November Mine Disaster Anniversaries in 2021

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View the planets for this day1904
Hoisting Accident
Nanticoke, PA
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1908
Mine Fire
Zeigler, IL
No. Killed - 31

View the planets for this day1900
Berryburg, WV
No. Killed - 15

View the planets for this day1926
H2S Inundation
Ishpoming, MI
No. Killed - 51

View the planets for this day1888
Kettle Creek
Mine Explosion
Westport, PA
No. Killed - 17


View the planets for this day1916
Mine Explosion
Palos, AL
No. Killed - 30


View the planets for this day1930
Mine No. 6
Mine Explosion
Millfield, OH
No. Killed - 82


View the planets for this day1922
Reilly No. 1
Mine Explosion
Spangler, PA
No. Killed - 77

View the planets for this day1923
Glen Rogers
Mine Explosion
Beckley, WV
No. Killed - 27

Mine Explosion
Black Diamond, WA
No. Killed - 16

View the planets for this day1943
Mine Explosion
Madison, WV
No. Killed - 11


View the planets for this day1910
Victor American No. 3
Explosion & Fire
Delagua, CO
No. Killed - 79

View the planets for this day1891
Susquehanna 1
Mine Explosion
Nanticoke, PA
No. Killed - 12


View the planets for this day1888
Frontenac No. 2
Mine Explosion
Frontenac, KS
No. Killed - 40


View the planets for this day1907
Mine Fire
Drytown, CA
No. Killed - 11


View the planets for this day1909
St. Paul No. 2
Mine Fire
Cherry, IL
No. Killed - 259

View the planets for this day1954
Jamison No. 9
Mine Explosion
Farmington, WV
No. Killed - 16


View the planets for this day1915
Mine Explosion
Ravensdale, WA
No. Killed - 31


View the planets for this day1913
Acton No. 2
Mine Explosion
Acton, AL
No. Killed - 24

View the planets for this day1911
Bottom Creek
Mine Explosion
Vivian, WV
No. Killed - 18


View the planets for this day1968
Consol No. 9
Mine Explosion
Farmington, WV
No. Killed - 78

View the planets for this day1903
Bonanza No. 20
Mine Explosion
Bonanza, AR
No. Killed - 11

View the planets for this day1885
Bull Domingo
Mine Explosion
Silver Cliff, CO
No. Killed - 10

View the planets for this day1901
Mine Fire
Pandora, CO
No. Killed - 31


View the planets for this day1903
Mine Explosion
Connellsville, PA
No. Killed - 17


View the planets for this day1922
Dolomite No. 3
Mine Explosion
Dolomite, AL
No. Killed - 90


View the planets for this day1920
Mine Explosion
Parrish, AL
No. Killed - 12


View the planets for this day1886
Mine Explosion
Wilkes-Barre, PA
No. Killed - 12


View the planets for this day1908
Rachel and Agnes
Mine Explosion
Marianna, PA
No. Killed - 154

View the planets for this day1910
Mine Explosion
Jumbo, OK
No. Killed - 13


View the planets for this day1940
Mine Explosion
Cadiz, OH
No Killed - 31

View the planets for this day1917
Old Ben No. 11
Mine Explosion
Christopher, IL
No. Killed - 17

View the planets for this day1930
Lutie No. 5
Mine Explosion
Lutie, OK
No. Killed - 15


View the planets for this day1863
Raccoon Pit
Mine Explosion
Clover Hill, VA
No. Killed - 17

View the planets for this day1915
Boomer No. 2
Mine Explosion
Boomer, WV
No. Killed - 23


Did You Know? November has produced 74 mine disasters with 5 or more fatalities; 58 successful rescues (longest - 8 days); and the death of 65 rescuers in 11 incidents.

