July Mine Disaster Anniversaries in 2021


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View the planets for this day1944
Powhatan
Mine Fire
Belmont, OH
No. Killed - 66

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7


View the planets for this day1912
Eureka Pit
Mine Explosion
Ely, NV
No. Killed - 10

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9


View the planets for this day1942
Pursglove No. 2
Mine Explosion
Pursglove, WV
No. Killed – 20

10


View the planets for this day1902
Rolling Mill
Mine Explosion
Johnstown, PA
No. Killed - 112

View the planets for this day1941
Acmar No. 6
Mine Explosion
Acmar, AL
No. Killed - 11

View the planets for this day1879
Standard
Explosives
Bodie, CA
No. Killed - 10

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12
13


View the planets for this day1911
Sykesville
Mine Fire
Sykesville, PA
No. Killed - 21

View the planets for this day1872
Atwater Slope
Mine Fire
Portage County, OH
No. Killed - 10

14


View the planets for this day1939
Duvin
Mine Explosion
Providence, KY
No. Killed - 28

15


View the planets for this day1940
Sonman
Mine Explosion
Portage, PA
No. Killed - 63

View the planets for this day1902
Daly West/Ontario
Asphyxiation
Park City, UT
No. Killed – 34

View the planets for this day1937
Baker
Mine Explosion
Sullivan, IN
No. Killed – 20

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23


View the planets for this day1892
York Farm
Mine Explosion
Pottsville, PA
No. Killed - 15

View the planets for this day1925
Rockwood
Mine Explosion
Rockwood, TN
No. Killed - 10

24


View the planets for this day1947
Old Ben No. 8
Mine Explosion
West Frankfort, IL
No. Killed - 21

View the planets for this day1912
Superba and Lemont
Mine Inundation
Evans Station, PA
No. Killed - 18

25


View the planets for this day1924
Gates No. 1
Mine Explosion
Brownsville, PA
No. Killed - 10

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27


View the planets for this day1948
King
Mine Explosion
Princeton, IN
No. Killed - 13

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30


View the planets for this day1948
Edgewater
Mine Explosion
Birmingham, AL
No. Killed - 11

