January Mine Disaster Anniversaries in 2024

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View the planets for this day2006
Mine Explosion
Tallmansville, WV
No. Killed - 12


View the planets for this day1906
Mine Explosion
Coaldale, WV
No. Killed - 22


View the planets for this day1892
Mine No. 11
Mine Explosion
Krebs, OK
No. Killed - 100

View the planets for this day1902
Roof Fall
Negaunee, MI
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1943
Pursglove No. 15
Mine Fire
Pursglove, WV
No. Killed - 13


View the planets for this day1928
Mine No. 18
Mine Explosion
West Frankfort, IL
No. Killed - 21

View the planets for this day1883
Mine Explosion
Coulterville, IL
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1940
Bartley No. 1
Mine Explosion
Bartley, WV
No. Killed - 91

View the planets for this day1909
Explosion & Fire
Zeigler, IL
No. Killed - 26

View the planets for this day1893
Mine Explosion
King, CO
No. Killed - 24

View the planets for this day1914
Rock Castle
Mine Explosion
Rock Castle, AL
No. Killed - 12

View the planets for this day1962
Blue Blaze No. 2
Herrin, IL
No. Killed - 11

View the planets for this day1906
Haverstraw Clay Pit
Haverstraw, NY
No. Killed - 17


View the planets for this day1909
Lick Branch
Mine Explosion
Switchback, WV
No. Killed - 67

View the planets for this day1846
Roof Fall
Carbondale, PA
No. Killed - 14

View the planets for this day1938
Mine Explosion
Harwick, PA
No. Killed - 10

View the planets for this day1886
Almy No. 4
Mine Explosion
Almy, WY
No. Killed - 13


View the planets for this day1926
Mine No. 21
Mine Explosion
Wilburton, OK
No. Killed - 91

Milby and Dow
Mine Fire
Dow, OK
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1926
Jamison No. 8
Mine Explosion
Farmington, WV
No. Killed - 19


View the planets for this day1946
Havaco No. 9
Mine Explosion
Welch, WV
No. Killed - 15

View the planets for this day1947
Mine Explosion
Plymouth, PA
No. Killed - 15


View the planets for this day1895
Butte Hardware
Butte City, MT
No. Killed - 150


View the planets for this day1906
Mine Explosion
Detroit, WV
No. Killed - 18

View the planets for this day1951
Burning Springs
Mine Explosion
Kermit, WV
No. Killed - 11


View the planets for this day1886
Mine Explosion
Newburg, PA
No. Killed - 39

View the planets for this day1935
Mine Explosion
Gilberton, PA
No. Killed - 13


View the planets for this day1942
Mine Explosion
Mt. Harris, CO
No. Killed - 34

River Slope
Mine Inundation
Port Griffith, PA
No. Killed - 12


View the planets for this day1907
Mine Explosion
Primero, CO
No. Killed - 24


View the planets for this day1884
Crested Butte
Mine Explosion
Crested Butte, CO
No. Killed - 59

View the planets for this day1902
Lost Creek No. 2
Mine Explosion
Oskaloosa, IA
No. Killed - 20

View the planets for this day1906
Poteau No. 6
Witteville, OK
No. Killed - 14


View the planets for this day1904
Mine Explosion
Cheswick, PA
No. Killed - 179

View the planets for this day1924
Mine Explosion
Johnson City, IL
No. Killed - 33


View the planets for this day1924
Lancashire 18
Mine Explosion
Shanktown, PA
No. Killed - 36

View the planets for this day1907
Penco, WV
No. Killed - 12

View the planets for this day1929
Kingston No. 5
Mine Explosion
Kingston, WV
No. Killed - 14

View the planets for this day1904
Strattons Independence
Hoisting Accident
Victor, CO
No. Killed - 14


View the planets for this day1891
Mine Explosion
Mt. Pleasant, PA
No. Killed - 109


View the planets for this day1931
Little Betty
Mine Explosion
Digger, IN
No. Killed - 28


