officials were informed there were no guard rails at the shaft.  The victim was removed to Scranton State Hospital with a broken right leg, possible internal injuries.  He suffered from exposure in the bitter cold in the mine shaft before his rescue.  Source document PDF Format
1940 Kent No. 2 Mine Cave-in, McIntyre, Pennsylvania — Five Indiana County miners looked back upon a New Year's they avowed was the happiest they have ever known.  After spending 18 hours at the very door of death, being imprisoned deep in the earth by a rock fall, they were rescued unharmed in time to spend New Year’s Eve with loved ones they never expected to see again.  The men were trapped in a heading three miles below the mouth of the Kent No. 2 Mine of the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company near McIntyre.  Thirteen companions escaped and summoned fellow miners to dig through a 700-foot collapsed section to reach them.  Source document PDF Format
No. 4 Mine Explosion, Beckley, West Virginia — Soon after the explosion in the No. 4 mine, five men were brought out and taken to hospitals.  The injured included Albert Wade, Harry Sexton, Joe Saunders, Roy Hill, and John Dalton.  Physicians said Sexton may die but the others would probably recover.
1942 Consolidation Coal Mine No. 32 Cave-in, Shinnston, West Virginia — A slate fall at the number 32 mine of the Consolidation Coal Company trapped five miners for 11 hours.  The rescue crew needed to dig thru 90 feet of slate and earth.  The men, George Horsey, Henry Mullinaex, Louis Mazza, Walter Watson and Carl Debarr were not injured although exhausted by the ordeal.  Faint tappings on the shaft walls encouraged the rescuers all day until a hole was drilled into the chamber where they were trapped and the trapped miners took turns talking to the rescue squads.  Source document PDF Format
1943 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — Anthony Onushak, 35, was rescued from a bootleg mine operation near Mahanoy City, after he was entombed more than five hours.  Onushak was working alone at the bottom of a 400-foot slope when the workings closed as the result of a heavy fall on the slope.  Fellow independent miners organized a rescue force and found the miner buried to his hips, but not badly injured.  He refused medical attention after his rescue, and at his request was taken to his home.  Source document PDF Format
Glen Alden No. 9 Mine Cave-in, Sugar Notch, Pennsylvania — Trapped by a cave at the No. 9 Tunnel of the Glen Alden Coal Company at Sugar Notch, a miner and laborer were rescued by a crew which had dug persistently for more than 10 hours to reach them.  The men trapped were Frank Adamovitch, and his laborer, Benjamin Miller.  Adamovitch’s other laborer, Frank Verostek, away at the time of the cave, spread the alarm which brought mine executives and rescue crews to the scene.  Adamovitch and Miller were taken to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, where it was found Miller escaped almost uninjured, but that Adamovitch’s injuries were more serious.  Source document PDF Format
1945 Belva No. 1 Mine Explosion, Fourmile, Kentucky — Approximately 3 hours after the explosion, nine miners barricaded themselves noting, "nine miners in here, 11 a.m. Thursday" on a pile of slate.  More than 50 hours later, they were discovered and brought to the surface.  The first out and the oldest of the group was Al Bennett.  He died while awaiting rescue.  The other eight miners were: Charles Lingar; McKinley Leath; William Branstutt; Ivan Philpot; Joe Hatfield; Huey Miller; Tom McQueen; and Bud Towns.  Mr. McQueen died a few hours after the rescue.  Mr. Towns died several months after he was rescued.