31

Successful Mine Rescues Rescuer Deaths All July Mine Disasters

Successful Mine Rescues in July
1887 Grand Junction Mine Inundation, Des Moines, Iowa — After an imprisonment of 110 hours in the Grand Junction mine, Charley Saunders was released and rescued.  The mine was flooded by the nearby caving of an old shaft.  The rising water had compressed the air which sustained him in the small chamber he occupied.  After his rescue, he complained of hunger, but otherwise he was quite well.  Source document PDF Format
1892 Lost Miner Found at Gaylor Shaft, Plymouth, Pennsylvania — Terence O’Brien, age 70, was rescued from the Gaylor shaft at Plymouth, Pennsylvania.  O’Brien, a foreman, had been lost in the mine and without food for 52 hours.  His light had gone out and he wandered off in an old heading.  It was speculated that he might become insane from his experience.  Source document PDF Format
1895 Pewabic Mine Cave-in, Pewabic, Michigan — The entombed miners at the Pewabic mine who had been buried for 56 hours were all rescued alive.  None were injured by the fall of ground, but all suffered greatly from thirst and hunger as no drinking could be obtained and they had nothing to eat.  Thousands of people were at the mouth of the shaft when the imprisoned men were hoisted to the surface.  When the men heard the crash of timbers, they managed to escape to a dry drift on the first level, and after the fall had ceased started to dig their way out.  They had drifted twenty-feet when the rescuing party burst through from their side, and were about exhausted when reached.  The drifting by the entombed made their rescue several hours-earlier than had been expected.  Source document PDF Format
1897 Mammoth Gold Mine Cave-in, Phoenix, Arizona — James Stevens was trapped for 13 days and 10 hours in the Mammoth mine near Phoenix, Arizona.  He had no food for the entire time since he had eaten his lunch before the cave-in occurred.  His water supply was gone in three days.  According to the report, his 160-pound frame was reduced to no more than 90 pounds.  His mind was clear although he admitted to thoughts of suicide towards the end of his wait.  Rescuers waited until it was dark to bring him out, fearing the light of day might damage his eyes.  Source document PDF Format
1898 Richmond No. 3 Mine Fire, Scranton, Pennsylvania — After an undisclosed period, 40 men were saved from a fire in the Richmond No. 3 mine of the Elk Hill Coal & Iron Company near Scranton, Pa.  The miners owe their rescue to the bravery of Foreman Hugh McCutcheon.  Fire broke out in the engine and fan houses at the head of the shaft.  McCutcheon was lowered to the bottom vein and gave the men warning.  As he stepped away from the carriage, the fan house collapsed and fell down the shaft.  Within five minutes smoke and gases filled the workings, but the men were able to reach the surface via a slope to the 2nd and 1st veins.  Source document PDF Format
1900 Lehigh Coal Company Colliery Cave-in, Centralia, Pennsylvania — Rescuers successfully removed two miners that were trapped nearly 12 hours in the Lehigh Coal Company Colliery near Centralia, Pennsylvania.  John Shutt from Bucks Patch suffered no injury, however, the second miner rescued, George Bulla, was found with a huge piece of coal on his chest and died as soon as he was brought to the surface.  Source document PDF Format
1902 Rolling Mill Mine Explosion, Johnstown, Pennsylvania — Four men who were brought out alive the night of the Rolling Mill mine disaster were taken to the Memorial Hospital, controlled by the Cambria Steel and Iron Company.  Among these were John Rotalick, Henry Rodgers, Valentine Schalla, and William Robinson.  And the next day, at 2 o’clock p.m., rescuers sent out for medical assistance to treat three others found alive.  They were John Cook, Philip McCann and George Hologyak.
1903 Big Mountain Colliery Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Eighteen miners were rescued from a cave-in after an undisclosed period in the Big Mountain Colliery at Shamokin, Pennsylvania.  All the miners were found alive and uninjured.  Source document PDF Format
1904 Daniel Davis died attempting to save William Monroe from suffocation, Sherodsville, Ohio, July 11, 1904.  Davis, 23, coal miner, was overcome by black damp while walking into a mine to rescue Monroe, 38, who was helpless from the gas but was later rescued.  Source document.
1905 Fuller Mine Explosion, Searights, Pennsylvania — The rescuing party had a remarkable escape from death.  They had gone to the bottom of the shaft for the last body and had the body securely fastened to the bottom of the temporary rigged bucket when the concrete wall and timbering about the top of the shaft tumbled down a distance of 70 feet.  The timbers caught in such a manner over the top of the bucket as to save the men who were huddled in it from instant death.  They were buried, however, by hundreds of tons of concrete and scaffolding.  Enough crevices were left in the wreckage to supply them with air until they were rescued in half an hour.
Pond Creek Mine Rescue, Hazleton, Pennsylvania — John Dusheck saved the life of Miss Emma Martin while conducting a sight-seeing party of the Pond Creek mine near Hazleton.  While in the mine, a gust of wind blew out the lights and Miss Martin went ahead in the darkness.  Just as she came upon the brink of a 100-foot shaft, Dusheck seized her, saving her from an awful death.  The end of the article states "the incident broke up the trip."  Indeed!  Source document PDF Format
Jeddo Mine Cave-in, Upper Lehigh, Pennsylvania — For nearly seven hours Andrew Wisda, a miner, was entombed in the Jeddo mines, and was rescued alive.  Wisda was working in a breast fifty feet up from the gangway, when a heavy fall took place below him.  He was unconscious when taken out, but soon revived in the air.  Source document PDF Format
1907 Shenandoah City Mine Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — In the Shenandoah City mine, Michael Wilcoski, a miner, was rescued from almost certain death by a rescue party.  Wilcoski was loading a car in a gangway when a fall of coal occurred, extending for over forty feet.  Large lumps of coal fell in such a position that Wilcoski was pinned fast, but the lumps served as support and the full weight of coal did not rest on him.  Rescuers worked for five hours before a tunnel was made and the walls braced so he could be released.  Source document PDF Format
North Franklin Colliery Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — After being entombed thirteen hours by a rush of coal in the North Franklin Colliery, the rescuing party reached William Crawford alive, but badly injured.  His brother, Emanuel, was found dead.  Source document PDF Format