View the planets for this day1907
Mine Explosion
Stuart, WV
No. Killed - 84

View the planets for this day1926
Mine Explosion
Helena, AL
No. Killed - 27


View the planets for this day1910
Mine Explosion
Primero, CO
No. Killed - 75


Successful Mine Rescues Rescuer Deaths All January Mine Disasters

Successful Mine Rescues in January
1846 Following a massive roof fall in the Delaware-Hudson Mine, John Hosey clambered his way through the damaged mine and managed to get out after being confined in the mine for 48 hours.  He was not seriously injured, except that his hands were lacerated from working his way through the rocks and slate.
1883 Hokendaqua Iron Mine Cave-in, Allentown, Pennsylvania — A cave-in occurred at the ore mine of Jonas Metzger, operated by the Hokendaqua Iron Company, by which Elias Huntsberger was killed outright.  John Billiard, a man named Semmel and William Metzger were also working in the shaft at the time. Billiard and Semmel made their escape, but Metzger was caught by the falling earth and timber, and held fast.  The company sent a large force of men to aid, and after an undisclosed period, Metzger was rescued, but slightly injured.  Source document PDF Format
1890 Nottingham Mine Explosion and Fire, Plymouth, Pennsylvania — Following a terrible explosion in the Nottingham mine in Plymouth, Pennsylvania, five miners were caught between an ensuing fire and cave-in and trapped for an undisclosed period.  About a half hour after the fire broke out two brave rescuers were lowered into the mine to ascertain the circumstances.  When they reached the fire, they heard the cries of the trapped miners.  Now with a sense of urgency, the rescuers put their hands in front of their faces and rushed through the fire and began dragging the imprisoned men out one by one uninjured.  Source document PDF Format
1892 Young Coal Mines Hoisting Accident — Six miners were seriously injured and rescued after an undisclosed period in the Young coal mines at Chatilam, Illinois when the hoist engine became unmanageable and precipitated the cage in which the men were standing to the bottom of the shaft, 240 feet below.  One miner, Bert Wiggins, was killed in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
1895 Richardson Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Charles Dietzel was rescued after being trapped for 40 hours in the Richardson Colliery near Pottsvlle, Pennsylvania.  Another miner, August Brenner, who was trapped with Dietzel was evidently crushed to death by the fall of coal.  Source document PDF Format
1897 Unnamed Coal Mine Fall of Person, Sharon, Pennsylvania — Howard Williams, 24, superintendent and operator of coal mines near Hubbard, was rescued after an undisclosed period after he slipped and fell sixty feet to the bottom of the mine shaft.  He was seriously, but not fatally hurt.  Source document PDF Format
Pierce Coal Company Mine Cave-in, Archbald, Pennsylvania — Nine miners had a narrow escape from death in the Pierce Coal Company's mine in Archbald.  They were cut off from the main opening by an extensive cave-in and were rescued through the bravery of the mine foreman, William Jones. Jones was lowered by a rope down an air shaft and after an undisclosed period located the men who were hoisted one by one to the surface.  The men were: P. J. Munley, Edward Gilroy, Anthony Malia, Patrick Barrett, James Strong, John Walsh, Henry Dando, John McAndrew, and a unnamed Hungarian laborer.  Source document PDF Format
1898 Anaconda Mine Tunnel Cave-in, Anaconda, Montana — After forty hours of imprisonment and anxiety, four of the five men were in the tunnel near this city that caved in near its entrance as the result of a dynamite explosion, crawled through a hastily constructed exit into the light of day.  An improvised tunnel had been driven through the debris that closed the entrance to the tunnel itself.  The construction of this was a painfully slow process, owing to the constant shifting of the ground.  The rescue tunnel was fifteen feet long.  When they crept through it into liberty the miners who had been imprisoned were found to be in good physical condition, and they hastily left the place.  Jack McLeod was the only one of the five imprisoned men who died.  His comrades say that from the moment of the explosion he suffered from the fumes of the powder, which bothered them all for about five hours.  McLeod could not endure it. He died in a few hours.  The rescued miners included Mike Konza, Matt Pratirz, Andrew O'Hara, and Andrew Ulsher.  Source document PDF Format
Mt. Carmel Coal Mine Explosion, Chicopee, Kansas — An explosion occurred in a Mt. Carmel Coal Mine near Pittsburg, Kansas killing three and calling for the rescue of 5 others.  The gas generated from the detonation of two windy shots caused the explosion.  The last miner rescued, James Zimmerman, was found alive after a 15 hour entrapment.  The other miners rescued alive included Ben Shirard, Robert Boyd, Joe Zeitter, and John Tavernaro.  Source document PDF Format
1901 Lost Miner Found at O. S. Johnson Mine, Dunmore, Pennsylvania — Joseph Fhinol, 17, was located after being lost without food or water for six days in the O. S. Johnson mine at Dunmore, Pennsylvania.  Fhinol was a greenhorn to this mine, having previously worked there for only a day.  As many as 200 men and even dogs participated in the search for Fhinol and all types of noise making devices were used in the effort.  His examining physician found him to be in good condition and was confident he would improve if he followed his prescribed diet.  Source document PDF Format
1903 Quincy Mine Avalanche, Park City, Utah — One of the most disastrous snow-slides in the history of Park City swept down the mountain upon the works of the Quincy Mine killing three men, burying six more beneath twenty feet of snow, and doing serious damage to the shaft house.  The six miners were caught and buried for nearly an hour, but they were rescued before death made them victims.  All of them were severely injured by the slide.  Every man on top of the ground was caught by the slide, and had it not been for the prompt and heroic work of Mike Wynne in digging his way out through the mountain of snow, all six men would, in all probability, have met death in the avalanche.  Had the slide occurred ten minutes later the entire shift of forty men working underground would have been caught and the fatalities would in all probability have been very great.  Source document PDF Format
1904 Severely burned 16-year-old, Adolph Gunia, was brought to the surface still alive after an undisclosed period following the explosion in the Harwick mine in Cheswick, Pennsylvania.  He was the lone survivor of the mine blast which took 179 lives.
Gap Mine Fire & Asphyxiations, Locust Gap, Pennsylvania — Ten men were overcome by gas fighting a fire of unknown origin in the top west gangway of the Gap mine.  The fire bosses discovered the fire and hurried for assistance.  In the work of extinguishing, several of the men were seen to stagger and fall and others who hurried to their assistance fell under the influence of the powerful blackdamp, and before the men were rescued ten had gone down.  All of the men will entirely recover from the effects of the gas, but for some the call was a close one.  Source document PDF Format
Silver King Consolidated Mine Rescue, Park City, Utah — Multiple fatalities in the Silver King Consolidated Mine at Park City were prevented through the heroism of Mine Foreman John C. Collins.  Twelve men were in the bottom of a shaft.  As the men were being lifted up to escape a blast the cage stuck.  When the cage stuck Collins jumped to the bottom of the shaft to cut the fuse.  His light went out, and he could do nothing.  He climbed back to the cage, where the miners were penned up like rats.  In the top of the cage was a "bonnet" or cover of iron, three-eighths of an inch thick.  With a desperate exertion of strength Collins bent back the lid, and despite the heavy spring tension held it open while the miners climbed out to safety.  Hogan was the last man to try to leave the cage, except Collins, who made no effort to escape.  The blast went off, shattering the cage into junk.  That both men were not instantly killed seemed a marvel.  Hogan dropped, and was caught by Collins, who succeeded in getting him through the aperture.  The heroic foreman was then forced to strip off his clothing before he could himself get through.  He then fell, bleeding from the mouth, and unconscious.   It was thought he might live.  Hogan lost a foot.  Source document PDF Format
1905 Hartzel and Gottschalk Mine Cave-in, Ironton, Pennsylvania — Pinned to the ground by a piece of heavy timber and covered over by a mass of earth, William Brown was rescued after being buried alive for 11 hours in a mine at Ironton, Pennsylvania.  Source document PDF Format
Decatur Mine Fire, Decatur, Illinois — About 20 miners were imprisoned by smoke in distant entries as a result of fire in the stables of the Decatur coal company mine, but were rescued after an undisclosed period.  Fire communicated from the stables to timbers of the mine but was put out by firemen after a long struggle.  Damage to the mine was believed to be small.  Source document PDF Format
1906 Lincoln Mine Quicksand Inundation, Virginia, Minnesota — Victor Peltoniemi was rescued alive after having been buried under 20 feet of quicksand for nearly 10 hours in the Lincoln mine near Virginia, Minnesota.  Peltoniemi owed his life to a large boulder weighing several tons, which fell in such a way as to rest on some mining timbers and form a small cavity about his chest and head, the other parts of his body being held by the dirt as tightly as if gripped in a vice.  Source document PDF Format
Belmont Tunnel Shaft Fire Rescue, New York, New York — Six negro laborers were trapped while working twenty feet below the level of the East River in a shaft being sunk for the Belmont tunnel, and four were lost.  The two who were saved after an undisclosed period were Earle Jones and Nathaniel White.  They owed their lives to the heroic work of H. R. Shailer, the night Superintendent and Kaerle Verbecke, a Dutchman, who worked at the shaft as air lock tender.  Fire started, apparently spontaneously from oil and dust, in the air receiver from which the workers received their supply, and gusts of dense and hot fumes caused by burning rubber were forced down instead of pure air.  To effect a rescue the lock had to be opened, and with the usual pressure removed, water gushed in in a small flood.  Whether the four who died were suffocated by the fumes or were drowned the Coroner did not know.  The dead men were William Ray and Isaac Ross.  Source document PDF Format
1907 Penco Mine Explosion, Penco, West Virginia — Following the explosion, almost eighty men were still at the bottom of the shaft.  Almost suffocated, they huddled closely together and cried pitifully up the shaft for assistance.  Several rescuers took possession of the elevator car and quickly ran it down into the shaft.  There were accommodations for only about twenty of the men at a time, however, and the foreign miners, who were crazed from fright, fought like demons to board the car, greatly retarding the work of rescue.  On the last two trips a majority of the miners were unconscious and had to be carried from the car.
Ontario Mine Cave-in, Park City, Utah — Henry Drew, 25, had a narrow escape in the Ontario mine at Park City.  Several tons of dirt and rock came down, knocking him over and burying him up to his chin.  His light was extinguished and he lay in the darkness for several minutes expecting that at every moment more rock would come down and bury him alive before his partner could summon a party to rescue him.  The party soon arrived and for two hours they worked desperately to release the imprisoned miner.  When he was finally released, he was carried through the tunnel on a truck and conveyed to his mother's home.  Examination showed that Drew was badly bruised about the shoulders and legs, but, otherwise, he appeared to be uninjured.  Source document PDF Format
After being imprisoned for nearly two days in an old coal mine near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, John Stevens managed to dig himself out and drag himself to his home.  He was at work in the old mine when he found himself hemmed in by fallen material all around.  With nothing but a shovel handle, he managed to dig through the wall of coal.  He fainted from exhaustion repeatedly and was scarcely able to drag himself to his home. Searching parties had been looking for him.  Source document PDF Format
1908 Packer Colliery No. 5 Cave-in, Girardville, Pennsylvania — For ten hours Alexander Donaldson was trapped by a cave-in at the Packer Colliery No. 5 at Girardville, Pennsylvania.  Earlier, Donaldson fired a shot at the face of a breast, but as he sought to get away, he fell and was swept down the chute by the rush of coal and dirt freed by the shot.  Rescuers found him lying upon his face, with his head pillowed on his arms, conscious but unable to move hand or foot.  He was unhurt except for a few bruises.  Source document PDF Format
Giroux Mine Cave-in, Ely, Nevada — After having been entombed for 46 days in the Alpha shaft of the Giroux mine, A. D. Bailey, P. J. Brown and Fred McDonald were rescued.  At 8:30 on the night of January 18, 1908, Bailey was the first to be brought out.  Fourteen minutes later, McDonald came to the surface, and ten minutes afterwards, Brown was brought up.  Whistles all over the district blew loudly, while crowds cheered in the streets of Ely and every bell in the town was ringing.  On the morning of December 4, 1907, McDonald, Brown, Bailey and two Greeks were working in the bottom of the third compartment shaft, eighty-five feet below the pump station and 1,085 feet below the surface.  The cave-in occurred at 9 o'clock. The cable used to haul the cage from the third compartment to the shaft snapped and thousands of tons of rock, debris, and timbers fell down into the shaft.  From the bottom of the compartment in which the men were working to the pumping station a distance of eight-five feet a series of rickety ladders offered the only means of escape.  With falling rocks and timbers streaming down upon them the five struggled up these ladders. Half way up falling timbers knocked the two Greeks from the ladder killing them.  At first it was thought that all the men had perished, but twenty-four hours after the cave-in the three men who occupied the pumping station managed in make themselves heard by tapping on a pipe that was the means of saving the lives of the three men.  Source document PDF Format
Catsburg Mine Fire, Monongahela, Pennsylvania — Miraculously escaping death after a fire started by a "blown-out" shot in the Catsburg mine of the Monongahela River Consolidated Coal & Coke Co., forty men, whose escape by a nearer entry cut off, stumbled in the dark for a distance of seven miles and finally reached the surface.  All were severely bruised and their clothing torn by numerous falls.  Fortunately, there was only a little gas in the mine, so no explosion occurred.  It was believed that the fire could be extinguished with small loss.  Source document PDF Format
1909 Sutro Tunnel Fire, Virginia City, Nevada — Flames raged for more than 30 hours in the $6,000,000 Sutro Tunnel, which drains all the Comstock mines.  In the dangerous work of fighting the fire, nineteen miners were overcome and were rescued with difficulty.  Of those rescued, seven were expected to die.  Source document PDF Format
Barnard Mine Cave-in, Saginaw, Michigan — After receiving the full force of 1,000 pounds of falling slate on his back and being buried completely beneath the heavy debris, John Winship, a miner employed in the Barnard coal mine, was rescued alive and had a fair chance to recover.  Winship, in company with another miner was working about a mile from the main shaft of the Barnard mine, when without warning the roof over their heads came tumbling down.  Winship was stooping over at the time wielding his pick and half a ton of slate struck him squarely on the back.  His companion, Fred Ferham, who was standing but a few feet away, escaped without a scratch and hastily summoned aid from other parts of the mine.  Winship was extricated unconscious and taken to St. Mary's hospital where he later revived.  It was not believed any bones were broken and if serious internal injuries did not develop Winship was expected to recover.  Source document PDF Format
1910 Primero Mine Explosion, Primero, Colorado — After an undisclosed period following an explosion in the Primero Mine, one man, Dio Nardine, was rescued.  He was found badly injured beneath a mass of earth and timbers.  Source document External Link
Dunkleberger Colliery Cave-in, Trevorton, Pennsylvania — While James Latsha, a coal starter at the Dunkleberger colliery, was at work a sudden rush of coal piled many feet in the chamber containing the workingmen, and when the rush started, he managed to protect himself from being crushed by pressing tight against two big lumps of Anthracite.  Coal piled around him, wholly concealing Latsha from view. He remained a prisoner six hours, when a rescuing party drew near him and began drilling a hole to blow the coal away with dynamite.  The explosive was inserted in a niche and the fuse was about to be ignited when somebody saw Latsha's foot sticking out between coal which had parted.  They got him loose shortly afterward, badly injured.  Source document PDF Format
1911 Carbon Hill No. 1 Mine Explosion, Carbon Hill, Virginia — 6 men who were injured in the explosion at the Gayton Mine at Carbon Hill, Virginia were returned to the surface after an undisclosed period.  It is not clear whether all of these men survived their injuries.  A total of seven miners died as result of the explosion.