1946 Globe Copper Mine Earth Slide, Globe, Arizona — John York, 52, trapped by an earth slide in the copper mine at Globe, Arizona was rescued after a 24-hour entrapment.  Hopes to rescue another miner trapped, John Orekar, age 44, diminished when the faint tapping sounds he was making ceased after more than 70 hours.  Source document PDF Format
1948 Kritzer Tungsten Mine Snow Storm, Dinkey Creek, California — A quick and full recovery was predicted for Claude Kritzer, whose left foot was amputated in an attempt to save his life.  Kritzer, 34, with his brother, Martin, 38, were marooned in the snow-covered Sierras for nine days this month.  The attending physician said the foot, which was gangrenous, was amputated above the ankle because there was no other choice.  The two brothers were rescued from the mountains on December 21.  They had planned to drive a tractor from their tungsten mine above Dinkey Creek but were caught in a snowstorm.  Martin Kritzer, still in the hospital, was reported recovering from exposure and frostbite.  Source document PDF Format
1950 His life saved by the same huge beam that kept him prisoner for 54 hours, John Wolti was freed from his tomb by rescuers in the Big 4 coal mine at Selleck, Washington.  Wolti was brought out of the mine with a crushed arm and suffering from shock and was expected to be hospitalized for a week to ten days.  Source document External Link
Old Smuggler Mine Fire, Silver Plume, Colorado — Six miners who escaped death in a mine fire in the Old Smuggler Mine gave credit for their rescue to a 4-man party that built a firedoor to keep the flames from spreading.  The six men were trapped for four hours.  The fire broke out yesterday in the hoist house and spread to the dry timbers of the shaft.  Some 30 men jumped to the task of rescuing the men and four of them went below through a supplementary tunnel that joined the main shaft about 75 feet below the surface.  They constructed the firewall there, containing the fire with steel plates and heavy timbers.  Source document PDF Format
1951 One miner, Cecil Sanders, was rescued after 60 hours from the Orient No. 2 coal mine in West Frankfort, Illinois following an explosion which killed 119.  At that time, this disaster was the nation's worst in the preceding 23 years.  Source document External Link
1952 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — 50-year-old Sylvester Prosper was rescued after an undisclosed period after being trapped by a coal fall and buried up to the neck.  It was some hours before anybody even knew there was anything wrong.  One of the first rescuers to arrive was a priest, the Rev. John Shellum of a church in Pottsville.  The priest crawled all the way to where Sylvester was trapped and gave him the last rites of the Roman Catholic church.  Then the priest stripped off his robes, got a shovel, and went to work helping the others get the miner out.  Hospital authorities said Sylvester had contusions and bruises, and was suffering from shock.  Source document PDF Format
1953 LNC Mines Cave-in, Coaldale, Pennsylvania — John Teno, 42, was caught and partly covered by a rush of material in the LNC mines in Coaldale.  He was rescued after an undisclosed period by his buddies and was transferred to the Coaldale State Hospital.  Source document PDF Format
1955 Glen Burn Mine Cave-in, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania — Two miners were trapped for almost — eight hours — in the Glen Burn mine at Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania when rock and coal in an old breast "ran away."  Both men were trapped behind the loose rock and coal because the slide prevented them from reaching the gangway.  They both walked from the workings uninjured. Source document PDF Format
1957 Mine No. 31 Explosion, Amonate, Virginia — Fourteen miners were trapped for six hours, but were rescued unharmed.  They had protected themselves from poisonous fumes by stretching canvas over openings in the shaft.  Woodrow Evans, 44, of Amonate, foreman of the 14-man group rescued at about 1 a.m., said his men remained calm during their wait and "some of them even ate their lunch."  The 14 joined their families at the surface and went home to rest.
1961 Abandoned Mine Animal Rescue, Gilbert, West Virginia — Brownie, a 3-year-old rabbit hound was rescued after a 50-day entrapment in a caved-in mine shaft.  A bulldozer late Monday uncovered a hole leading into the shaft into which the dog disappeared almost two months earlier.  For 18 days after Brownie disappeared while on a hunting trip with his owner, he was thought dead.  But whatever the dog chased into that narrow slit, probably a rabbit, seemed to have provided him with enough food to keep him going for a while.  Brownie's whimpering and barking was heard by one of his owner’s numerous cousins.  The dog’s owner had visited the break every day since the dog had been located, dropping food down the slit to his pet.  Water was plentiful inside the shaft.  Source document PDF Format
1963 Abandoned Peerless Mine Fall of Person, Silver City, New Mexico — A young Austin, Texas girl plunged down an abandoned mine shaft in southwestern New Mexico and suffered serious injuries.  Rescuers had to lower a litter basket on a fire hose to pull Lucy Marian Watson, 10, from the 75-foot-deep shaft.  The girl was taken to the Silver City Hospital with a broken leg, a broken arm and internal injuries, and in deep shock.  State Patrolman Gene Tow said the Watson family was driving through the area on a Christmas vacation trip.  They became attracted by the tailings dump and remains of the old Peerless mine shaft beside the road at Central in the Grant County copper mining district.  Lucy, described as a rockhound, went to search the ruins for mineral specimens and plunged down the open shaft.  Source document PDF Format
1964 Franklin Colliery Cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Frank J. Di Andriole helped to rescue Peter A. Byczkowski from a mine cave-in.  After another cave-in, the mine was cleared of all rescue workers, who by then had dug a tunnel six feet into the debris to find that Byczkowski was alive.  In a rescue that took 2½ hours, Di Andriole and Clair S. Sigworth, a mine inspector, were able to remove the debris and carry Byczkowski to safety.  Several hours later another cave-in occurred in the area, and it required six days to uncover the body of a man who had been buried with Byczkowski.  Messrs. Di Andriole and Sigworth were awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  Source document 1 External Link  Source document 2 PDF Format
1967 Abandoned Clay Mine Rescue, Wellsville, Ohio — After becoming lost in the abandoned clay mine for 30 hours, Mike Sanfrey, age 19, and Harry Reibold, age 18 were located and rescued by Columbiana County Sheriff’s deputies.  The youths were found more than a mile from the mouth of the mine.  Source document PDF Format
1970 Loren Hinkle was rescued after his 24-hour entombment following a roof fall in the Leckie Coal Company mine near Anjean, West Virginia.  Rescuers delivered water and orange juice through a two-inch emergency air vent while they dug him out.  Killed in the accident were R. B. Crookshanks and Charles Pitzenbarger.  Ironically, Hinkle previously escaped death in a mine fire and another roof collapse.  Source document External Link
1972 Itmann Coal Company, Itmann No. 3 Mine Explosion — Three miners were brought out by rescue crews about six hours after the explosion.  They were identified as Larry Bailey, 23, of Brenton; Dallas Mullins, 32, of Pineville; and Jerry Billings.  All three were said to be in critical condition.