Anthracite Mine Hole Fall of Person, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — While playing near a mine hole on the Locust Mountain, William Graham, Jr., had a narrow escape from death or serious injury from a fall.  The hole was perpendicular for a considerable distance, and then sloped gradually.  On the bottom of the lift was coal dirt which impeded the fall and saved the lad from death.   Upon landing he slid down the slope unable to check his progress.  Playmates, realizing the danger of their friend, summoned aid.  Ropes and ladders were lowered to Graham with instructions to attach himself to the rope and ladders to tops of cliffs when raised.  The child followed the orders and after an undisclosed period was hoisted to safety, bruised considerably.  Source document PDF Format
1908 Willamstown Colliery Explosion, Williamstown, Pennsylvania — Ten miners were removed from the mine after an undisclosed period badly burned and torn by the force of the explosion.  It was feared that several of them would die.  One of the injured men was taken to the morgue and it was not until an identification of the bodies was made that it was found that he was living.  The exact number of miners rescued is not known.  Seven miners perished in the disaster.
1909 Pennsylvania Railroad No. 14 Colliery Rescue, Plainsville, Pennsylvania — Caught fast in a pump in the No. 14 colliery of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company at Plainsville, Pennsylvania, Robert Taylor, the night engineer, was held while the water slowly rose about him.  It had reached his chin, as he stood on his toes, when rescuers reached him.  In a few minutes he would have been drowned.  He went into the working early in the morning to repair the pump and his hand was caught in the machinery.  As the pump stopped, the water began to rise.  His cries for help were not heard until four hours later.  Source document PDF Format
1912 Superba No. 2 Mine Inundation, Uniontown, Pennsylvania — At Evans Station, three miles from Uniontown, thirteen men were drowned in Superba No. 2 mine, better known as Polecat mine.  Following a cloudburst, a flood rushed into the mine way of the mine.  Thirty-seven men were rescued after a terrible experience. The men were down 1,000 feet from the mouth of the mine.  Source document PDF Format
Panama Mine Explosion, Moundsville, West Virginia — An explosion occurred in this mine causing the death of eight men.  There were 10 men in the mine at the time of the explosion.  Seven of these men died almost instantly from burns and suffocation; two others, badly burned, made their way to the shaft bottom and were hoisted to the surface.  One of these two men died on July 13.  The tenth man was found by the rescue party and brought out alive about 24 hours after the explosion.  It was the opinion of investigators that the explosion occurred when an accumulation of gas was ignited by an open light.
1913 Spruce No. 1 Mine Inundation, Eveleth, Minnesota — Due to a heavy rainstorm causing a nearby creek to overflow its banks, fifteen miners became trapped in the Spruce No. 1 mine.  Ten of these miners were freed later in the day of the flood, after more than 12 hours.  The remaining 5 miners' freedom required much more difficulty which lasted nearly 4 days.  While they had suffered greatly from bad air and hunger, it was believed they would all recover.  Source document PDF Format
1914 Banovich Silver Mine, near Tonopah, Nevada — Two men overcome by powder smoke at the bottom of a 95-foot shaft were brought out by two Bureau of Mines men from car 5.  The rescuers descended the shaft, tied ropes under the armpits of the unconscious miners, and had them hoisted to the surface, where oxygen and artificial respiration were used for two hours.  One miner fully recovered, but no sign of life appeared in the other miner.  Source document External Link  Source document 2 PDF Format
Pine Brook Colliery Inundation, Peckville, Pennsylvania — Patrick Crane, a driver boy for this Scranton Coal Company mine in Lackawanna County was caught in a rush of water while making his last trip with a mule.  At first, he was thought to be dead.  A searching party was formed and after an undisclosed period he was found in water up to his waist.  The mule was a short distance away.  The lad was taken to the surface, none the worst for his experience.  Source document PDF Format
1915 No. 14 Mine Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — After spending a day and part of a night entombed behind a rush of rock and coal at the No. 14 mine of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, Frank Clausius, 28, was rescued.  He was suffering greatly from shock, but only slightly from bruises which he sustained.  Source document PDF Format
William Penn Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Julius Kramitzski was rescued without a scratch after being trapped at the William Penn colliery for 5 hours.  Kramitzski was employed in the West Mammoth vein, No. 1 level.  He was engaged in chopping down an old prop when the top gave way closing him in.  When the entombed man was taken out, he said he did not feel any ill effects from his experience.  Source document PDF Format
Johnson Colliery Lost Person, Dickson City, Pennsylvania — Lawrence Brady, 60, was found in an abandoned working of the Johnson mine at Dickson City, near Scranton.  He had been wandering aimlessly for nearly 3 days in the darkness of an underground prison which seemed to offer no means of escape.  Brady was employed for a number of years at the Johnson colliery.  About three months earlier he quit his job, but instead of removing all of his tools, he hid some of them in an abandoned part of the workings.  Recently he became re-employed and decided to gather his hidden tools.  Knowing that he would be gone for some hours he carried a lunch with him in a dinner pail.  According to Brady’s story, he had only proceeded a short distance through an old chamber when the light of his lamp played out, and he was left in the darkness, not having any matches with him.  Rescuers found his dinner pail at the top of the heading and following the course indicated by its position, found the missing man.  Source document PDF Format
Eckhart Mine No. 3 Cave-in, Cumberland, Maryland — After having been imprisoned nearly a mile back in the earth behind 300 feet of fall of roof for 24 hours, four miners were rescued unscathed from the Eckhart Mine No. 3 of the Consolidation Coal Company.  State Mine Inspector William Walters headed the rescuing party.  The four imprisoned men walked out of the mine little the worse for their experience and sought their homes.  After the fall the trapped men could he heard talking, and this spurred on the rescuers.  Source document PDF Format
1916 On July 25, 1916, Garrett Morgan made national news for using his gas mask to rescue 32 men trapped during an explosion in an underground tunnel 250 feet beneath Lake Erie.  Morgan and a team of volunteers donned the new "gas masks" and went to the rescue.