Unnamed Mine Asphyxiation, Butte, Montana — Frederick A. Babcock, 25, miner, saved Joseph Harkins, 23, and David McPherson, 38, miners, from suffocation, Butte, Montana, January 14, 1911.  Babcock made his way through dense smoke on the 2,200-foot level toward Harkins and McPherson, who were working at the face of the level.  He met four men whom he warned of a fire in the mine.  One of these men shouted the warning to Harkins and McPherson.  Before Babcock could retrace his steps to the shaft, from breathing smoke, he sank from weakness, and had to be helped to the shaft by Harkins and McPherson, who found him.  When he reached the shaft, Babcock was unconscious but revived in half an hour.  Frederick Babcock was awarded the Carnegie Hero Medal for his bravery.  Source document External Link
Unnamed Mine Asphyxiation, Butte, Montana — Michael L. Belangie, 33, miner, died attempting to help save Dennis Lynch, 53, repairman, and Stephen Hogan, 57, pumpman, from suffocation, Butte, Montana, January 14, 1911.  Belangie, who had already made two trips into a copper mine, was one of a party of four men who made two trips to the pump station on the 1,000-foot level in search of Lynch and Hogan, who had been overcome by smoke from a fire in the mine.  On the second trip through the station, Belangie was overcome.  The others went on and rescued Lynch and Hogan, but when Belangie was gotten out, about 10 minutes later, he was dead.  Lynch and Hogan were revived.  Source document External Link
Hoyt Mine Explosion, Port Griffith, Pennsylvania — Martin F. Mangan, 26, mine footman, helped to save Joseph Lucas, 33; James E. Dougher, 27; and Anthony Gowrey, 43, from suffocation at the Hoyt shaft of the Pennsylvania Coal Company on January 10, 1911.  Mangan went with four other men into a heading of a coal mine, one-half mile from the shaft, immediately following an explosion that had deflected the air current and filled that and other headings with after damp.  They found Lucas, unconscious, and carried him into fresh air.  Returning, Mangan and four others found Dougher, whom they also carried out.  All had been somewhat affected by the after damp.  Mangan and three of the men went through another heading into the gangway where the explosion had occurred, where they found Gowrey.  A second explosion seemed imminent, and Mangan went with two of the men to obtain a stretcher.  They returned and carried Gowery out while the fourth man in their party continued, to save another man. Lucas and Dougher were revived.  Gowery was badly burned.  Those that participated in rescuing miners affected in the incident on January 10, 1911 and were awarded the Carnegie medal for their bravery included those listed below.  Numbers in parentheses are assigned by the Carnegie Hero Award site.
  • Michael J. Madden, 37, assistant mine foreman (6419)
  • Martin F. Mangan, 26, mine footman (6416)
  • Jacob Modlo, 22, mine driver (6879)
  • Andrew J. Horan, 44, miner (6418)
  • Thomas F. Gallagher, 25, car-runner (6420)
  • Andrew Devers, 54, miner (6417)
  • James L. Conlon, aged 36, assistant mine foreman (6415)
  • John T. Brown, 46, mine foreman (6414)
Source document 1 External Link  Source document 2 PDF Format
Mills Hamilton Mine Explosives Detonation, Wingate Pass, California — George Kramer, a miner, was rescued after thirty-two hours imprisonment in the shaft of the Mills Hamilton mine at Wingate Pass.  A premature blast buried him under tons of earth, but the heavy timbers protected him.  The rescuers found him unconscious, but he would recover.  Source document PDF Format
1912 Corbin Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — After being entombed in the Corbin mine at Shamokin, Pennsylvania, Benjamin Smith, a miner, was rescued from under a fall of rock by fellow workmen after twelve hours work.  Source document PDF Format
Ellen Mining Claim Fall of Person, Avawatz Mountains, California — Walter Crawford, an aged miner, was rescued from the abandoned shaft of the Ellen mining claim in the Avawatz mountains by Burt Lawrence and Chris Holman after the old man had been held prisoner for over a day.  He had started to lower himself into the shaft for the purpose of examining the ledges when the rope broke, and he was precipitated to the bottom.  The rescuers were passing the shaft and were attracted by Crawford's hat, which was lying near the mouth.  Source document PDF Format
1913 Burnside Colliery Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — After working most of the day, a rescuing party at Burnside Colliery penetrated a big coal barrier caused by a fall of top coal, which entombed Frank Sandrick.  He was pinned to the ground by a big lump of coal and lay helpless and unable to move for hours before his brave rescuers reached him.  He was found almost dead from his injuries and for want of fresh air.  Source document PDF Format
1914 Miner Avalanche Burial, Philipsburg, Montana — Eli Marfhi, aged 35, a miner, was rescued from an avalanche that buried him near Philipsburg.  For 48 hours had lived in the snowdrift, eating snow to satisfy a fierce thirst and fighting desperately to free himself.  He was unconscious when miners on their way to a remote claim beyond Philipsburg saw Marfhi's head above the drift and rescued him.  His right leg had a double fracture and his left arm was broken in two places.  The miners improvised a cast from splints off trees, strapped the injured man on their backs and carried him several miles.  Then they secured a wagon and dragged Marfhi to the Northern Pacific tracks.  Source document PDF Format
1915 Cave-in at Black Diamond Mine, Luzerne, Pennsylvania — Four miners were rescued after seven hours by parties led by company officials.  Source document 1 PDF Format  Source document 2 PDF Format
Unnamed Zinc Mine Cave-in, Joplin, Missouri — Thomas French, a miner who was caught by a cave-in in a zinc mine near here, was rescued after having been imprisoned more than eight hours.  French was held by a mass of rock and earth with his head free.  He directed the work of his rescuers, trying energetically to free himself.  Although seriously injured, French would live, physicians said.  Hope of rescuing Harry Hubbell, French's fellow-workman, was abandoned.  He was believed to be buried under fifteen feet of rock.  Source document PDF Format
1916 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Globe, Arizona — L. Lepi, a miner, was found and rescued by men working at a nearby mining lease after being robbed and thrown down a 40-foot shaft of an abandoned mine two days earlier.  The miner was suffering from bruises of the face and knees, declaring he was nearly famished and that he was minus a $20 gold piece taken by the robbers.  Lepi said that he was attacked by two men.  They took his gold, but overlooked $300 in currency, and then hurled him into the shaft.  He called for help frequently throughout the two days.  The men who rescued him said they heard a voice yesterday, but did not recognize it us a call for help.  Source document PDF Format
Pennsylvania Colliery Cave-in, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania — A miner employed at the Pennsylvania colliery was entombed four or five hours.  Officials acted promptly and soon had the man removed alive from his tomb.  Source document PDF Format
1917 No. 14 Pennsylvania Colliery Explosives Detonation, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Abandoned by his miner following an accident several days earlier, Andrew Marashak, a laborer at No. 14 Pennsylvania colliery, lay in the mine unattended and undiscovered for eleven hours.  Mine and State authorities investigated and found that the miner, John Kuroski, evidently believed that his laborer had been killed by a tardily fired shot, and thereupon was so frightened that he fled, not only the mine, but the region.  He had just returned home. It is understood that Kuroski had warned his laborer not to go back into the mine chamber after a shot had failed to explode.  But the laborer went, the charge exploded and the laborer was partly burled under debris.  Kuroski found him prostrate and apparently lifeless.  He wrapped a sweater about Marashak's head and then left the mine without notifying anybody.  The accident occurred at 3:30 p.m.  It was 2:30 a.m. before a fireboss, making his regular rounds, found the injured man.  He was taken home.  He had a fractured collar bone and barring the possibility of pneumonia developing as a result of his long exposure on the damp ground, it was believed he would probably recover.  Source document PDF Format
Brunswick Mine Fall of Persons, Grass Valley, California — Two miners fell down a shaft, a distance of thirty feet at the Brunswick Mine at Grass Valley.  Louis Faccina, one of the victims, was painfully injured and was taken to the hospital.  His hurts were not considered very serious.  His companion, whose name not given out, was practically unhurt.  Source document PDF Format
Primrose Mine Fire, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — While fighting the fire in the Glendon section of the Primrose mines, eleven miners were overcome by the fumes of white damp and dropped unconscious in the mine.  After an undisclosed period, a searching party brought them to the surface, where they were treated in the mine rescue car.  It was thought all would recover.  The men were sent out from the supply base properly equipped with helmets and when they failed to return, rescuers were sent over the same route.  It was believed their breathing apparatus failed to work properly.  Source document PDF Format
Pittsburgh-Idaho Mine Fire, Gilmore, Montana — Ten miners were rescued after being trapped for 12 hours behind a barricade in the Pittsburg-Idaho mine following an explosion of gasoline on the 400-foot level of the mine.  Gasoline used in an engine on the 400-foot level caused the explosion, which brought down tons of earth upon the miners working on that level.  Thomas D. Thomas, age 41, was suffocated in an attempt to escape.  The explosion and fire started when another miner, in attempting to draw a five-gallon can of gasoline from a faucet in the pump station, for use in a small hoist at another point, carelessly carried a lighted carbide lamp in his cap and ignited the fumes from the gasoline, which filled the mine with white smoke and gas.  Source document PDF Format
1918 Two cave-ins caused by pillar robbing, covering approximately 5 acres, occurred at the Erie Mining / Pennsylvania Coal Company's Barnum Mine near Duryea, Pennsylvania trapped more than 100 men underground for a period.  Two men were killed and 15 injured.  Five of the men were rescued 10 hours after the accident.  Thomas Huntley, who won the Carnegie Hero Medal for a mine rescue at the PCC No. 14 mine in 1907, lead one of the rescue parties that brought the missing men to the surface.  Source: Anthracite Heritage Foundation.  Source document PDF Format
1919 Mount Braddock Mine Fire, Mount Braddock, Pennsylvania — As the result of fire and gas fumes in the Mount Braddock mine of the W. J. Rainey Coal Company, two men died, four were trapped in the mine and two were rescued.  The dead miners, Samuel Hardy, 28, and Clyde Foltz, 33, lost their lives in an attempt to aid their trapped comrades.  The missing men were James Russell, 45, Frank Largen, 25, Charles Lurch, 27, and Elmer Matthews, 38.  Jack Cole, 32, and Herman Earhart, 36, were rescued at 6 p.m. on January 20.  Cole, Earhart, and the missing men entered the mine on an inspection tour when gas was discovered earlier in the morning.  When they did not return, Hardy and Foltz entered in a coal car to which a cable was attached.  Miners on the outside were to withdraw the car on signal.  After waiting 20 minutes the men withdrew the car and found both occupants dead.  Little hope was held out for the men that were still trapped.  Source document PDF Format
1920 Jeanesville Mine Cave-in, Jeanesville, Pennsylvania — Edward Moore and Jere Donovan were rescued from the Jeanesville mines of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company, where they were entombed for several hours by a fall of coal.  Moore was taken to the State Hospital suffering from injuries to his back, but Donovan escaped unhurt.  Source document PDF Format
Laughlin Mine Explosion, Martins Ferry, Ohio — An explosion occurred in the Laughlin mine of the American Sheet & Tin Plate Company, near Martins Ferry.  Eighteen men were said to have been trapped in the workings but were freed after an undisclosed period.  Source document PDF Format
1921 Kohinoor Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Penned in behind a heavy fall of coal and rock, two contract miners at the Kohinoor colliery were rescued after three hours by swift action of fellow workers.  Both escaped with slight bruises, but were near death from fright and shock when taken out.  Source document PDF Format
Old Ben No. 8 Mine Explosion, West Frankfurt, Illinois — Forty miners were rescued from the fume-filled shaft of the No. 8 mine of the Old Ben Coal Corporation following an explosion.  Ten were seriously injured and were taken to a hospital.  Physicians said two probably would die.  The miners were rescued after having been held prisoner in the mine for three hours.  Source document PDF Format
1922 National Colliery Cave-in, Scranton, Pennsylvania — A cave-in in the Dunmore No. 2 vein, National Colliery of the Glen Alden Coal Company came without a moment's notice.  While most people were in bed, there came a hissing, and then a trembling.  People were tossed about in their beds, some thrown to the floor, the buildings creaked and swayed.  The populace ran to the streets, many clad in night clothes, there to face greater terror as they saw the street veritably bobbing up and down, the surface opening and steam hissing through.  For a time no one knew what it meant.  Cool heads realized that it was but another evidence of the mine menace to which Scranton had been long subject.  Word came that nineteen miners were entombed.  Investigation proved that a fall occurred trapping 16 miners.  Three others were injured.  These men were found, brought to the surface and rushed to the hospital.  The three men rescued were James Daugherty, John Kearney and Anthony Collett.  Source document PDF Format
1923 Oakdale No. 4 Mine Cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Rescuers worked for seven hours to reach the body or George Polinski, aged 26, a miner at Oakdale No. 4 shaft of Jeddo-Highland Coal Company.  When found, Polinski still alive.  Polinski's chest was crushed, however, and he died twenty minutes later.  Source document PDF Format
Silver Creek Mine Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — After eight hours spent in a living grave, John Sharp and Michael Dugan, miners, were rescued uninjured.  They were entombed by a fall of top rock at the Silver Creek mine, with many yards of debris forming a solid barrier between them and liberty.  The men were engaged in tearing down pillars when the entire top fell in front of them.  At first, they were thankful for their escape from death, and did not realize the predicament they were in.  Source document PDF Format
Morning Mine Fire, Mullan, Idaho — An early report from the Morning Mine at Mullan, Idaho said the mine was afire and that two men were dead.  A later report from Wallace, Idaho, said that two men had been overcome by gas, but that they had been rescued after an undisclosed period.  The fire was discovered when the day shift went on duty, it was stated.  Source document PDF Format
Scotch Valley Mine Fall of Person, Hazleton, Pennsylvania — Andrew Witko, 41, was employed at the inside working of the Scotch Valley mine and in some manner fell 50 feet down the shaft.  His follow workers hurried to the bottom of the shaft expecting to find his mangled body, but he was on his feet and refused aid.  He returned to work the next day but in a few days time, he developed pneumonia and passed away at his home.  Source document PDF Format
1924 McClintock Mine Explosion, Johnston City, Illinois — Nine injured miners were removed by rescuers after an undisclosed period following an explosion in the McClintock mine which killed 33.  Eight of the injured were hospitalized.  Two were believed fatally hurt.
Park Place Colliery Cave-in, Lehigh Valley Coal Company — Frank Kasian was released from his prison 30 hours after becoming trapped in Slope No. 7, Park Place Colliery of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company.  But the story doesn't end there.  A second miner, John Koszeinik, was still unaccounted for.  Rescuers continued their vigil for seventeen days.  Koszeinik's body was found five feet from reaching a chute that would have protected him from death.  Source document PDF Format
Calumet & Hecla Mine Cave-in, Calumet, Michigan — John Haun, underground foreman for the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company owed his life to the heroism of James Phillips, a miner, who permitted a mass of falling rock to slide upon his body so that he might protect Haun, who lay beneath him.  Haun was struck by a large block of loose ground and was pinned under the rock, with only his head, face upward, protruding.  While in that position, Phillips observed another area of loose rock slowly sliding down the slope toward Haun's head.  Realizing that the rock would crush and perhaps kill Haun, Phillips stood in such a position that his foreman would be protected and with his back arched, waited until the sliding rock struck him.  Haun's face was sheltered while Phillips received the brunt of the burden.  Workmen extricated the two a few minute later, Haun received severe injury to the spine, while Phillips back and hips were badly injured.  Source document PDF Format
Potts Colliery Cave-in, Ashland, Pennsylvania — Elias Lovell was rescued after four hours when he became trapped behind a fall of top in the Potts Colliery at Ashland.  Mr. Lovell was employed as a miner and was closed in while at work in the West Primrose.  He was found uninjured and practically none the worse for his experience.  Source document PDF Format