1973 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Fallon, Nevada — A California teenager was in the Washoe Medical Center after being rescued from an abandoned mine shaft.  Doug Gard, 18, of Lafayette, suffered serious back, neck and shoulder injuries when he fell almost 50 feet down a mine shaft that he and three friends were exploring.  Gard and his three companions were exploring the mine with Gard in the lead when he fell.  Their only light, a flashlight, was carried by the third man back in the group.  When the rocks and dirt stopped falling, the three could hear Gard moaning.  They climbed down an old wooden ladder to find Gard some 50 feet below.  He was conscious and said he was numb from the neck down.  After rescuers arrived, it took almost an hour to lift Gard out of the shaft to a waiting helicopter.  The helicopter took him to the Washoe Medical Center in Reno where he underwent emergency treatment.  Source document PDF Format
1976 Trixie Mine Cave-in, Eureka, Utah — Two men were rescued from a collapsed Trixie Mine tunnel owned by the Kennecott Copper Corporation on New Year’s Eve after one was buried up to his neck in sand for several hours.  It took a 22-man crew about 45 minutes to rescue Daryl Lance, 52, and Robert Kalletta, 28, from the 900-foot level of the 1,100-foot-deep lead and silver mine.  The cave-in occurred at about noon but wasn’t discovered until 3 p.m. when the men were to get off work.  Source document PDF Format
1981 Stillhouse Run No. 1 Mine Roof Fall, Bergoo, West Virginia — On December 3, 1981, a roof fall occurred in the Stillhouse Run No. 1 Mine of the Elk River Sewell Coal Company that resulted in the deaths of Robert Bennett, Doyle Gillis, and Donald Arbogast.  Rescuers found Donzil Cutlip, 27, pinned under the block about seven hours after the fall, but it took six more hours to free him (13 hours total).  He was in serious condition after surgery to repair deep gashes in both arms.  Larry Clevenger, 18, and Carl Hull, 24, were rescued earlier and were unhurt.  Clevenger said the seven hours before rescuers found him was "the worst thing that ever happened to me."  Source document PDF Format
1987 Charles Simpson, Jr. was rescued 19 hours after a roof fall accident at the Slate Top Coal Company mine near Woodbine, Kentucky.  Source document External Link
1992 U. S. Gypsum Company Mine Cave-in, Ocotillo Wells, California — Leroy Witherspoon, 34, was rescued after being trapped for more than seven hours in the U. S. Gypsum Company Mine.  He had been operating a mine train that became engulfed in 200 tons of gypsum ore.  Conscious when rescued, Witherspoon suffered fractures in his left arm and right leg.  Source document PDF Format
1996 Mine Shaft Rescue, Morris County, New Jersey — Four rock climbers who were reported missing for more than a day were rescued from a Rockaway Township mine shaft in New Jersey.  A police officer found their vehicle along the roadside near property owned by Mount Hope Rock Products.  A search party was sent onto the property, and a police officer heard cries for help coming from 100 feet below the opening to the mine shaft.  The men had climbed down over a protruding ledge, and could not climb back out.  Rescuers dropped ropes down the shaft, and the climbers were able to assist in their own rescue.  Source document PDF Format
2011 Young Zinc Mine Fire, Knoxville, Tennessee — Three miners were rescued 2 hours after a fire broke out in the Young zinc mine about 25 miles from Knoxville.  54 miners were in the mine at the time the fire started on a drill rig.  Two miners were treated for smoke inhalation.  The 3 men were trapped by smoke and needed respirators to leave the mine.  They were transported to a hospital for further evaluation.  Source document PDF Format
2017 Abandoned Mine Shaft Rescue, Golden, Colorado — A 15-year-old was pulled from an abandoned mine shaft near Golden Colorado after more than 3 hours.  Crews with the West Metro Fire Rescue rushed to rescue the teenager who was trapped in the old mine shaft.  The boy was climbing in the old mine shaft when his rope snapped and he fell about 60 feet down the deep hole.  He was already 40 feet down when he fell, so rescuers had to bring him up from 100 feet below.  He was rushed to St. Anthony’s Hospital for treatment of a broken leg.