After the rescue, Morgan's company received requests from fire departments around the country who wished to purchase the new masks.  The Morgan gas mask was later refined for use by U.S. Army during World War I.  In 1914, Garrett Morgan was awarded a patent for a Safety Hood and Smoke Protector.

Two years later, a refined model of his early gas mask won a gold medal at the International Exposition of Sanitation and Safety, and another gold medal from the International Association of Fire Chiefs.  See more.  Source document External Link
Lehigh No. 12 Colliery Cave-in, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — Joseph Kellert was rescued after a 32-hour entrapment in the No. 12 Colliery of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company.  He was caught by a fall of top rock and rescued uninjured after rescuers dug a 60-foot rock chute to reach him.  Source document PDF Format
Babcock Mine Cave-in, Joplin, Missouri — Four miners were rescued — 56 hours — after becoming trapped by a cave-in at the Babcock mine near Joplin, Missouri.  Source document PDF Format
Continental Colliery Cave-in, Centralia, Pennsylvania — Caught behind a rush of coal at the Valley Coal Company’s Continental colliery, John Mulligan, 50 years old, was a prisoner for eight hours, while rescuing forces took turns in working frantically to release him.  Mulligan was engaged in the hazardous task of removing pillars.  A safety Inspector making the rounds discovered the miner’s predicament and volunteers were quickly secured.  Mulligan failed to respond to rappings and the men thought that he had been crushed to death.  Mulligan said he felt exceedingly uncomfortable and that it was not until the last hour that he heard them working to dig him out.  The mine is the same in which Joseph (or John) Tomachefesky was imprisoned for eight days.  Source document PDF Format
1917 Rock Salt Mine Explosion, Ithaca, New York — 21 hours after the explosion of gas, one man was found alive at the bottom of the shaft by a Bureau of Mines rescue party.  His leg had been caught and he was trapped by some timber.  He was freed and taken to the surface.  The party started to recover the body of the other man and brought it to the surface about two hours later.
1918 Benton Mine Lost Miner, Benton, Illinois — Tony Dooering, a miner, was rescued from the Benton Coal Company mine at Benton, Illinois after being lost for two days without food or drink.  He was said to have started for the main shaft and became lost, wandering around in abandoned parts of the mine.  Several hundred searched the mine before he was found.  Source document PDF Format
1920 Brookside Colliery Cave-in, Tower City, Pennsylvania — Glen Jones, employed at robbing pillars in No. 4 slope, Brookside colliery, was caught by a fall of coal and for a time it was thought he had been killed.  It required several hours of hard and careful work to release him.  For almost two hours he had been doubled up with his knees against his breast and the heavy weight of the coal resting on him.  He was badly sprained and bruised and it will be some time before he would be able to be about.  No bones were broken.  Source document PDF Format
1922 Midway Mine Fire, Murphysboro, Illinois — Four men that went into the Midway Coal Company mine to investigate the fire became trapped and in need of rescue themselves. They were all safety removed uninjured from the mine after an undisclosed period.  Source document PDF Format
National Mine Fire, National, Nevada — After being imprisoned for four hours, Superintendent Joseph Bolam and Peter Madison were rescued from the National mine, 75 miles north of Winnemucca, Nevada.  The two men were working 1000 feet from the tunnel entrance and their escape was cut off because rock and dirt caved in as the fire progressed.  Source document PDF Format
1923 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Lamberton, Pennsylvania — Robert J. Royal rescued Albert E. Roby from a mine cave-in, Lamberton, Pennsylvania, July 12, 1923.  While Roby, 23, timberman’s helper, and Royal, 29, miner, were clearing a mine entry, which had been blocked by falls, a large chunk of slate fell, striking Royal on the back, temporarily paralyzing his legs.  It also fell on Roby, breaking his legs and pinning him to the ground.  Royal crawled 14 feet to a point in the entry which had been protected by timbering.  Upon calling to Roby and learning that he was injured and unable to move, Royal crawled to Roby, using his arms and dragging his legs.  He raised the chunk off Roby with considerable effort and held it up, using his left elbow and forearm as braces, while Roby moved from under it.  Small pieces of slate fell, but there was no further cave-in.  Roby and Royal then crawled to safety, and Royal dragged himself into a mine car and drove a horse hitched to the car 2,000 feet for help.  He was disabled seven months and Roby nine months from their injuries.  Mr. Royal was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source document External Link  
Northside Mine Cave-in, Bicknell, Indiana — Three miners and a Shetland pony were trapped by a cave-in at the Northside mine in Bicknell, Indiana.  On June 28, the three miners were rescued.  Because of the dangerous conditions, mine officials decided that the pony could not be rescued.  At the urging of the rescued miners, company officials consented to let the men continue with the rescue effort for the pony, and after — 10 days — of confinement, the pony was rescued.  Source document PDF Format
1926 Peach Orchard Mine Roof Fall, Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania — Seven miners were killed and eight others injured, some seriously, in a roof fall at the Peach Orchard mine of the Glen Alden Coal Company.  Four bodies had been recovered.  After an undisclosed period, eight others were rescued and taken to hospitals.  Source document PDF Format
1927 Rahn Colliery Inundation, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — Two miners were rescued after being confined for two hours in the flooded Rahn Colliery near Tamaqua. The rescued miners were Peter McHugh and John Smith. Palmer Jones, 19, drowned in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
1928 Locust Springs Colliery Inundation — A dam burst without warning and flooded the shaft in the Locust Gap Colliery.  Hearing the rush of the water, forty-nine men barely had time to reach a travelway, crawl into safety holes and make their way to the No. 1 level where they were rescued after an undisclosed period.  Only one of the men, James Carey, of Girardville, required medical attention.  He suffered from shock.
1931 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Bulan, Kentucky — Jesse Engle rescued Charles Napier from a mine cave-in. While Napier, 31, was working beside a mine car in a mine, a rock weighing approximately 56 tons fell from the roof, knocking him down, and rested on hard-packed coal 20 inches above the floor.  The fingers of one of his hands were pinned between the rock and the top of a box on the car, and his other arm was pinned under the end of the car.  For 40 minutes, Engle he made thrusts against the top edge of the box with iron bars, chipping it, and inserted wedges.  Napier then was able to free his hand.  Engle then reached under Napier and helped him free his other arm.  Engle backed out from beneath the rock, and Napier followed him.  The rock settled four inches during the act, and a half-hour later the rock had crushed the car and settled within three inches of the floor.  Two of Napier's fingers had to be amputated.  He was not otherwise injured.  Mr. Engle was awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source document External Link  
1933 Twelve miners were rescued after having been trapped for three hours by a fall of coal in the Locust Gap mine operated by the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company at Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania.  Source document External Link