1925 Abandoned Mine Cave-in, Mount Washington, Pennsylvania — Tony Bertullo,14, was rescued from an abandoned mine in Mount Washington after having been imprisoned for twenty hours by a cave-in.  The boy was exploring the mine Saturday when a portion of the roof fell, confining him in a space about five feet square.  He was rescued by his father and a neighbor after an all-night search had led them to the abandoned mine.  With the exception of being hungry, the boy showed no ill effects.  Source document PDF Format
Sterling Colliery Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Caught under a rush of coal and debris while driving a hole, preparatory to firing a shot in the Sterling Colliery of the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company at Shamokin, Paul Erdman was in a critical condition at his home.  Engaged in the precarious occupation of robbing pillars, Erdman was just finishing the hole when a large piece of rock became dislodged from the rib, causing about two tons of coal and debris to completely cover him.  Fellow workmen, hearing the rush were quick to the side of the man and within a short time had him free.  He was removed to his home and found to be suffering from lacerations about the entire body, a fracture of the foot and internal injuries.  Source document PDF Format
1926 21 miners managed to escape death's clutches after being trapped for 24 hours in the mule stables following an explosion of the Jamison No. 8 mine in Farmington, West Virginia.  19 miners were killed in the disaster.
Eight negro miners were rescued after an undisclosed period from the No. 21 mine in Wilburton, Oklahoma.  And in a truly heroic effort, Julius Graham, one of the first 7 rescued negroes, rushed back in and saved his step-brother, Roy Gray.
Mossboro No. 1 Mine Explosion, Helena, Alabama — After an undisclosed period following the Mossboro No. 1 mine explosion, twelve men were brought out of the mine alive in one group to be followed by another squad of 13 workers.
Bear Canyon Coal Company Mine Explosion, Trinidad, Colorado — Between 25 and 30 men were trapped in the Bear Canyon Coal Company's mine in Bear canyon near Trinidad following a gas explosion.  All the men were taken out of the mine after an undisclosed period, according to word from the state mine inspector.  Ten of the miners received serious burns, two whose recovery was uncertain.  The condition of three others was considered extremely serious.  Source document PDF Format
1927 Newport Mine Cave-in, Ironwood, Michigan — One miner was rescued and the body of a companion recovered from under a fall of rock and ore which trapped them at Newport mine after an undisclosed period.  Peter Clement was slightly injured.  Angelo Angelini was killed.  Source document PDF Format
Bunker Hill Mine Fall of Person, Kellogg, Idaho — Spese Paladin, a miner employed by the Bunker Hill, lived after experiencing a fall of approximately 130 feet down an ore chute at the mine.  Paladin was found by fellow workmen sometime later.  He was removed to the Wardner hospital.  Dr. George H. Kennett stated that the miner was suffering from concussion of the brain but would recover.  Source document PDF Format
1928 Eight miners were brought out of the Peabody Coal Company Mine No. 18 alive and uninjured.  They were: Bill Reed, Alex Hamlin, Tony Strauss, Charles Peebles, Will Allen, Ruel Parks, Charles Mitchell and James Benn.  Reed crawled out of an air shaft while Hamlin and Strauss were in another part of the mine and built a protecting wall to prevent the deadly gas from reaching them.  W. E. Wade, another rescued miner was suffering from the effects of gas.
Gaylord Mine Cave-in, Plymouth, Pennsylvania — Thirteen mine workers, trapped in the Red Ash vein of Gaylord Colliery at Plymouth, were released from their entrapment last night after having been imprisoned for seven hours behind a barricade of top rock and timber, caused by a fall.  All were uninjured save for a severe fright.  The fall occurred as the mine crew was walking down the plane in their lunch hour.  They were warned of the coming fall by fellow employees and managed to reach a place of safety from the flying debris, although they found themselves blocked from exit.  Rescue crews, hurriedly organized, released the captive men.  The Gaylord mine was the scene of a disaster in February, 1894, when thirteen men were killed.  Strange to say that accident occurred on the thirteenth of the month, while in this disaster, there were thirteen workers imprisoned.  Source document PDF Format
Oneida No. 1 Mine Cave-in, Hazleton, Pennsylvania — Just before 2 o'clock on the morning of January 17, the nine entombed men who were caught behind a rush of coal in the Oneida No. 1 mine were rescued.  None of the men suffered any injuries or appeared weakened by this ordeal of more than twelve hours imprisonment.  Officials of the company announced last night that a barrier of coal more than 50 feet in thickness blocked the gangway.  A hole about four feet in height was driven over this fall of coal to allow the men an avenue of escape.  Source document PDF Format
1929 Shenandoah Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Anthony Benasheski was rescued after being entombed for one hour behind a fall of rock at the West Shenandoah colliery of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company.  He suffered a fractured ankle.  Source document PDF Format
Harco Mine Fall of Person, Harrisburg, Illinois — Everett Bowlin, a Harco coal miner, was recovering from injuries suffered in a miraculous escape from death.  Confused by a cloud of steam which belched from a 500-foot mine shaft, Bowlin stepped into the opening, thinking the hoist was at the top.  After plunging approximately 300 feet he managed to grasp the ropes which operate the cage, and for 15 minutes held on until the cage raised to meet him.  Then he collapsed on top of the cage and was hoisted to the surface.  Source document PDF Format
1930 Lillybrook No. 1 Mine Explosion, Lillybrook, West Virginia — After an undisclosed period, the bodies of eight men, six of whom were Negroes, were recovered.  R. L. Meadows, one of the injured men, was found lying with the dead.  He was considered by physicians to have a chance for recovery.
Jermyn Mine Cave-in, Jermyn, Pennsylvania — Patrick McAndrew was rescued 2 hours after being trapped by a large cave-in at the Hudson Coal Company's Jermyn mine.  He sustained a broken hip and was recovering at the State Hospital in Scranton.  Three others died in the same incident.  They were Harold Vansickle, James Charles, and William McAndrew, Patrick's brother.  Source document PDF Format
Blackstone Mine Cave-in, Rutland, Ohio — Harry France, a miner in the Blackstone Coal mine at Rutland narrowly escaped death when he was completely covered by slate and stone as a part of the mine collapsed.  The falling stone and slate miraculously fell in such a way that the miner suffered only cuts and bruises.  His calls for help summoned fellow-workmen, who rescued him a short time later.  Source document PDF Format
1931 Seven miners were rescued after an undisclosed period following an explosion in the Little Betty Mine at Dugger, Indiana.  The men who were rescued had barricaded themselves in an entry off one of the main corridors.  Those rescued included Locie Hale, William Bedwell, Ben Snyder, Herman Brown, Charles Love and Charles Centers, all of Linton, and Jule Wellington of Sullivan.
Unnamed Gold Mine Fire, Centennial, Wyoming — Three men trapped four hours in a gold mine by a fire were rescued alive.  They were Bernard Holtum, owner of the mine, and two brothers named Crites.  The men were working in the 1200-foot shaft when the fire started.  Source document PDF Format
Mitchell Tunnel Rescue, Livermore, California — Imprisoned for 24 hours in the Mitchell Tunnel of the Hetch-Hetchy water system, 20 miners were brought to the surface, uninjured, but weak for the want of food.  Oscar Nelson, 39, was the first man brought to the surface.  The others were brought to the surface within half an hour, and were being taken care of at the first-aid headquarters.  Source document PDF Format
1933 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — Imprisoned by a fall of earth and silt for more than six hours. Joseph Symborski, 21, was released from a mine hole in the vicinity of the old Lehigh Valley railroad cut west of the Elmwood slope.  Reports from the Locust Mountain hospital said that his condition was improving.  His injuries were announced as contusions of the body.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Buried to his neck when a slide caught him at the bottom of a bootleg mine hole, Charles Zawacki, 38, had a miraculous escape from agonizing death, 40 feet below the surface.  Volunteer workers rescued Zawacki alive after 15 hours laborious shoveling and timbering.  The man was taken to the Shamokin State Hospital, where an X-ray examination revealed no broken bones.  He was sent to the men's ward, however, to be treated for shock and exposure.  Zawacki was digging coal at the bottom of the narrow pit when one side caved in, burying him to his neck.  Following the cave-in, a companion went down into the hole and raked the loose dirt and rock away from the entombed man's neck so he could breathe easier.  The task of uncovering the man was then begun.  Source document PDF Format
Pennsylvania Mine Asphyxiation, Grass Valley, California — A heroic rescue of Russell Miller, victim of bad air in the Pennsylvania Mine occurred when Donald Pascoe, a young miner, descended alone into the mine and found Miller after an undisclosed period in an unconscious condition at the bottom of a winze on the 1,700-foot level.  Pascoe, himself feeling the effects of the impure air occasioned by the fact the ventilating equipment of the mine was out of commission through lack of water, succeeded in transporting Miller 4,000 feet to the hoisting station, where he was taken to the surface.  Miller, Pascoe, and Sam Veale were sent into the mine to adjust pumps and other machinery for a temporary shutdown.  Pascoe and Veale completed their work and returned to the surface, only to find that Miller had not appeared.  It was then that Pascoe re-entered the mine alone to search for his companion.  Source document PDF Format
1934 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Taylor, Pennsylvania — Trapped for more than two hours in a cave-in which occurred in a bootleg mining operation in Taylor, Dominick Coppola, 22, was found suffering from internal injuries and shock when rescued by Scranton and Taylor police.  He was taken to the State Hospital.  Coppola and Samuel Karus were digging coal, police said, when the cave occurred, burying Coppola to his waist.  Karus escaped unhurt and gave the alarm. Source document PDF Format
Adolphus Pyers Farm Mine Cave-in, Millersburg, Ohio — Harry McGovern, 60, was imprisoned in a coal mine on the Adolphus Pyers farm, three miles west of Millersburg, for nearly 10 hours by a cave-in at the mine.  He was severely bruised and cut and was in a serious condition as a result of exposure.  McGovern, who is a bachelor and lives at the Henry Schlarb home, works In the Pyers mine alone.  When he failed to return from work searching parties were quickly formed.  He was found imprisoned by a cave-in about 300 feet from the mouth of the mine.  A large amount of stone and dirt had fallen on him.  He was removed to the home of his brother, Ellsworth McGovern of Paint Valley, where a medical examination revealed that no bones had been broken.  Eugene Cutshaw, who helped liberate McGovern, was confined to his home from the effects of exhaustion while attempting to remove the slide.  Source document PDF Format
1935 Utica Mine Fall of Ground, Angels Camp, California — Gus May, miner, narrowly escaped death while at work on a filled shaft of the Utica Mine, 2,000 feet below the ground.  The fill began to sink and the fire department battled mud and water for an undisclosed period to rescue him from the muck.  May was unhurt but suffered from chills.  Source document PDF Format
Stanton Colliery Landslide, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — John Roberts, 56, was almost completely buried beneath a dirt bank slide at the Stanton Colliery at 6 p.m. the evening before, while he was picking coal.  Unable to extricate himself, he endured a nightmare until employees on their way to work in the morning, more than 12 hours later, found him unconscious.  Though suffering from shock as well as injuries to both legs, hips and abdomen, Roberts condition was regarded as not serious.  The slide that buried him also kept much of the cold away from his body, or he would have frozen to death, it was stated at the hospital.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Marlin Lauer was seriously injured when he was covered by a fall of coal in a bootleg mine near Shamokin.  He was rushed to the Shamokin State Hospital where an examination disclosed that he had a fracture of the left leg, chest injuries, lacerations of the scalp and face, and possible internal injuries.  The accident occurred shortly after Lauer and several companions started work in their operation.  Lauer was at the bottom of the hole when the fall occurred.  He was rendered unconscious when a piece of coal struck him on the head.  He was revived by rescuers after being carried to the surface after an undisclosed period.  Source document PDF Format
Juneau Mine Rescue, Durango, Colorado — Stricken four days earlier by paralysis at the Juneau mine, Joe Bari, 60. miner, will live, physicians said.  Four Durango men dragged him on a toboggan 13 hours across 19 miles of snow-drifted mountain trail.  Source document PDF Format
Hammond Mine Elevator Entrapment, Girardville, Pennsylvania — Ten miners were imprisoned in a mine cage 350 feet underground for four hours when safety catches on a cage jammed as the men were being lowered into the Hammond mine at Girardville.  Repairmen descended into the 750-foot-deep shaft and freed the trapped workers.  Source document PDF Format
1936 Racketbrook Culm Bank Slide, Carbondale, Pennsylvania — Rescue crews succeeded in extricating Joseph Zukowski, 16, from the Racketbrook culm bank where he had been trapped for two hours while digging coal. Zukowski and three neighborhood companions went to the Racketbrook dump to pick coal.  Heavy frosts of recent weeks had cemented the surface, consisting mostly of slate and rock, into a hard mass and the four assumed they were working in comparative safety.  In the midst of their labors, they sensed the danger of collapse and scrambled for safety.  All but Zukowski escaped.  He was at first buried up to his chest, then up to his neck from a further slide of material.  Once freed, Zukowski was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he was held for observation, suffering from shock and probable internal injuries.  Source document PDF Format
1937 Delano Mine Cave-in, Montello, Nevada — Entombed for a day 300 feet underground, two men were rescued from the Delano mine and brought to Montello, suffering little ill effects.  The miners, Jess Baker and a man named Harris, were trapped by a cave-in at the mine.  Rescuers succeeding in penetrating the tons of rock and dirt and opened a passage to the two men.  Source document PDF Format
Beaver Brook Colliery Cave-in, Hazleton, Pennsylvania — A rescue crew worked for nearly two hours to dig William Letcher out from under a fall of rock in the Beaver Brook Colliery, where he was employed.  His right side was paralyzed.  Source document PDF Format
1938 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Minersville, Pennsylvania — George Todack was rescued from a bootleg coal hole he was entombed in a for several hours.  He was transported to the Pottsville Hospital, suffering with a possible fracture of the left leg, shock and exposure. His condition was listed as fair.  Source document PDF Format
South Wilkes-Barre Colliery Cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Michael Samhoski, 22, was rescued quickly after an undisclosed period after he was buried under a fall of rock in the South Wilkes-Barre Colliery of the Glen Alden Coal Company.  He was taken to General Hospital, where he was treated for lacerations of his scalp, neck, face, left eyebrow and nose.  Source document PDF Format
Marriott Farm Mine Cave-in, Versailles, Missouri — William June, 19, was rescued alive after being buried for hours when a cave-in in a tiff mine covered him and 50-year-old Orb Marriott.  Marriott was found dead.  June and Marriott were working the small mine on Marriott's farm when the clay and dirt of a sidewall rolled down upon them.  June was in a waist-deep hole he had dug and said he believed this saved his life as he was able to get air.  Marriott died from suffocation.  Ray Jones, 15, erroneously reported trapped in the slide, was the youth who discovered the men were imprisoned and who spread the alarm which brought scores of miners and farmers to the rough Ozark farm of Marriott.  Source document PDF Format
1939 Nineteen miners were rescued from the Clinton Coal Company's Crown Hill No. 6 Mine Fire near Clinton, Indiana after being trapped there for 10 hours.  Rescuers waded water waist-deep through another tunnel, abandoned for 20 years, broke down a barrier and reached the men from behind.
South Comstock Silver Mine Cave-in, Virginia City, Nevada — George Peterson, 35, was rescued after being trapped for 12 hours when a cave-in occurred in the old South Comstock mine.  He was suffering only from shock and had to be carried out of the mine on a stretcher.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Newkirk, Pennsylvania — Joseph Franks was rescued from a bootleg coal hole after being trapped for approximately 10 hours.  He was taken to the Coaldale Hospital where he was treated for exposure.  Franks was entombed together with two companions, Edward and George Weidel, who were rescued a short time following the accident.  Rescue workers were impeded in their work by a heavy fall of snow but maintained a constant working crew despite the weather.  Source document PDF Format