2018 Rock House Powellton Mine Rescue, Clear Creek, West Virginia — Four people had gone missing on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018.  Their abandoned ATV was found near an opening into the mine.  More than 48 hours later, Eddie Williams, 43, safely came out of the mine on his own.  On Dec. 12th, after more than five days, Erica Treadway, Cody Beverly, and Kayla Williams were brought out safely by rescuers.  The three were taken to the Charleston Area Medical Center to be checked out.  The idled mine is owned by the Elk Run Coal Company, a subsidiary of Alpha Natural Resources.  The rescuers were from both Alpha and the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety & Training.    Source document PDF Format

Rescuer Deaths in December
1907 Monongah Nos. 6 and 8 Mine Explosion, Monongah, West Virginia — John Narey died in the mine rescue effort during the mine disaster at Monongah Mine, West Virginia Dec. 6, 1907. (from an article in the "Latrobe Bulletin," Latrobe, PA, Dec. 18, 1907.)  In all, three men are said to have lost their lives in the rescue work at Monongah, apparently overcome with smoke or poisonous gases lingering in the mines because they had no proper equipment for entering exploding mines, or proper equipment to revive rescuers or miners who had succumbed to their smoke and poisonous gases.
1908 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Brockwayville, Pennsylvania — William P. Harris, 30, boss mine driver, assisted in an attempt to rescue Michele Rubino, 28, miner, and helped to rescue Francis P. De Santis, 28, miner, from a mine cave-in, Brockwayville, Pennsylvania, December 12, 1908.  De Santis and two others were trying to rescue Rubino, who had been caught by a fall of rock, when a second fall occurred, catching DeSantis’s trouser leg and pinning him to the floor.  While other falls impended, Harris crawled close enough to hand De Santis a knife, with which he freed himself.  Rubino, along with his two companions, Guiseppe Petruccelli, and Vincenzo Stefanelli, when released, were found to be dead.  Mr. De Santis survived.  For their demonstrated bravery in the rescue operation, Messrs. Harris, Petruccelli (posthumously), and Stefanelli (posthumously) were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award.  Source document External Link  
1916 Degnan-McConnell No. 5 Mine Explosion, Wilburton, Oklahoma — Twelve rescuers descended into the Degnan-McConnell Coal Company’s No. 5 mine following an explosion which killed two shotfirers, the only occupants of the mine at the time.  The rescuers were not able to proceed far before they were overcome by afterdamp, and fell prostrate in their tracks.  Each group succeeded in carrying back the fallen before they themselves were overcome by the gas.  Volunteers had to be called in to drag out the rescuers, and finally, when the last man was rescued, there were twelve prostrate men lying at the mouth of the slope.  Students from the Oklahoma School of Mines and citizens of Wilburton worked heroically with these men, resorting to artificial respiration.  All were saved except Tom Vickers.  A pulmotor was used in his case, but to no avail.  Several of those resuscitated re-entered the mine to continue with the rescue work.  Source document PDF Format
1921 Satanic Mine Fire, Morrison, Colorado — Six men were killed by firedamp in the Satanic coal mine of the Colorado Collieries Company, when they attempted to place a bulkhead on the 100-foot level of an abandoned shaft, used as an air course, to stop a fire.  The only man brought to the surface, apparently still alive, was Eugene F. Bovie, Sr., of Morrison, father of a young miner, who was overcome when he attempted to rescue his son.
No. 1 Mine Explosion, Ellsworth, Pennsylvania — On December 31, 1921, Albert Gilmore, a section foreman, lost his life in the No. 1 mine of the Ellsworth Collieries Company, Ellsworth, Pennsylvania, while wearing a Gibbs 2-hour oxygen breathing apparatus following a local mine explosion.
1922 Havaco Mine Explosion, Havaco, West Virginia — Two rescuers lost their lives following an explosion in the Havaco mine in McDowell County, West Virginia.  They were asphyxiated by blackdamp caused by the leaky masks they were wearing.  Two other miners were killed in the blast.  Source document PDF Format
1925 Cardinal Mine Fire, Nederland, Colorado — Charles Hjurguist died while he and three others were searching for two miners trapped in the Cardinal Gold Mine fire and cave-in on December 4 near Nederland, Colorado.  One of the trapped men died in the fire and the other was removed in serious condition and hospitalized.  Three other smoke-affected rescuers were also hospitalized in serious condition.  Source document External Link
1985 No. 2 Slope Afterdamp Asphyxiation, Carlstown, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania — Rick Wolfgang helped his injured brother from the No. 2 Slope of the MS&W Coal Company, but perished when he returned to the 4-foot wide tunnel to try to save his father, Gene Wolfgang.  Toxic gas flooded the area after the men set off a dynamite charge in the mine.  Frank Benner also perished in the accident.

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 . . .