January Mine Disaster Anniversaries in 2021


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1
2


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

3
4


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

5
6
7


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

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

8


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

9


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

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

10


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

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

View the planets for this day1893
Como
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
Explosion
Herrin, IL
No. Killed - 11

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

11
12


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

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

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

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

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

14


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

15


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

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

16


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

17
 
18


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

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

19
20
21


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

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

22


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

1959
River Slope
Mine Inundation
Port Griffith, PA
No. Killed - 12

23


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

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
Explosives
Witteville, OK
No. Killed - 14

25


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

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

26


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

View the planets for this day1907
Lorentz
Explosion
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

27


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

28


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

29


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

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

30
31


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

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Did You Know? January has produced 86 mine disasters with 5 or more fatalities; 71 successful rescues (longest - 1 week); and the death of 17 rescuers in 8 incidents.

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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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  
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
1941 John Ryan, 28, died shortly after he had been rescued from a "bootleg" coal mine near Pottsville, Pennsylvania in which he had been trapped for 48 hours.  Joseph Slane, 30, who was trapped with Ryan was rescued after a third miner, Vincent Burns, had spread the alarm.  Source document External Link
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
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.
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 Jell 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
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
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
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
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  
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  
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
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 9½ hours in a Dewar, Oklahoma abandoned 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
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
1984 Unnamed Mine Cave-in, Sidney, Kentucky — James G. Thornsbury rescued Frederick J. Pinson from a cave-in, Sidney, Kentucky on January 23, 1984.  Pinson, 31, was seated in the operator's cab of a mining machine when a large section of the roof of the mine in which he was working collapsed atop the machine, trapping him.  Thornsbury, 25, 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 awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery. Source document PDF Format
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
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
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.
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
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.

Mine Accident Research Documents
Successful Mine Rescues  (MS Word format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains hundreds of successful rescues in the United States.  See more.  
Successful Mine Rescue Durations  (MS Excel format)
This MS Excel file contains a chronological list of hundreds of successful rescues from 1846 to the present.  Each rescue event listed contains a web or document link to additional information about the event.
Incidents of Rescuer Death  (MS Word format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 100 incidents of rescuer death in the United States.  See more.  
Carnegie Hero Award Recipients  (MS Excel format)
Inspired by the bravery that Daniel A. Lyle and Selwyn M. Taylor External Link displayed at the Harwick Mine Disaster in 1904, Andrew Carnegie started the Carnegie Hero Fund External Link.  The file linked here includes awardees associated with mining along with additional resources which you may find interesting.
Children Killed in Mine Accidents (MS Excel format)
This is a compilation of more than 100 incidents involving the death of children in mines.  Source documentation links are provided.  See more.  
Women in Mine Accidents (MS Excel format)
This is a compilation of more than 50 incidents involving the death of women in mines.  Source documentation links are provided.  See more.  
Loss of Life Among Wearers of Oxygen Breathing Apparatus
From 1911 to 1940, 26 men lost their lives while wearing oxygen breathing apparatus.
And many, many more . . .