Hazleton Shaft Colliery Cave-in, Hazleton, Pennsylvania — Two miners trapped for nearly 19 hours were rescued from the Hazleton Shaft Colliery of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.  To free the miners, rescuers cut a new 4x4 hole driven parallel to the rock hole.  Both miners were able to walk out of the place where they had been imprisoned and were taken to the State Hospital where they were reported to be in good condition.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Frank Mischurski, 34, was rescued from a makeshift coal hole in which he had been trapped for fourteen hours.  At Pottsville hospital, physicians said he suffered bruises and nervous breakdown.  Mischurski and a companion were in the coal hole when debris caved in upon them.  The companion leaped to safety, but Mischurski was pinned so he could not work his way out.  Other miners dug through to reach him.  Source document PDF Format
1940 Unnamed Gold Mine Rescue, Grants Pass, Oregon — Rescuers transported Ray Fountain, injured gold miner, to a hospital after crossing the swollen Illinois river via a 370-foot rope bridge.  Fountain, struck by a rolling boulder, suffered a broken leg and crushed ribs.  A miner named Carlson in the rescue party solved the crossing by twirling a weighted fish line across the raging stream.  Fountain's partner, Fred Voight, pulled a rope over with the line and the makeshift bridge was fashioned.  Fountain had been isolated from medical attention for more than a day because the high water made it impossible for rescuers to cross the stream.  Source document PDF Format
1941 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Heckscherville, Pennsylvania — John Ryan, 28-year-old free-lance miner, was the anthracite area's latest bootleg mining fatality despite a dramatic rescue after being trapped for nearly 48 hours in a coal hole at nearby Heckscherville.  Ryan was brought to the surface alive late yesterday but died a short time after as he was being placed in an ambulance to be taken to Pottsville hospital.  Rescue crews worked in relays of 20 men when Ryan was trapped by a cave-in 80 feet below the surface.  Joseph Slane, 30, who was trapped with Ryan, was brought out alive.  He was discharged from Pottsville hospital after receiving treatment for minor injuries.  Vincent Burns, 35, a third man working in the hole, climbed to safety, and spread the alarm as the mine roof gave way.  Weary rescue workers reached Ryan after a second cave-in had dimmed hopes of finding him alive.  Spurred by his tappings, they sent a priest and a doctor into the mine after he told them weakly that he was "all right, but cold."  Last rites were administered before diggers were able to remove Ryan.  Ryan was found pinned between a coal car and the side of the mine by the physician and clergymen who risked another cave-in to reach him.  Despite first aid at the scene, Ryan died of exposure and internal injuries, physicians said.  Source document PDF Format
Pitha Mine Cave-in, Carbondale, Pennsylvania — Pinned by a rock fall, Peter Kobat, 55, was rescued by diggers who had worked in relays for five hours.  Doctors, who had administered stimulants to Kobat as he lay imprisoned up to his waist in fallen rock, said the miner would recover.  Source document PDF Format
Griffiths Mine Cave-in, Canon City, Colorado — Three coal miners trapped 2,000 feet underground by a cave-in were rescued unhurt.  Drillers bored through more than 20 feet of solid rock to reach the trapped trio.  The men, trapped in a tunnel of the Griffiths coal mine, four miles east of Canon City, were imprisoned less than three hours.  The three trapped miners were Sam Bowman, George Costatino and Joe Fazzino.  Source document PDF Format
Atkins Coal Company Mine Cave-in, Frackville, Pennsylvania — Michael Yuskoski, 43, was rushed to Ashland State Hospital after fellow workmen rescued him from under a fall of coal at the Atkins Coal Company.  Hospital attaches said Yuskoski, who was almost suffocated, had no pain and there appeared to be no fractures, although a complete diagnosis had not been made.  Source document PDF Format
1942 Wadge Mine Explosion, Mt. Harris, Colorado — Four miners who were working nearer the entrance were rescued after an undisclosed period.  These men included Joe Gall, Bill Fickle, Elmer Everson and Mike Atansoff.
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Asphyxiation, Forestville, Pennsylvania — Joseph and John Hudock were recovering in the Pottsville Hospital after they barely escaped asphyxiation from black damp while working in a bootleg coal hole near Forestville.  They were rescued after an undisclosed period and revived by their father and other miners.  Source document PDF Format
Griffith Mine Cave-in, Canon City, Colorado — Three miners trapped by a rock and coal cave-in in the Griffith coal mine were rescued uninjured after 3 hours.  The cave-in occurred 2,000 feet in the mine and filled the entrance tunnel for 200 feet.  The rescued miners were Sam Bowman, 46; George Costantino, 42; and Joe Fazzino, 31.  Source document PDF Format
Coal Brook Colliery Cave-in, Carbondale, Pennsylvania — Four mine workers were rescued from entombment today after being imprisoned six hours behind hundreds of tons of rock at the No. 1 tunnel, Coal Brook Colliery, Carbondale.  The men were loading coal on a shaker chute belt when a long section of the roof in the main gangway, the only passageway to the slope, collapsed.  The gangway was blocked with debris.  A crew of rescue workers with picks and shovels carved an opening through the blocked gangway.  Two hours later communications were established with the men by tap drills.  The tunnel was operated by the Hudson Coal Company.  Source document PDF Format
1943 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Byrnesville, Pennsylvania — Edward Stutscavage, 22, owed his life to the unceasing efforts of a rescue crew and, particularly to two men who played heroic parts in rescuing him from a coal hole at Byrnesville after he had been covered for several hours.  Rescued from beneath a mass of earth, coal, and rock in a workings 150 and 175 feet underground, Stutscavage was taken to Ashland State Hospital where his condition was reported good and where X-rays were taken to determine the extent of an injury to his right shoulder.  Stutscavage and a brother-in-law, Manuel Androde, 38, were putting up a set of timbers in their independent mine when a rush which they later said came without warning and "like a load of sand" and trapped them.  Androde was covered only up to his knees, but Stutscavage was knocked down and almost completely covered.  Hastening to the surface, Androde dispatched the hoister for help.  Soon, miners came, and the rescue work was started.  They had to proceed cautiously and slowly, however, because of the ever-present danger of a recurrent rush and the opening through which Androde had escaped permitted only one man to enter at a time.  The story was told how one of the rescuers, Tony Bish, a Centralia man about 35 or 36, reached Stutscavage and, at the risk of his own life, arched his back over the young man to save him from being covered by a second rush.  He remained in that position, holding up the weight of the new slide until other miners came.  It was Androde, working tirelessly through the afternoon and evening despite his own weakened condition from the ordeal he had experienced, finally succeeded in uncovering Stutscavage.  So tightly was he wedged be neath the debris, rescuers considered it a miracle that he escaped with his life.  Source document PDF Format
1944 Stambaugh Mine Cave-in, Uniontown, Pennsylvania — Oran Kennedy, 36, was rescued after 2 hours from beneath tons of rock which crashed from the ceiling of the Stambaugh mine of the Bortz Coal Company.  Tons of roof slate fell in the shaft in which Kennedy was working.  A pit wagon broke the fall near the miner, however, and provided breathing space between the huge lumps of slate.  Rescuers, constantly menaced by additional falls, went forward with their efforts until they reached Kennedy, who escaped with a fractured pelvis.  Source document PDF Format
1946 Havaco No. 9 Mine Explosion, Welch, West Virginia — James Williams, seriously burned about the hands and face, was rescued from the No. 9 mine of the New River & Pocahontas Consolidated Coal Company at Welch, West Virginia.  The explosion there trapped 150 miners for several hours and killed 15.  Source document PDF Format
1947 Gemini Mine Cave-in, Eureka, Utah — Two silver miners were freed by crews who shoveled through 100 tons of dirt for almost eight hours after a slide of waste matter trapped the pair.  Fifteen fellow miners used a bucket machine and shovels to reach Bryan Sorenson and Benny Allison, trapped in a mine pocket at the 1300-foot level of the Gemini mine.  Source document PDF Format
1949 Loyalhanna Coal Company Mine Cave-in, Cairnbrook, Pennsylvania — A coal miner rescued from beneath 25 tons of rock where he lay trapped for 14 hours died eight hours after fellow workers brought him to the surface.  William Wallace, 27, lay beneath the crushing weight with only his head exposed as a rescue team labored to remove piece by piece the rocks which trapped him in a narrow entry of the mine of the Loyalhanna Coal Company.  As other miners worked to release him.  Wallace pleaded deliriously for his friends to "get this weight off me."  He was taken to Windber hospital shortly after midnight, and doctors said he suffered extreme shock and other undetermined injuries.  Wallace and his brother-in-law, Walter Gromack, were loading their second coal car of the day when the roof collapsed.  Gromack had stepped away from the working place to adjust his lamp and wasn't hit.  Wallace apparently had the presence of mind to dive beneath the car, but the weight of the fall crushed the car and pinned him beneath the frame, with only his head in the open.  Source document PDF Format
1950 Joseph Burda was rescued after being trapped for 40 hours in a "bootleg" anthracite mine near Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania.  He and his brother, Edward, became trapped following a cave-in.  Rescue attempts carried on for Edward, however, it is unknown if they were successful.  Source document External Link
United Salt Mine Fire, Hockley, Texas — Eight miners were set free from the fire in the United Salt Company mine after an undisclosed period.  The miners had been lowered into the mine only minutes before the fire broke out.  Electric wiring was burned which temporarily idled the mine's hoist.  The trapped miners were uninjured in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
Lohb Coal Company Mine Asphyxiation, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Two miners were rescued from the end of a 100-foot, almost perpendicular, slope at Pottsville after they had been overcome by "after damp."  Albert Galesky, 50, was rescued shortly after the pair were discovered unconscious by another miner.  But it was nearly four hours before Joseph Flannery, 48, was revived enough to be moved down the slope and the 2 miles to the mine entrance.  Nine tanks of oxygen were used before the rescuers decided it was safe to lower Flannery down the slope to a coal car.  Flannery was taken to Warren Hospital in Pottsville and placed in an oxygen tent.  Al Clarkson, superintendent of the mine operation of the Lohb Coal Company on Sharp mountain, said Flannery and Galesky apparently went into the area too soon after setting off a shot of dynamite.  Source document PDF Format
1951 Unnamed Surface Mine Rescue, St. Marys, Pennsylvania — Six-year-old William Van Slander liked to toddle along after his 34-year-old father and watch him rip coal from the earth with a giant bulldozer.  Yesterday Van Slander, Sr. wasn't satisfied with the way his huge machine was working.  He got off his seat and kicked at a slowly moving cog.  The cog caught in his overalls and started grinding his left leg to pieces.  Frantically, the father shouted at his son to pull the lever which would stop the machine.  There were several levers, but Billy got the right one just as his father lost consciousness.  The boy then ran three miles to neighbors for aid.  Van Slander was taken to a hospital, where his leg was amputated below the knee.  The doctors, who credited Billy with saving his dad's life, said the miner's condition is satisfactory.  Source document PDF Format
Pandora Mine Fire, Sullivan, Indiana — Sixteen men trapped for almost three hours behind a fire in the Pandora Mine were reported safe.  Two men were brought to the Mary Sherman Hospital suffering from effects of the smoke.  Both David Solomon, 66, and Wayne Mannel, 18, were reported at the hospital to be in good condition.  Mannel was in the mine when the fire started and was able to get out without being trapped.  He went immediately back in to help in the rescue work and to fight the fire.  Source document PDF Format
1952 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Springfield, Missouri — Don M. Searle, 18, suffered serious injuries when he fell into an abandoned mine shaft on Pierson Creek, five miles east of Springfield, Missouri.  Searle was searching for traces of uranium in the old mine with three companions.  He was being lowered into the shaft with a windlass and rope when the rope broke, dropping him about 50 feet.  Ropes were used to bring him to the surface about 30 minutes after he tumbled into the shaft.  He suffered a leg fracture, back injury and cuts.  Source document PDF Format
1953 Gilberton Coal Company Drill Hole Entrapment, Gilberton, Pennsylvania — Five-year-old Laura Mae Helser was freed from her 90-minute confinement after falling 10 feet into an 11-inch test hole at the strip mine owned by the Gilberton Coal Company.  Rescuers ingeniously fashioned a make-shift vertical stretcher to free the child from her entrapment.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Lordsburg, Nevada — A 15-year-old high school boy was recovering from several broken bones and assorted bruises after miraculously surviving a fall down a 330-foot mine shaft.  Ray Harrington received a broken collarbone, broken arm and broken leg when he tumbled down the abandoned Nevada mine shaft.  Rescuers attributed his survival to the fact that the shaft had a jog in it about midway down.  This, they say, may have broken his fall.  Source document PDF Format
1954 Unnamed Mine Cave-in, Sidney, Kentucky — James G. Thornsbury rescued Frederick J. Pinson from a cave-in, Sidney, Kentucky, January 23, 1984.  Pinson, 31, was seated in the operator's cab of a mining machine when a large section of the ceiling of the mine in which he was working collapsed atop the machine, trapping him.  Thornsbury, 25, miner, who had been working nearby, fled the area of the fall.  Hearing Pinson's cries for help, Thornsbury returned to the edge of the collapsed ceiling, under which there was a narrow space.  Despite additionally falling rock, Thornsbury crawled into the space and proceeded to clear a path to Pinson.  Upon reaching Pinson, Thornsbury assisted him from the cab, then crawled with him from beneath the fallen ceiling.  Pinson suffered bruised ribs but fully recovered.  Mr. Thornsbury was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source document External Link
Unnamed Mine Cave-in, Ravensdale, Washington — Cascading coal freed by a mine cave-in swept one miner from sight 400 feet below the surface and trapped another for nearly four hours until he was rescued.  Rescue workers were still digging for Harry English, 39, but little hope was held he would be found alive after the coal chute down which he disappeared is cleared.  A happier fate was experienced by Roy Coutts, 25, working companion of English when the slide occurred.  Fellow workers found pinned down by a rock which rested on his left leg and right arm.  His head was covered with coal, but he could breathe.  Coutts was reported in good condition at a hotel in Enumclaw, a few miles from Ravensdale and approximately 30 miles southeast of Seattle.  Source document PDF Format
1955 Banner Mine Storage Bin Collapse, Tucson, Arizona — Arnulfo Borbon, 22, a pick man at the Banner mine, was buried up to his chin in a loose ore bin yesterday morning.  Fast-working crews freed him in three hours.  He was uninjured.  Borbon was standing at the apex of an inverted cone-shaped mass of quarter-inch rock in a bin 20 feet high and 15 feet in diameter.  He was knocking rock loose above him for the slide through the bottom of the bin, at his feet, and onto a conveyor belt underneath the bin.  An unusually large mass of the ore suddenly slipped down on Borbon's feet, pinning him at the bin bottom before he could step back to a safety area.  A resultant slide buried the miner up to his hips, then, later, up to his chin.  Source document PDF Format
1956 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania — On January 31, 1956, when a section of roof fell in a coal mine 550 feet below the surface, Percy A. Hooper, 33, was buried between a loading machine and a coal pillar.  During an arduous rescue in a space 18 inches wide and 20 inches high, and working with handtools, John W. Blazek, Jr. managed to free Hooper enough that the pair were able to be pulled to safety by assisting miners.  Hooper, who had been buried an hour and a half, was hospitalized for four days from shock and bruises.  Blazek, who had been in the tunnel 30 minutes, was nervous and sustained minor cuts.  Both recovered.  For his bravery, Mr. Blazek was given the Carnegie Hero Award.  Source document External Link
1958 Abandoned Mine Shaft Rescue, Crafton Hills, California — Scared and dirty but unhurt, two Yucaipa youths were pulled to safety from an abandoned mine shaft in the Crafton hills area above Oak Glen road by sheriff's deputies and volunteers.  The boys, Larry Anderson, 12, and Lee Schumann, 13, waited at the bottom of the shaft for nearly four hours while their companion ran back to Yucaipa for help.  The boys had climbed to the area Saturday, discovered the mine shafts and decided to return to the site Sunday with a rope and go down into this particular mine.  The Anderson boy made the descent safely on the spindly rope.  But when the Schumann youth attempted to go down, the rope broke and he tumbled to the bottom.  Neither boy was hurt but they were unable to climb back out.  The boys became stranded about 4:30 p.m. and the rescue party set out for the site about 5:45.  When the party arrived at the mine, ropes were lowered and Anderson and Schumann were pulled to safety, dirty but otherwise unhurt at about 8:30 p.m.  Source document PDF Format