1934 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, McComas, West Virginia — Joseph James Ellis and Armado Bucchi helped to rescue Walter J. Church from a mine cave-in, McComas, West Virginia, July 28, 1934.  As Church, 31, was standing between the side wall of a room in a coal mine and a mine car that was three feet from the wall, a block of slate eight feet long, six feet wide, and eight inches thick dropped from a long crack in the roof, covering the car and extending to within four inches of the wall.  Church was knocked to his knees, and one arm was pinned against the top of the side of the car.  Ellis, 45, miner, who was between the end of the car and the face of the coal, was struck a glancing blow by the slate and then got out of the room.  He heard slate dribbling from the roof and knew that dribbling slate often preceded a fall.  Calling that there had been a fall and getting an axe, Ellis crawled on his hands and knees four or five feet under the slate, which was but three feet above the floor, and chopped the side of the car four or five inches from Church's arm.  Another block of slate similar in size to the first then dropped on the first block, crushing the sides of the car so that the slate was but two feet above the floor.  A little later Ellis and Bucchi managed to move the side of the car, freeing Church's arm.  The three then backed from beneath the slate.  Church's arm was later amputated at the elbow.  He recovered otherwise.  Messrs. Joseph Ellis and Bucchi were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  Source document External Link  
1935 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Trevorton, Pennsylvania — Charles Hauser, 48, sustained a compound fracture of the right leg, lacerations and other injuries of the head, face and body yesterday while robbing pillars in a coal hole near Trevorton.  Working on a pitch, he lost his balance when a rock fell out of the top and struck him on the head.  Hauser, plunging down the hole, caused a slide which buried him for fifteen minutes.  Unconscious when rescued, he was taken to the Shamokin State Hospital for treatment.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, West Glendower, Pennsylvania — Trapped in an independent mine operation at West Glendower, Edward Kimmel, 30, was rescued alive four hours later and escaped with comparatively minor injuries.  Kimmel and two fellow workers were driving an independent mine hole when the workings suddenly collapsed, trapping Kimmel in back of the fall.  His companions summoned aid from nearby holes, and within a short, time a large force of men was engaged in removing debris.  After four hours, the mass of rock and coal was penetrated and Kimmel was found alive.  A physician gave Kimmel medical and surgical attention at the scene and he was conveyed to his home where he was expected to recover.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Asphyxiations, Bunker Hill, Pennsylvania — The presence of mind and courage of Bert Hoffa, 15, was responsible for the rescue of the boy's grandfather, John Bainbridge, from a damp-filled mine hole on the mountain north of Bunker Hill.  Bainbridge, a former borough fire chief, was at work in the mine hole with his grandson when he was overcome by black damp.  The boy, weakened himself and barely conscious, managed to drag his grandfather 100 feet underground to a point where the air was clearer.  There, almost exhausted but realizing that both might die if help was not secured, he climbed to the surface.  The boy's sudden emergence into pure air caused him to collapse unconscious at the top of the miniature mine, where he was found by a party of miners working nearby.  He was taken to his home, where he was revived by a physician.  Both damp victims would recover, physicians said.  Miners who found Hoffa and participated in the rescue of Bainbridge declared that the boy's feat of dragging his grandfather to safety was almost unbelievable in view of the youth's slight physique and the fact that he was severely affected by the damp himself.  Source document PDF Format
Menzel Mine Cave-in, Redding, California — After nine hours of frantic rescue work, Walter Straight, 47, a miner employed in the Menzel Mine, walked from the tunnel uninjured.  He had been imprisoned in a slide of thousands of tons of broken granite since the previous day.  Four workers in the mine immediately started removing the debris, in which Straight was buried shoulder high, and called for help from nearby Iron Mountain.  The Mountain Copper Company superintendent rushed eight men to the scene to assist in the rescue.  Working in shifts, the miners dug throughout the day, relieved as soon as they became exhausted.  Source document PDF Format
Lowry Farm Mine Asphyxiation, Thomas Hill, Missouri — Roy Dale, a 25-year-old miner was unconscious for nearly three hours from effects of carbon monoxide gas, after he was overcome in a mine near Thomas Hill.  He was taken to McCormick Hospital for treatment and recovered.  Dale and his father had been operating a slope mine on the Tom Lowry farm near Thomas Hill.  Working at the mine, they were pumping water, using a gasoline engine inside the mine to operate the pump.  The belt on the engine had been slipping and not working properly.  As they worked on the engine, they noticed the gas and realized they were becoming weak, so both started up the slope for the mine entrance.  When they were about 40 feet from the opening, Roy fell.  With assistance, young Dale was carried out and rushed to his home in Huntsville for treatment, and then was taken to the hospital.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Asphyxiations, Wiggans, Pennsylvania — Three miners were overcome by black damp after being trapped in a bootleg coal hole near Wiggans, and transported to the Locust Mountain Hospital for treatment.  Whether or not the afterdamp followed a discharge of dynamite or an explosion of gas had not been determined.  Those removed from the hole and rushed to the hospital in a truck were: Joseph Costa, Emanuel Garcia, and James Gonzales.  Their condition was reported as good.  Source document PDF Format
1936 Anthracite Bootleg Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Enock Kuklinskie, 35, was rescued 22 hours after being trapped in a 30-foot make-shift mine near Shamokin, Pennsylvania.  He was hospitalized in serious condition.  Source document PDF Format
1937 Baker Mine Explosion, Sullivan, Indiana — Four men, burned badly but still alive were rescued from the Baker coal mine shortly after the explosion trapped them and about 20 other miners.  Within the next two hours, eight more were rescued alive from the fire-swept area.  Only two of them had escaped severe burns.
Summitville Gold Mine Cave-in, Summitville, Colorado — Seven miners said they sang songs and "swapped yarns," while waiting nine hours to be rescued from a slide-closed tunnel in the Summitville gold mine a thousand feet below the surface.  Three of the men narrowly escaped being trapped beneath hundreds of tons of falling rock.  The slide broke through a chute paralleling the manway and closed the entrance to the tunnel.  The trapped men signaled to their fellow workers outside they were safe by tapping on an airline.  Compressed air was pumped to them during rescue operations and they were equipped with carbide lamps.  Crews directed by Edward Thornton, general superintendent, finally broke through the loose rock and delivered the imprisoned men.  The mine is in the San Luis Valley in southwestern Colorado, not far from Alamosa.  Source document PDF Format
1938 Five miners, buried alive for more than 48 hours following a cave-in at the Veta silver mine at Duncan, Arizona were brought safely to the surface by rescue crews.  The entombed men were Alfred Gillenwater, G. C. Robinson, D. H. Grissom, E. D. Wright, and Albert Carlson.  Source document External Link
Praco No. 7 Rock Fall Disaster — A roof fall occurred in this mine, trapping nine men, three of whom were rescued alive, severely shocked, with minor injuries.  One rescued alive, died, probably from shock, en route to the surface, and the remaining five bodies were dead when recovered.
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Michael Shurpenski, 45, recuperated in the Shamokin State Hospital after being saved from death in a mountain coal hole where he was entombed for nearly an hour.  He was rescued by WPA workers employed on a nearby road project.  Source document PDF Format
1939 Duvin Mine Explosion, Providence, Kentucky — Five of the men in the explosion area escaped, 4 being slightly cut and bruised.  A trip rider standing near a telephone at a parting was knocked down but received no injuries; he called the top foreman and then helped two injured men out of the smoke and fumes to a place where a locomotive was sent to bring them to the shaft.  Two of the rescued, Ernest Johnson and Douglas Cates, had been caught beneath the fallen walls, Dennis Walker, was not hurt.  William Reynolds, who had been working near the shaft was injured.