Successful Mine Rescues Rescuer Deaths All November Mine Disasters

Successful Mine Rescues in November
1878 Sullivan Mine Explosion, Sullivan, Indiana — As a result of an explosion in the Sullivan mine, eight men were killed by the shock or soon died of suffocation.  There were at the time 27 miners at work, of whom 15 were in the lower vein.  Seven of these were saved after a lapse of over an hour, but how they managed to survive in the dense fumes and damp was a mystery.  The 12 men on the upper vein were badly stunned but unhurt.  Joseph Handford, Tom Irwin and Jack Smith distinguished themselves for their bravery in periling their lives to save the living and the recovery of the dead.  The last named especially won the commendation of the whole community.
1888 At 5:30 p.m. on November 9, an explosion occurred in the Frontenac Shaft No. 2 of the Cherokee and Pittsburg Coal Company.  At 4 a.m. (10½ hours), five had been rescued, and at 1 p.m. (19½ hours), four more were brought out alive.
1893 Pittsburg and Lake Angeline Mine Cave-in, Ishpeming, Michigan — A large fall of ground occurred at the Pittsburg and Lake Angeline mine imprisoning three miners.  Two were rescued uninjured, shortly after the fall, but the other man, John Rowe, remained buried and was dead.  Source document PDF Format
1897 Central Mine Fire, Houghton, Michigan — After fire broke out in the Central mine and the miners ascended to the surface, it was discovered the three men were still in the mine.  A relief party descended into the mine and by almost superhuman efforts rescued the imprisoned men, who were well exhausted.  The mine openings were all been sealed airtight and the fire would be suffocated.  Source document PDF Format
1901 Four days after the start of the Pocahontas Baby mine fire in Pocahontas, Virginia, Fritz Moulter was found barely alive, entombed in a room on the east side.  Six physicians worked with him before he was restored to consciousness.
Packer No. 5 Colliery Cave-in, Girardville, Pennsylvania — Stephen Casper was rescued after being trapped for more than 12 hours in the Packer No. 5 Colliery at Girardville, Pennsylvania.  He was uninjured but badly frightened.  This was the second time Casper experienced such an ordeal, having been entombed in a similar manner in a mine near Wilkes-Barre several years earlier.  No further information on the latter incident involving Mr. Casper has been found.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Anthracite Mine Rescue, Pittston, Pennsylvania — John Zuranki was rescued in a pitiable condition after spending 4 days lost without food and light in an abandoned Anthracite mine near Pittston, Pennsylvania.  He was discovered accidentally by a watchman who had entered the mine.  Zuranki was not missed from his boarding house since he told his family he was going away.  Source document PDF Format
1902 Luke Fidler Mine Explosion, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Several miners working near the scene of the accident made a rush for the foot of the shaft and were overcome by the after damp following the explosion.  They were rescued after an undisclosed period by the relief party and sent at once to the gangway.
1903 Ferguson Mine Explosion, Dunbar, Pennsylvania — After an hour of frantic search, nine miners were picked up by the rescuing party in different positions of exhaustion.  As they reached the open air they fell prostrate in the arms of their wives and children, who had spent that long, weary hour at the pit's mouth fearing that they would never see their loved ones again.  Their faces were blackened, their hair scorched and clothing burned almost to shreds from the flames that followed the explosion.
1906 San Toy No. 1 Mine Shaft Disaster, Corning, Ohio — Three men, who clung to the cage in which they were riding, were saved after an undisclosed period.  The men were ascending in the mule cage when the door, which had been left open, caught against the sides of the shaft.  Five were killed when they were thrown from the cage and fell 150 feet to the bottom of the shaft.
1907 A cave-in deep inside the Draper Mine at Gilberton, Pennsylvania, followed by an inrush of culm and water from the surface trapped Michael McCabe for 87 hours before rescuers managed to free him.  He was released from his prison barely alive.  Source document External Link
1909 There were tales of unbelievable suffering and endurance following the Cherry Mine Fire.  One group of miners, 500 feet underground, had built a wall of mud, rocks, and timbers to block off the poisonous gases.  They were in total darkness with only a pool of water leaking from a coal seam to drink.  After 8 days of confinement, they could bear it no longer.  They tore down the barricade and began crawling through the tunnels.  Finally, they heard the sounds of a search party.  Twenty-one men still alive from this group were rescued.  259 miners were killed in the disaster.