1959 River Slope Mine Inundation, Port Griffith, Pennsylvania — One miner, Amadeo Pancotti, age 50, was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Heroism for leading 32 miners to safety.  As the flood waters rose, Pancotti scaled a 50 foot sand-stone wall which rose generally at an angle of 75 degrees making his way to the surface.  Once there, he summoned others, who raised Louis Randazza, John Elko, and Joseph Soltis from the shaft.  A rescue team entered the mine through the shaft and found James LaFratte, Jerome Stuccio, and Pacifico Stella.  Twenty-six other men later were located and removed.  Twelve miners perished and their bodies were never recovered.
1960 Joseph Mismash was rescued after being trapped 15 hours in a U. S. Steel Corporation iron mine near Ely, Minnesota.  Mismash was trapped in a walled-in cubicle blocked by a 14 foot-thick block of ore.  Source document External Link
1961 Rescuers saved 15-year-old, Larry Dacek, after falling down an airshaft of the abandoned Sutro Tunnel silver mine near Virginia City, Nevada.  He was trapped for 11 hours there.  Mining experts said Dacek escaped certain death by coming to rest on a rock layer supported by a few rotten timbers.  Below him was a straight 1,400 foot fall.  Source document External Link
Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Yermo, California — The dry lake area just south of Mule Canyon was the scene of a dramatic rescue.  Little eight-year-old Gene Armand Stevens was rescued after falling 50 feet into an abandoned uncovered mine shaft.  Units from the Barstow Sheriff's Substation, Fire Department, along with the Civil Defense rescue Unit were dispatched to the scene.  Eight-year-old Gene Stevens was found lying at the bottom of a 50-foot mine shaft still conscious and able to move in spite of what proved to be a broken leg.  John Patton of the Barstow Fire Department Rescue Squad was lowered into the shaft, where he managed to tie the boy into a wire basket type stretcher which was raised to the surface by fellow workers.  An ambulance immediately rushed the hoy to the Barstow Community Hospital where he was given emergency treatment.  The report from the hospital indicated that the boy's condition was generally good.  He suffered a fracture of the left leg as well as cuts and bruises about his face and body.  Source document PDF Format
1963 Abandoned Mine Animal Rescue, Sonora, California — A 12-year-old gray mare, trapped in an abandoned mine for two weeks was rescued, shaken but apparently unharmed.  Lottie Pedro said the mare, Rena, vanished January 15.  Ranch hands searched every day.  She was found Tuesday, the 29th, in the 20-foot mine shaft.  Wednesday, in a drenching rain storm, the mare was given a tranquilizer shot and hauled out with block and tackle.  The thin old horse lay down for a few minutes, then got up and trotted to the barn.  Source document PDF Format
1964 Stanley Johnson was rescued after his 27-hour entrapment following a cave-in at a MacKay, Utah lead and copper mine owned by Empire Copper Mines.  Johnson suffered only a bad cold following his ordeal.  He was rescued by workmen who found an unused and uncharted back entrance to the mine.  The rescue operations had nearly been halted by frozen ground and cold temperatures just before the old tunnel was found.  The rear entrance led workers to within six feet of the cubicle where Johnson was trapped.  There were no others killed or injured in the accident.  Source document External Link
1965 And then there was this chain of events that produced one of the more unusual rescues seen here.  Would-be rescuer Johnny Miller became lost for 9 hours in a Dewar, Oklahoma abandoned mine while searching for Jackie Madewell, age 23.  Madewell was a Tulsa County prisoner being held on a bad check charge.  He apparently convinced a Tulsa police detective to allow him to enter the abandoned mine in search of stolen loot taken in nearby burglaries.  When Madewell failed to return to the surface, Johnny Miller, a retired miner, went into the mine to locate Madewell, but he got lost instead.  The story ended well when additional rescuers located Miller and Madewell came out of the mine on his own with his light turned off.  There was no news of discovering the stolen loot.  Source document PDF Format
1967 Two miners, Virgil Williamson and Harry Silman, became trapped after a roof fall in the Shannopin Mine of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation.  Williamson was found dead early on January 24 and Silman was rescued after 2 hours.  Taken to the hospital, he was listed in fair condition, suffering from shock and bruises.  Source document External Link
Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Johannesburg, California — John Hawkins, 15, suffered a broken pelvis and cuts and bruises in an 80-foot fall at Johannesburg and was in fair condition at a Ridgecrest hospital.  Hawkins slipped into a loosely covered shaft 40 miles east of Mojave while searching with three cousins for old whisky, medicine and other bottles which are sought as collector's items.  He disappeared without anyone immediately realizing it.  He was located after an intensive all-night search by 40 deputies and members of the Kern County sheriff's search and rescue team, a helicopter from China Lake Ordnance Test Center and a group of local miners.  On the same day, some 68 miles away, Gordon Mahoney, 37, a silver mine explorer from Anaheim, sustained a broken shoulder and ankle as well as facial cuts when he fell 20 feet down a shaft near Barstow.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Silver Mine Fall of Person, Barstow, California — Gordon Mahoney, 37, a silver mine explorer from Anaheim, sustained a broken shoulder and ankle as well as facial cuts when he fell 20 feet down a shaft near Barstow.  Mahoney was exploring an old silver mine with W. V. Thornton of Barstow, who summoned San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies to carry Mahoney out in a wire basket.  On the same day, some 68 miles away, John Hawkins, 15, suffered a broken pelvis and cuts and bruises in an 80-foot fall at Johannesburg.  Source document PDF Format
1969 Twelve miners were rescued after being trapped more than six hours after a fire at the Christopher Coal Company, Humphrey No. 7 mine near Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.  Eleven of the miners were walked out by rescuers, one man was removed by stretcher.  Source document External Link
1972 Abandoned Red Rooster Gold Mine Fall of Person, Adelanto, California — A 19-year-old rockhound was rescued 3 hours after he fell 160 feet down the shaft of an abandoned gold mine.  Alan Chamberlain of Adelanto, who was lifted out of the mine on a stretcher, was taken to the March Air Force Base hospital with a broken right thigh and hand and numerous cuts and bruises.  Sheriff's deputies said Chamberlaine had been investigating a 15-foot deep side shaft at the Red Rooster gold mine in the foothills of Shadow Mountain.  After dragging a box full of equipment from the hole, Chamberlain stepped backward into the main shaft and fell to the bottom, striking timbers several times on the way down.  A friend called for help and a sheriff's department search and rescue team along with two tow trucks arrived several minutes later.  Deputies said Dave Stever, a member of the rescue unit, was lowered down the shaft about 50 feet above Chamberlaine but the deputy was painfully, but not seriously hurt when he struck a timber and had to be brought out.  A civilian volunteer was lowered next and he managed to reach the youth and give him first aid before he was placed on a stretcher and pulled out by winch and cable nearly three hours later.  Authorities said the gold mine had not been worked in nearly a decade and no barricades or warning signs were posted near the mine as required by law.  Source document PDF Format
1975 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Calveritas, California — William Kerr, 31, escaped injury in a 35-foot fall down in a mine shaft.  Kerr, his mother, and their family dog were walking in a field near their home when the dog fell down the 75-foot-deep shaft.  Kerr got a rope and began lowering himself down the shaft to retrieve the small dog.  The rope broke when Kerr reached the half-way mark and he fell to the bottom of the shaft.  Mrs. Kerr ran to a nearby telephone and called sheriff's deputies for help.  Officers pulled out both Kerr and the dog with the aid of safety harnesses and lines.  Kerr suffered only minor cuts and abrasions and the dog had no apparent, injuries, officers said.  Source document PDF Format
1984 Unnamed Mine Cave-in, Sidney, Kentucky — James G. Thornsbury rescued Frederick J. Pinson from a cave-in, Sidney, Kentucky, January 23, 1984.  Pinson, 31, was seated in the operator's cab of a mining machine when a large section of the ceiling of the mine in which he was working collapsed atop the machine, trapping him.  Thornsbury, 25, miner, who had been working nearby, fled the area of the fall.  Hearing Pinson's cries for help, Thornsbury returned to the edge of the collapsed ceiling, under which there was a narrow space.  Despite additionally falling rock, Thornsbury crawled into the space and proceeded to clear a path to Pinson.  Upon reaching Pinson, Thornsbury assisted him from the cab, then crawled with him from beneath the fallen ceiling.  Pinson suffered bruised ribs but fully recovered.  James Thornsbury was awarded the Carnegie Hero Medal for his bravery.  Source document External Link
1986 Ophir Canyon Mine Shaft Rescue, Ogden, Utah — An Ogden Scout leader, Steven F. Stanford, 65, was rescued from an Ophir Canyon mine shaft by Tooele County Search and Rescue volunteers.  Mr. Sanford had trouble with his equipment when hiking the mile route to the cave and the five boys accompanying him went ahead of him.  While searching for the boys, however, Mr. Stanford made a wrong turn and fell down a 70-foot incline, then dropped another 20 feet to the bottom of the cave.  The Scout leader had suffered a broken wrist, strained knee, and sprained ankle from the fall, Deputy Park said.  Rescuers hoisted him out from the cave and administered first aid.  After walking out of the cave, Mr. Stanford was placed on a stretcher and transported down the mountainside.  He was taken to the Tooele hospital.  Source document PDF Format
Rothermel Coal Company Mine Cave-in, Lincoln Colliery, Pennsylvania — A cave-in killed one man and briefly trapped four others according to a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Resources.  The body of Clayton Knorr, 21, of Gordon was recovered from the Rothermel Coal Company mine and he was pronounced dead by the Schuylkill County deputy coroner about 45 minutes later.  It was believed the cave-in occurred after an explosive charge was detonated.  Source document PDF Format
1987 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Twentynine Palms, California — A 20-year-old Marine who fell into a 40-foot-deep desert mine shaft was rescued after an undisclosed period by sheriff's deputies.  The deputies from a San Bernardino County search and rescue team hoisted Andrew Poll from the bottom of the shaft.  Poll, stationed at Twentynine Palms, suffered only scratches in the fall and did not require medical treatment.  Source document PDF Format
1992 Ozark Mahoning Mine No. 1 Equipment Fire, Cave in Rock, Illinois — The rescue of four fluorspar miners near Cave in Rock was a successful trial by fire for two of the Illinois Department of Mines and Minerals' mine rescue teams.  The miners were trapped inside the Ozark Mahoning Mine No. 1, north of Cave in Rock, after a 10-fon truck was engulfed in flames on January 7.  The diesel truck apparently caught fire after a hydraulic line ruptured and leaked oil on the hot engine.  The four miners were working near the truck.  As the fire raged out of control, they lost their communication link with the surface.  Mine Superintendent Larry Bowers called the IDMM's Springfield office.  Fred Bowman, the department's administrative director, took the call at 10 a.m.  It was the beginning of a long day.  "We sent the rescue folks below," Bowman said.  The "rescue folks" are mine rescue teams from Elizabethtown and Du Quoin.  The Elizabethtown team is composed of fluorspar miners from the Ozark Mahoning mine and is headed by Bowers.  That team was activated at 10:10 a.m.  "Those men are primarily working in the immediate area and are fluorspar miners," Bowman said.  "But we must have a backup team."  So, another team was activated at 10:30 a.m. one composed entirely of state coal mine inspectors, all employees of IDMM.  A third team, the White County Mine Pattiki Team, was placed on standby but did not have to be activated.  The first team went into the mine at 12:40 p.m. and at 1:25 p.m. Bowman was notified that the four miners were safe.  They had put out the fire themselves, and there were no injuries.  The truck was destroyed, but there was little other damage.  Source document PDF Format
1993 Whitwell Mine No. 30 Roof Fall, Whitwell, Tennessee — Investigators were trying to determine what caused a 100-foot-long, 14-foot-wide rock to fall at Whitwell Mine No. 30, killing two miners and injuring two others.  The mine is in a remote location on Daus Mountain, about 50 miles northeast of Chattanooga.  Robert Dempsey was rescued after 10 hours and taken to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga for emergency treatment.  He had to have at least two fingers amputated as part of the rescue and was in undetermined but apparently non-life-threatening condition.  The fourth miner, William Watts, was in good condition at Whitwell Medical Center with bruises on his head and cuts on his scalp.  Source document PDF Format
1998 Abandoned Mine — Dog Rescue, Avra Valley, Arizona — A male Chow Chow — hungry, thirsty and too weak to stand — was rescued from an abandoned mine shaft where firefighters said the dog may have been trapped up to a week.  Ten firefighters and rescue workers from Northwest Fire District worked for nearly 90 minutes to lift it safely from the 30-foot-deep pit in Avra Valley.  The Pima County Animal Control officer who took the dog to the county shelter, said it hadn't eaten in at least a week.  The dog was treated for dehydration, malnutrition, infections in both eyes, and minor injuries it received from the fall into the shaft.  Source document PDF Format
2003 Injured miner Aaron Meyer, three Sheriff's Deputies and a Paramedic clambered into an oversized bucket attached to a crane following the McElroy Mine Shaft Explosion at Cameron, West Virginia, which lowered them to the injured miners below.  They successfully rescued Benjamin Bair, 23, and Richard Brumley, 51.  On September 29, 2005, the five men were awarded the Carnegie Medal for Heroism.  Included were Aaron Meyer, Jack Cain, Pat Mull, Brent Wharry and Steve Cook.
2006 One miner, Randal McCloy Jr., is found alive after 40 hours following the Sago Mine Explosion in West Virginia.  Twelve miners died in the accident.  This disaster prompted the creation of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act).
2010 Three Missouri miners were rescued from a DPOS after being trapped more than 5 hours in the No. 29 mine of the Doe Run Company near Viburnum on January 21, 2010.  Their escape was cut off when a 30-ton haul truck caught fire.  The trapped miners were: Robert McClain, truck driver; Michael Byers, loader operator; and Timothy Yount, scaler operator.  See more.
2015 Keystone No. 1 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Keystone, West Virginia — In January 2015, a McDowell County man had to be rescued from the Keystone No. 1 mine after entering it to steal copper, officials said (see page 2).  The injured man and his partner became separated after entering the mine.  The partner made his way out, but the injured man did not.  According to a source with knowledge of the incident, the trespasser survived 20 hours in 12 percent oxygen in a rescue effort lasting 6-8 hours.  Source document External Link
Abandoned Mine Animal Rescue, Tuttletown, California — Molly the cow was rescued from almost certain death at the bottom of a Tuttletown mine shaft by UC Davis veterinarians on Jan. 22.  Her owner, Antoinette Nichols, went looking for the family pet Jan. 19 after Molly didn't return to her corral that day.  Nichols spotted her in a 30-foot hole.  Molly was fed and given water, but Nichols and the Yolo County Sheriff's Office had no way to get her out.  After three nights, the Sheriff's Office called UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team to rescue Molly.  Nichols was on hand to comfort the 1,200-pound cow as the team began her extraction.  "Molly, we ve had since birth," Nichols said.  "She's always been special.  One day old, she came up to humans, and every now and then you have to dodge her because she gives you a big lick."  Molly is a 9-year-old Brahman cow, a breed known for "snorty and aggressive behavior," according to Dr. John Madigan, a professor at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and head of VERT.  The response team sedated Molly before bringing her up for their own safety.  The team attached her to a lift specially designed by UC Davis veterinarians for picking up large animals and brought her out of the hole.  Molly was uninjured and returned to her corral following her rescue.  Source document PDF Format
2016 Cargill Salt Elevator Incident, Lansing, New York — Rescue crews freed 17 miners in upstate New York after they spent a terrifying 10 hours down in one of the world's deepest salt mines.  The first four of the Cargill Salt miners emerged to the surface in a basket around 7 a.m.  The rest were rescued from the salt mine over the next two hours.