1940 Sonman "E" Mine Explosion, Portage, Pennsylvania — Some of the survivors of the blast were slightly burned by the hot air that rolled through the mine.  Thirteen of them came out of the 18th heading and eight escaped from the 16th heading.  Edward Bem, one of these survivors, said the men crawled on their hands and knees and finally made their way to the 'dip' where they were rescued after an undisclosed period.
Primrose Coal Company Mine Cave-in, Minersville, Pennsylvania — Anthony Epscavage was rescued after an undisclosed period from a fall of rock and coal which struck him at the Primrose Coal Company.  He was released by fellow workers and removed to the Warne Hospital in the Community Ambulance.  He underwent an operation at the hospital for a dislocated right shoulder and left ankle, and his condition was reported as being fairly good.  Source document PDF Format
1942 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Raven Run, Pennsylvania — John Mischishin, 47, Frackville, was trapped and entombed in a bootleg mine slope at Raven Run for 23 hours.  The miner was working at the bottom of a 53-foot slope when the timbers collapsed.  When the break came the timbers formed a partial canopy over the worker to protect him from crumbling rock, coal and earth.  When the collapse occurred, the trapped miner was buried to the hips, while a piece of rock knocked off his miner’s cap and lamp.  He hugged the side of the canopy formed by collapsed timbers until the rescuers removed tons of debris before they were able to extricate the entombed man.  Upon his release, physicians at Ashland State Hospital said Mischishin suffered hip and back injuries and was in a severe state of shock, but they anticipated his recovery.  Source document PDF Format
1943 Federal Colliery Inundation, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania — Six miners were rescued from the flooded Federal Colliery of the Ollett Coal Company after being trapped for 48 hours.  The rescue was largely successful due to the ingenuity of John Comp from the Red Cross.  Make-shift surf boards were fashioned by Comp and used by the trapped miners with his assistance.  The rescued miners were Henry Rheinstadler, Caesar Rua, Frank Albertini, Peter Carroll, John Bonassi, and Albert Long.  Source document PDF Format
1944 Ridgeway Darby Mine Fire, Harlan Kentucky — Eighteen miners trapped for nearly 20 hours were rescued from the flames in the Ridgeway Darby Coal Company Mine in Harlan, Kentucky.  Only one man, C. C. Wills, had to be carried from the mine.  Wills had been overcome by fumes but his condition was not serious.  Source document PDF Format
1947 Old Ben No. 8 Mine Explosion, West Frankfort, Illinois — At the time of the explosion 264 men were in the mine, and all those not in the immediate area of the explosion escaped, unaided.  All of the deaths were due to burns and violence resulting from the explosion.  Four men in the immediate explosion area were rescued after an undisclosed period but one man died approximately ten hours after being taken to the surface.
1948 Edgewater Mine Explosion, Birmingham, Alabama — A company spokesman said a pocket of gas apparently was set off near the junction of a new ventilation shaft with an old areaway.  About 50 men were working in the vicinity.  Most escaped through an air shaft and others trapped by gas, were brought to safety by rescue workers after an undisclosed period.
1949 Sizemore Truck Mine Cave-in, Toler, Kentucky — Rescuers brought out alive four men who were buried under a slate fall at the Sizemore Truck Mine.  The last of the victims was brought to the surface four hours after the fall occurred.  He was taken to a hospital with possible fractures of both legs.  One of the other three received treatment at the Williamson Hospital for shock, cuts and bruises.  The other two did not require hospitalization.  The accident occurred about 200 feet from the entry of the mine, which had been reopened recently.  Source document PDF Format
1962 Abandoned Quicksilver Mine Rescue, San Jose, California — After hours of walking around lost in the abandoned quicksilver mine, five children were located by rescuers including Sheriff’s deputies and a 17-year-old neighbor.  The lost teens included Eileen Patrino, 17; Robin Patrino, 9; Wayne Patrino, 4; Jim Butters, 17; and Mike Atchison, 17.  The children became lost when their light failed.  Source document PDF Format
1963 On July 12, 1963, in a miracle survival that confounded experts, three teenage boys were found alive after spending 2 days in an abandoned, gas-ridden mine.  The youngsters were found nearly a half-mile from the mouth of No. 2 shaft of Castle Shannon Coal Company which had not been used for more than 25 years.  Their rescuers were U. S. Bureau of Mines Inspectors Everett Turner, James Hutchens and Jennings Breedon.  The boys, Danny O'Kain, Billy Burke and Bobby Abbott were taken to St. Clair Hospital where they were treated for exposure and dehydration.  See Vintage VideoExternal Link  Source document. External Link
1966 Siltix Mine Explosion, Mount Hope, West Virginia — Eleven men in the 6 left section heard the explosion, but they were unaware of what actually happened, and they erected a barricade in the return entries about 250 feet from the entrance to the 6 left section when they encountered smoke and fumes in the return entries.  The men remained behind the barricade until they were rescued about 2 hours later.  After leaving the barricade, seven of these men assisted in recovery operations in the 2 left mains section; two of these seven employees and three additional men were overcome by smoke and fumes and were removed from the mine.
Glen Nan Mine Fire, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania — Fire in an air shaft trapped 150 miners for more than an hour in a Glen Nan Coal Company mine.  All were rescued. Stanley Ftorkowskl, Nanticoke fire chief, said at least 10 miners were taken unconscious to Nanticoke State hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.  A spokesman at the mine said 160 men were working in the mine when the fire broke out.  Ambulances from all nearby hospitals were dispatched to the scene.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Uranium Mine Cave-in, Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico — Three dirty but happy Indian miners, trapped all night 100 feet down in a New Mexico uranium mine, scrambled out unhurt Wednesday after a perilous rescue.  The trio had spent — 16 hours — in a cubicle four by eight feet in size, with eight feet of solid limestone separating them from a main tunnel of the small rimrock mine.  There were air holes into the chamber and rescuers were able to pass food into them through a passage drilled through the limestone.  The men were in good condition.  When they got out, they embraced their families, talked briefly to newsmen, shook the hands of their rescuers and then got in their cars and went home.  Source document PDF Format
1967 Maple Creek Mine Roof Fall, New Eagle, Pennsylvania — James T. Nagy, 25, miner, saved John W. Burns, 40, miner, from suffocation, New Eagle, Pennsylvania, July 24, 1967.  In a coal mine Burns, Nagy, another miner, and the foreman were at an intersection of passageways when a fall of coal and shale occurred.  The foreman was fatally crushed, and Burns, attempting to escape, was trapped when he fell, and his feet became engulfed by the edge of the debris pile forming from the fall.  Nagy, who with the other miner was clear of the fall, made his way around the pile and into another passageway.  He then saw that Burns was pinned under the edge of the fallen material, the sliding debris creeping up his thighs.  Nagy ran back to alongside Burns.  There still was some fall occurring at the opposite side of the intersection, and material from it continued to slide down the side of the pile.  Nagy removed debris from one leg of Burns. He then stepped to a position astride Burns and began removing debris from his other leg.  A block of shale slid down the pile, struck Nagy on the shoulder, and came to rest across the leg of Burns.  Nagy lifted the block from Burns and then uncovered most of his leg.  More sliding was heard at the top of the pile, which was about 12 feet high at its peak.  Stepping away from the pile, Nagy took hold of Burns under the armpits.  He then was joined by the other miner, who had made his way around the debris.  Nagy, aided by the other miner, pulled Burns free of the debris.  James Nagy received the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source document 1 External Link    Source document 2 PDF Format