1910 Fifty men who were working in the section of the Shoal Creek No. 1 Mine where the explosion occurred were rescued after an undisclosed period according to the mine management.  Six miners died in the incident.
Fremont Mine Fire, Carson City, Colorado — The 200 men caught in the Fremont mine of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company were all hoisted to safety after the fire started in the mule stable underground.  The miners were hoisted to the surface one by one, through an air shaft which offered the only way of escape.  The Fremont mine was worked through two shafts, a haulage shaft and an air shaft.  It was believed all the men in the mine were on the air shaft side of the fire and made their way safely to the surface.  The mule stable, where the fire broke out is about 1,500 feet from the bottom of the haulage shaft.  Source document PDF Format
Jumbo Mine Explosion, Jumbo, Oklahoma — After an undisclosed period, just one miner was rescued from the shaft explosion of the Jumbo Mine, operated by the Choctaw Asphalt Company of St. Louis.  Five miners descending in cars were blown to atoms and eight others were entombed and asphyxiated by the deadly fumes.
Victor American No. 3 Mine Fire, Delagua, Colorado — 18 miners were rescued from behind barricades 5 days and 21 hours following a fire in the Victor American No. 3 mine in Delagua, Colorado.  79 miners were killed in the disaster.  Source document PDF Format  Source document 2 PDF Format
1911 Bottom Creek Mine Explosion, Vivian, West Virginia — By heroic work the rescuers reached the scene of the disaster after an undisclosed period and found engineer Alexander Williams and 3 other men who were brought out alive.  All were injured.  Hoping to reach others of the entombed men the rescuers pushed the work with all haste.  One after another they found the victims and by midnight all but two had been brought out of the mine.  The dead included 4 other engineers.
1912 Horn Silver Mine Explosion and Cave-in, Frisco, Utah — A party of 7 was entombed for 14 hours following an explosion and cave-in at the Horn silver mine near Frisco, Utah.  The group, which included the 2 teenage daughters of the mine foreman, was on a sightseeing tour of the mine.  The group was imprisoned at 10 o’clock the night before when an explosion occurred.  A cave-in that followed blocked their exit until rescuers removed the mass of earth and timbers.  Source document PDF Format
1913 Sunday Creek Mine No. 9 Lost Miner, Shawnee, Ohio — Ben Arbaugh, 37, was rescued from the Sunday Creek Mine No. 9, after being lost for — three days and nights — in an abandoned part of the mine without food or water.  He went into the mine on October 31st to get some tools and became confused.  He wandered into an old tunnel and tramped for hours trying to find his way.  Arbaugh’s lamp finally burned out and he groped around in the dark for 48 hours.  Exhausted and partly overcome by black damp, he gave up all hope of escape.  When found he was in a semi-conscious condition, but soon regained his senses after being brought out to light and fresh air.  He would recover.  Source document PDF Format
1914 Bonar Mine, East Bernstadt, Kentucky - Three men were overcome by powder smoke.  They were rescued by the State mine inspector and the mine superintendent.  One miner was revived by artificial respiration; the other two died.  Source document External Link
Cave-in at Sibley Iron Mine, Ely, Minnesota - Six men were entombed.  One man was rescued after 112 hours by parties led by company officials.  Source document External Link
Fall of Top Rock at West Brookside Mine, Pottsville, Pennsylvania - Two men were imprisoned for four days, when they were rescued by a party led by company officials.  Source document External Link
1915 Northwestern Mine Explosion, Ravensdale, Washington — A rescue party under the superintendent at once commenced recovery and repair of the auxiliary slope and rescued 4 men; 3 were unconscious and were given artificial respiration, but 1 died.
Boomer No. 2 Mine Explosion, Boomer, West Virginia — 27 miners were rescued from behind a barricade seven hours after an explosion in the Boomer No. 2 mine in Boomer, West Virginia.  Source document PDF Format
1916 Bessie Mine Explosion, Palos, Alabama - About 15 hours after the explosion, a trained apparatus crew of 5 men found 3 men at a break in the air line.  The party was then about 1,000 feet from fresh air, and the men were able to proceed to safety with the aid of the apparatus crew.  Thirty men were killed by the explosion, 5 escaped unassisted, and 3 were rescued as noted.  Source document External Link