Rescuer Deaths in January
1904 Harwick Mine Explosion, Cheswick, Pennsylvania — Of 175 mine workers underground at the time, the single survivor was the severely burned 16-year-old, Adolph Gunia.  Other casualties included Daniel A. Lyle and the mine engineer, Selwyn M. Taylor, who both gave their lives in rescue attempts after responding to the scene.  Greatly touched by Taylor's and Lyle's sacrifice, Andrew Carnegie had medals privately minted for their families, and within two months had established a $5 million Carnegie Hero Fund as a result.
1906 Haverstraw Clay Pit Collapse, Haverstraw, New York — After a house was toppled into a pit cut by clay diggers in Haverstraw, NY, five men went to the rescue to aid their neighbors.  After the first house fell, twelve other houses went crashing over the precipice.  The wreckage quickly caught fire, and those who were in the mass were either crushed or burned to death.  Nineteen persons were killed.
1909 Zeigler Mine Explosion, Zeigler, Illinois — During recovery operations following a fire at this mine, an explosion occurred and three men were killed instantly.
Northwestern Mine Asphyxiation, Ashford County, Washington — After a miner fired shots in the Northwestern coal mine, an explosion occurred.  Another victim (Dinkler), with others, went to rescue the shotfirer, but was overcome by afterdamp before he could.
1911 Unnamed Mine Asphyxiation, Butte, Montana — Michael L. Belangie, 33, miner, died attempting to help save Dennis Lynch, 53, repairman, and Stephen Hogan, 57, pumpman, from suffocation, Butte, Montana, January 14, 1911.  Belangie, who had already made two trips into a copper mine, was one of a party of four men who made two trips to the pump station on the 1,000-foot level in search of Lynch and Hogan, who had been overcome by smoke from a fire in the mine.  On the second trip through the station, Belangie was overcome.  The others went on and rescued Lynch and Hogan, but when Belangie was gotten out, about 10 minutes later, he was dead.  Lynch and Hogan were revived.  Source document External Link
1912 Cherry Valley Mine Fire, Cherry Valley, Pennsylvania — John Ferrell of the U.S. Bureau of Mines was killed while exploring a mine in which a fire was raging. Ferrell had been in charge of the Bureau of Mines Rescue Car No. 5 since October 1911.  At a mine rescue a few weeks earlier at Briceville, Tennessee, Ferrell rescued five men.  It is unknown if any others were killed or injured in the Cherry Valley Mine Fire.
1914 Boston Mine Fire, Bingham, Utah — Three of the deceased in the Boston mine fire were Austrians, who on hearing that two of their countrymen were in the smoke-filled workings rushed in at 9 o'clock a.m. to attempt a rescue.  Their bodies were brought out at 10 o'clock that night by three rescuers wearing oxygen helmets.  The three attempting the rescue were Mike Osich, Josep Stemich, and Robert Duich.
Vulcan Mine Explosion, Newcastle, Colorado — E. E. Shumway, 51, president and general manager of the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company, died on January 12, 1914 as the result of inhaling poisonous gases while working with rescuers after the explosion at the Vulcan Mine on December 17, 1913 at Newcastle, Colorado.  Source document PDF Format
Cleveland Cliffs Iron Mine Asphyxiation, Negaunee, Michigan — John S. Barrett died attempting to save Victor A. Erickson from suffocation in the Negaunee iron mine of the Cleveland Cliffs Company at Negaunee, Michigan on January 11, 1914.  During a fire in an iron mine, Erickson, 31, mine timberman, who was wearing an oxygen helmet, was overcome on a level over 700 feet below the surface.  Barrett, 44, night mine captain, and a younger man, each wearing an oxygen helmet, went 120 feet through smoke and gas and in darkness to Erickson.  They grasped him and dragged him about 70 feet toward a place of safety, going through deep mud as rapidly as they could, then Barrett released his hold on Erickson, called for help, and fell.  His companion proceeded to safety alone.  Others without helmets made efforts to drag Barrett to fresh air but were unsuccessful.  While these efforts were being made, Barrett requested one man leave him because of the danger to the man.  This man was overcome, but he was immediately removed to a place of safety and was revived.  Within half an hour a shaft was opened, and the smoke and gas escaped from the mine.  Barrett was taken to the surface and was found to be dead.  Erickson revived.  John Barrett was posthumously awarded the Carnegie Hero Medal.  Source document 1 External Link  Source document 2 PDF Format
1919 Mount Braddock Mine Fire, Mount Braddock, Pennsylvania — As the result of fire and gas fumes in the Mount Braddock mine of the W. J. Rainey Coal Company, two men died, four were trapped in the mine and two were rescued.  The dead miners, Samuel Hardy, 28, and Clyde Foltz, 33, lost their lives in an attempt to aid their trapped comrades.  The missing men were James Russell, 45, Frank Largen, 25, Charles Lurch, 27, and Elmer Matthews, 38.  Jack Cole, 32, and Herman Earhart, 36, were rescued at 6 p.m. on January 20.  Cole, Earhart, and the missing men entered the mine on an inspection tour when gas was discovered earlier in the morning.  When they did not return, Hardy and Foltz entered in a coal car to which a cable was attached.  Miners on the outside were to withdraw the car on signal.  After waiting 20 minutes the men withdrew the car and found both occupants dead.  Little hope was held out for the men that were still trapped.  Source document PDF Format
1943 Pursglove No. 15 Mine Fire, Pursglove, West Virginia— During the fire at the No. 15 mine of the Pursglove Mining Company, an act of heroism cost the life of Guy Quinn, 38-year-old night-foreman, who escaped after the fire but returned to open two ventilating doors in an effort to save his trapped comrades.  He had managed to open one door but was overcome while working on the other.  Source document External Link