1975 Piedmont Mineral Associates Mine Cave-in, Mineral, Virginia — Three miners who were trapped 150 feet underground by a cave-in at a zinc mine were brought safely to the surface by rescuers after an undisclosed period.  One suffered what were described as minor injuries.  Deputy Sheriff Louis Proffit of the Louisa County Sheriff ’s Department said the cave-in occurred at a mine operated by Piedmont Mineral Associates.  The three men were identified as Horace Sherry, George Dickson and Roosevelt Groom, who was taken to the University of Virginia Hospital.  Source document PDF Format
1978 Unnamed Noncoal Mine Rescue, Rock Canyon, Utah — Don Bateman, 16, of Castro Valley, California, suffered cuts and bruises when he fell 25 feet into a shaft in Rock Canyon.  He was exploring the mine with two companions at the time.  His companions summoned help.  Bateman was rescued by the then new Provo City Alpine Rescue Squad.  Source document PDF Format
1979 Gateway Mine Cave-in, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania — Five miners trapped by a rockfall for 4½ hours deep inside the Gateway Coal Company mine near Waynesburg were rescued without injury.  "It feels great," said John K. Self after he emerged from the mine and passed a medical checkup.  "It was a great rescue effort by the other miners to get us out" adding that he was "a little scared" during the ordeal.  The men were cut off from the mine entrance when the roof collapsed in a shaft about 460 feet below the surface.  Bill Gibbons, a spokesman for Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. which owns the mine, said the miners "were a little dusty, but there were no injuries.  The fall occurred between the mine entrance and their location.  They were not trapped in the debris."  Also trapped were Charles V. Ferguson, James Bell, Jr., Kenneth Beatty, and Robert S. Baker.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Abandoned Noncoal Mine Rescue, Eureka, Utah — Sean Winters, 13, Christian Brown, 14, and Curt Conrad, 17, of Eureka, and their dog decided to explore the mine.  The dog ran ahead and fell down a winze, landing on a ledge of rotting timbers 35 feet down, with a shaft of unknown depth below.  The boys left and returned with a rope.  They lowered Winters down to the ledge to retrieve the dog, but he got stranded there instead.  The others summoned help.  Winters and the dog were rescued by the Juab County sheriff.  Williams suffered scratches and bruises, shock, and a possible concussion from a rock that fell on his head.  Source: Eureka Reporter, July 27, 1979.
1982 Unnamed Abandoned Noncoal Mine Rescue, Fivemile Pass, Utah — Kerry West, 24, was recovering from his injuries at Utah Valley Hospital in Provo after he and his motorcycle fell 30 feet into a mine shaft.  The accident occurred in the area of Five Mile Pass, near the Utah-Tooele County border.  Mr. West and a friend were riding dirt bikes in the area when the victim apparently rode up a pile of mine tailing which led to a vertical mineshaft.  He and the motorcycle fell about 30 feet to the bottom of the shaft.  The bike apparently struck a ladder near the bottom of the shaft, which is believed to have broken the fall.  Mr. West suffered a broken leg and other injuries.  He was rescued by members of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office and by personnel from the Lehi Ambulance Association.  Source document PDF Format
1983 No. 9 Twilight Mine Roof Fall, Boone County, West Virginia — A coal miner trapped 13 hours under tons of rock said yesterday that he prayed and thought about his family because he figured he was in a "tight spot."  "I didn’t know whether they were going to get me out or not," said William Epling, 52, of Sharples.  Epling was trapped in a 4-by-4-foot space under the canopy of a mining machine after a 50-foot section of the mine roof collapsed about 2 a.m. Tuesday.  "I thought this might be my way to go.  I knew I was in a pretty tight spot."  Rescue crews reached Epling about 3 p.m., and the miner emerged from the Armco No. 9 Twilight mine in Boone County with just bruises and scratches.  Epling said he was helping cut the last coal out of a seam when the roof fell.  Epling said he was trapped once before by a roof fall, for about 90 minutes, but escaped Injury that time too.  Source document PDF Format
1988 Abandoned Monarch Noncoal Mine Rescue, North Willow Canyon, Utah — Phillip Butterfield, 15, entered the mine portal without a flashlight or safety gear and slipped down a 30-foot winze.  His father, William Butterfield, 44, went after him and could not climb out.  They were rescued by the Tooele County Sheriff’s search and rescue unit.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Maxfield Noncoal Mine Rescue, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah — John Mazuran, 16, and two companions tried to explore a winze located about half a mile inside the mine.  Mazuran lost his footing about 60 feet down and slid another 100 feet to the bottom.  He was unable to climb out.  His friends summoned the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office, which performed the rescue.  Source: Deseret News, August 4, 1988.
1993 Unnamed Mine Inundation, Wilkesville, Ohio — Daniel J. Beam and Charles Jody Neece helped to save eight men from drowning on July 11, 1993.  Eight miners were working in a distant area of an underground coal mine when millions of gallons of water from an adjoining, abandoned mine began to flood the corridors of the working mine.  The miners were alerted to the situation and ordered to evacuate.  They proceeded on foot toward the nearest elevator, unaware of the extent of the flooding ahead of them.  After a fire boss left, on foot, to get them to change their course, Beam, 46, mine supervisor, agreed to take a mine trolley more than three miles to the far end of the mine, where the miners and fire boss were expected.  When Beam reached that point, the men had not yet arrived, and he was unable to determine their location or the advance of the floodwater.  Rather than flee himself, Beam waited 50 minutes before the fire boss and miners appeared.  They boarded Beam's trolley and another one that was available and rode toward an elevator, picking up another fleeing miner on the way.  As the group proceeded, a power outage forced them to abandon the electrical conveyance, and they continued on foot.  When one of the men restored power to the trolleys, Beam turned, ran into the path of the advancing floodwater, and took a trolley to the others.  They resumed riding to the elevator, which they took to the surface of the mine shortly before floodwaters reached the bottom of the elevator shaft.  Both Mr. Beam and Mr. Neece were awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  Source document 1 PDF Format  Source document 2 PDF Format
2000 Willow Creek Mine Explosions & Fire, Helper, Utah — More than 10 hours following the explosions in the Willow Creek Mine, four injured miners were laboriously brought to the surface by mine rescue teams.  The rescued men included William Burton, Tyson Hales, Cory Nielsen and Shane Stansfield.  Two other miners were found dead by rescue personnel.
2002 Following an inundation of water from an adjacent abandoned mine, nine miners were rescued after being trapped more than 3 days in the Quecreek Mine in Friedens, Pennsylvania.  Source document External Link
2006 Abandoned Mine Lost Persons, Mammoth, West Virginia — Two men who illegally entered a closed coal mine to search for scrap metal to sell were rescued after they became lost about 3,000 feet inside the mine.  Crews found Franklin Johnson, 44, and Glen Edelman, 35, on July 31, a few hours after their search began.  They were treated at a hospital and released.  The rescuers traced them by following the fumes from a fire the two had set after their flashlight failed as they hunkered down in the mine, authorities said.  An expert said they were lucky they didn’t set off an explosion or suffocate themselves.  The men, who were last seen — two days — earlier, didn't have any food but there was water in the mine to drink.  The mine, which was owned by Massey Energy Inc., was closed in 1993.  Source document PDF Format
2016 Abandoned Iron Mine, Iron Ridge, Wisconsin — Three teenage boys got lost in a labyrinthine abandoned iron mine in southeastern Wisconsin for hours, spending the night huddled together against the cold before rescuers found them alive and safe.  The three were Tate Rose and Zachary Heron, both 16, and 15-year-old Samuel Lein.