1917 Henry Clay Mine Coal Slide, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Michael Jacobs, covered by five wagon loads of coal in a chute at the Heading Company’s Henrv Clay shaft was smothered for an undisclosed period when Frank Smith, fireboss, appeared.  Amid great peril, he caused the coal to flow into a gangway and rescued Jacobs, who was in a critical condition.  Source document PDF Format
1918 Consolidated Mine Cave-in, Plymouth, Pennsylvania — Vinve Frizonti, a young Italian miner, was rescued after being trapped for 14 hours by a cave-in at the Consolidated mine near Plymouth, Pennsylvania.  Frizonti was caught at the 1000-foot level when the crash came.  He was standing by a drilling machine and this prevented the falling rock crushing him to death.  He was unhurt except for bruises.  Source document PDF Format
1919 Gold Hunter Mine Cave-in, Mullan, Idaho — Emil Sayko and Peter Grant were rescued 14 days following a cave-in at the Gold Hunter mine near Mullan, Idaho.  When they were finally reached, Grant and Sayko were wrapped in blankets and their eyes were bandaged to protect them from the unaccustomed light.  They were described as "looking fine," although "a trifle weak."  In the same incident, Jacob Delmarh and James Collins were rescued from a secondary cave-in after being trapped for 15½ hours.  Source document PDF Format
1920 Arnold Mine Fire, Earlington, Kentucky — Ten miners were rescued from the burning Arnold Mine.  The rescue was effected by tunneling around the fire which had shut off the single entry of the mine and came 20 hours after the flames broke out.  Source document PDF Format
1921 Monarch Mine Fire, Louisville, Colorado — Following an outbreak of fire in the surface buildings of the National Fuel Company’s Monarch mine, nine men who were reported to have been trapped in the mine were said to have been rescued through an air shaft.  Source document PDF Format
1922 Dolomite No. 3 Mine Explosion, Dolomite, Alabama — An unidentified foreman assembled thirty workers after the blast took place and ordered all to remain with him and work on fixing up brattices with stones and canvas to shut off the dreaded afterdamp gas that he felt sure was to follow the explosion.  When the fans started up again, the air cleared sufficiently to indicate that it was safe to tear down the temporary wall and the foreman led his men out.  One miner, who objected to remaining with the rest of the men was found only a few feet away from the temporary brattice.  He had become a victim of the gas.
Reilly No. 1 Mine Explosion, Spangler, Pennsylvania — 33 miners were taken out alive after an undisclosed period, but three succumbed to their injuries.  Of the remaining 30 rescued, all were at the Spangler Hospital and the attending physicians, who were doing everything in their power for them, said all would recover.
Anthracite No. 4 Mine Explosion, Cerrillos, New Mexico — 14 injured miners were rushed to the surface by the volunteer rescue crew and were taken to a doctor's, a dentist's offices and a nearby home, which were hurriedly turned into hospitals.  Women of Madrid worked as nurses with the aid of doctors and other volunteers.  First aid was administered here, then the injured were placed in a box car and taken to Albuquerque, where they were placed in hospitals.  The injured were burned and in some cases their arms or legs broken.
Anthracite Mine Cave, Branchdale, Schuylkill County, PA — Mrs. Loretta Kehler, 71, was found alive in a mine cave near the Otto Colliery after being missing for a week.  A party of men who had given chase to a rabbit heard her cries for help and rescued her.  Source document PDF Format
1926 Six miners were trapped by water in the Tomhicken Mine of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company in Pennsylvania on November 16, 1926.  One man died, but five men were rescued 8 days later.  The five rescued were Henry Kirchdoerfer, August Yensick, Michael Lorincz, John Gondera and Mike Lawrence.  Source document External Link
Mound Mine Explosion — An explosion killed 5 of the 18 men in the mine.  Two died of burns and 3 from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Two injured men were rescued several hours later and 11 escaped uninjured.  Gas accumulated by the wrecking of a door, was ignited by the arcing of a trolley wheel of a locomotive. Coal dust was ignited, but the explosion was stopped by rock dust and water on the entries.