Mine Accident Research Documents
MSHA's Fatality Archive Database External Link
This searchable database was created by the National Mine Health and Safety Academy library External Link as an index to its collection of fatality reports.  To begin, select the filters tab on the upper left of the screen and identify your search criteria. (screenshot)
Successful Mine Rescues  (MS Word format)    (PDF format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 1,350 successful rescues in the United States.  See more.
More Successful Mine Rescues from 1916 and 1917
Contains summary information about 18 incidents from these years where miners were rescued.  Source: USBM Annual Report
Successful Anthracite Mine Rescues  (PDF format)
Independent of the main Successful Mine Rescues file above, this collection contains only those rescues that have occurred in the Anthracite mining region of Pennsylvania.  See more.
Incidents of Rescuer Death  (MS Word format)    (PDF format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 135 incidents of rescuer death in the United States.  See more.
Carnegie Hero Award Recipients  (PDF 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 PDF 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 Killed 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
This publication is a sequel to I.C. 7279 and contains information on eight deaths among wearers of oxygen breathing apparatus that were overlooked in the original compilation.  Also summarized here.
Utah Abandoned Mine Rescues (PDF format)
From 1977 to 2017, this document provides a summary of 19 incidents of rescue from abandoned mines.
Summary of Instances of Barricading (PDF format)
This document provides a summary of the outcomes of 32 incidents of barricading in US mines from 1909 to 1935.
Mine Accident and Fatality Resources by State
A nationwide and state-by-state collection of documents sure to meet the needs of practically all mine accident and disaster researchers.
Nationwide Accidents
File Collection
Accidents PDF Page Link
Nationwide Fatalities
File Collection
Fatalities PDF Page Link
Nationwide Disasters
File Collection
Disasters PDF Page Link