July 2017 Mine Disaster Anniversaries
|January February March April May June July August September October November December|
|The month of July has accounted for 72 mine disasters in which 788 miners were killed; 25 successful rescues (longest - 3Ό days); and the death of 15 rescuers in 5 incidents.|
|Successful Rescue Summary||Rescuer Death Summary||All July Mine Disasters|
|Successful Mine Rescues in July|
|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 oclock p.m., rescuers sent out for medical assistance to treat three others found alive. They were John Cook, Philip McCann and George Hologyak.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.
|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, timbermans 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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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 Video. Source document.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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|
|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.|
|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 some time later after closing the water doors when a power outage occurred. The other four men died while attempting to rescue him.|
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Listed by the month when they occurred, this file contains hundreds of successful rescues and incidents of rescuer death in the United States.
|Successful Mine Rescues
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains hundreds of successful rescues in the United States.
|Incidents of Rescuer Death
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 100 incidents of rescuer death in the United States.