Rescuer Deaths in July
1891 Republic Mine Fire, Marquette, Michigan — Peter Pascoe, Jr. and James Dower, Jr. were smothered by gas and smoke in the No.7 pit of the Republic mine.  James Dower, Jr. lost his life in his gallant and repeated efforts to rescue his friend Pascoe.  Peter Pascoe, Jr., was night boss of No. 8 pit.  Shortly before noon he descended into the burning mine by No. 7 shaft to ascertain, if possible, the extent of the fire raging in Nos. 5 and 6 shafts.  He was accompanied by three others.  The whole party was overcome by gas and smoke.  The three that descended with Pascoe managed to reach the skip and were brought to the surface unconscious.  Young Pascoe had been unable to reach the skip and was left behind in the burning mine.  Then James Dower, Jr., Arthur Blythe, John Hodge, Thomas Lynch, and Llewellyn Evans descended into the mine to endeavor to rescue Pascoe.  But the smoke was so dense that they also were overcome and were unable to give the signal to be drawn up.  The men on the surface became alarmed at the length of time the party remained below, and hoisted the skip.  All the rescuing party were unconscious, and were resuscitated with difficulty, but Pascoe still remained in the mine.  James Dower bravely went alone down into this smoky hell a second time to rescue his friend.  He perished in the heroic attempt, for the skip came back empty.  Grant Kimberly ventured down and succeeded in recovering Dower's body.  Pascoe’s body was at length found and brought to the surface.  But Pascoe had been three hours in the smoke and life was extinct.  Source document PDF Format
1902 Rolling Mill Mine Explosion, Johnstown, Pennsylvania — Mine foreman, Harry Rodgers; assistant mine foreman, William Blanchard; and fire bosses, John Whitney and John Thomas were overcome by the afterdamp while attempting to rescue other miners.
Daly West and Ontario Silver Mines Explosives Ignition, Park City, Utah — 34 miners were killed following a magazine explosion in the Daly West and Ontario Silver Mines in Park City, Utah.  The magazine, located in the Daly West mine, exploded after miner, John Burgy, entered carrying a lit candle.  Three of the deceased were rescuers: John McLaughlin; James Smith; and Jack Ballon, all of whom died of asphyxiation while rendering aid and searching for survivors.  McLaughlin died after making his second trip into the mine.  Several of the dead were in the adjacent Ontario mine.  With the exception of Mr. Burgy, all the miners died from asphyxiation.
1904 Daniel Davis died attempting to save William Monroe from suffocation, Sherodsville, Ohio, July 11, 1904.  Davis, 23, coal miner, was overcome by black damp while walking into a mine to rescue Monroe, 38, who was helpless from the gas but was later rescued.  Source document.
1920 Black Diamond No. 2, Mine Rescue Training Fatalities, Black Diamond, Washington — On July 10, 1920, Henry DeWinter, Hugh Hughes, and James Hudson lost their lives while wearing oxygen breathing apparatus in an abandoned slope of the Black Diamond No. 2 mine of the Pacific Coast Coal Company, Black Diamond, Washington.
1944 Powhatan Mine Fire, Belmont, Ohio — Immediately upon receiving the news of the fire, George Emery, a 45-year-old foreman and father of four children, went into the pit to help the trapped men.  Hours later he had not returned.
1950 Lark Section - U. S. and Lark Mine Fire, Lark, Utah — The fire was first detected by a pumpman who encountered smoke while being hoisted in the Lark Shaft from the 2500 level to the 1200 level.  He returned by cage to the 2500 level to notify the hoistman by telephone and died sometime later after closing the water doors when a power outage occurred.  The other four men died while attempting to rescue him.

Mine Accident Research Documents
Successful Mine Rescues  (MS Word format)    (PDF format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 1,000 successful rescues in the United States.  See more.  
Incidents of Rescuer Death  (MS Word format)    (PDF format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 125 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 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
From 1911 to 1940, 26 men lost their lives while wearing oxygen breathing apparatus.
And many, many more . . .