Morea Colliery Mudslide, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Two men entombed when a mud swamp gave way blocking the entrance to the Morea Colliery were brought to the surface uninjured.  The men who were trapped were rescued after 13 hours of feverish work by squad of 50 men assembled by officials of the Madeira, Hill and Company, owners of the mine.  Source document PDF Format
1927 Turkey Run Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Rescuers worked more than ten hours to release Julian Jecken, a miner who was imprisoned in the Turkey Run colliery after being caught under a fall of rock and coal.  He was removed at once to the Locust Mountain State hospital, where it was said he was suffering from contusions, a possible fracture of the pelvis, and lacerations on the forehead.  He was treated by the company surgeon of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company immediately after being released from his precarious position.  The injured man's condition was reported as serious.  Source document PDF Format
1929 McNeil Mine Cave-in, Steamboat Springs, Colorado — Three miners who were trapped by a cave-in in a tunnel of the mine of the McNeil Coal Company were rescued after an undisclosed period.  All were reported unharmed and in good spirits.  Within a short time after the plight of the men had been discovered, 50 men set to work to clear away the huge amount of coal and rock in the tunnel.  Through the late afternoon and the night they worked, spurred on by the belief that the men were still alive.  The men who were entombed were: Jack Condon, Earl LeBranch and Jack Garber.  Source document PDF Format
1930 Lutie No. 5 Mine Explosion, Lutie, Oklahoma — The explosion sealed only one entry, known as number 10 1-2.  About 17 men were said to be in this entry.  Workmen reached entry 10 1-2 about two hours after the explosion and brought one man to the surface alive.  Two other miners, L. B. Boyd and Lon Swindle were brought out of mine alive but later died in Hartshorne Hospital.  Bodies of the other men were brought up slowly and taken to a morgue.
Millfield No. 6 Mine Explosion, Millfield, Ohio — 19 miners were rescued 10 hours after the explosion.  The miners, most of them unconscious, were found behind a ventilation partition.  John Dean, Inside Foreman, is credited with saving the lives of the rescued miners, including him.  Dean and the other miners erected and gathered behind a ventilation partition which protected them from the deadly gases.  Dean risked several trips into the smoke-filled entries to carry some of his comrades to safety before he collapsed and had to be carried to safety.
1932 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Avoca, Pennsylvania — Robert Hughes and Joseph P. Tigue helped to rescue Thomas A. Coleman and Louis J. Doran from a mine cave-in, Avoca, Pennsylvania, November 8, 1932.  While Coleman, 37, miner, and Doran, 45, mine laborer, were digging coal in an abandoned entry that connected with a narrow shaft, a collapse occurred.  Coleman was buried under shale at the bottom of the shaft.  Doran was knocked to the floor of the entry and lay under shale four feet deep 18 feet from the shaft.  Using their hands, Hughes, 50, miner, and Tigue removed the shale from Coleman.  Occasionally shale sloughed off the sides and dropped from overhead.  In three hours they removed enough shale to free Coleman, who was pulled out.  Hughes and Tigue worked all afternoon and far into the night to make a trench to Doran.  They erected posts, piled the shale behind boards resting against the posts, and finally reached Doran.  While they were removing debris from over him, the sides of the entry caved in.  Hughes and the other man ran to the shaft and were hoisted out.  During the remainder of the night and the next morning all of the shale and other debris was removed by men under safe conditions, adequate braces having been placed, and Doran was taken out.  He suffered injuries from which he died seven hours later.  Both men were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  Source document External Link  
Brookside Colliery Inundation, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Four miners were rescued after an undisclosed period from the flooded Brookside Colliery near Pottsville, Pennsylvania.  A shot fired by workers released an underground pocket of water.  The four trapped men waited for hours for the aid they knew was coming toward them.  Charles Deichert, 23; and Simon Bohr, 36; drowned in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
1933 Five men were rescued from a mine after an undisclosed period in South Scranton, Pennsylvania following a cave-in.  Two of the men, Paul Mariello and Carmel Comparta, were seriously hurt, suffering from internal injuries.  The other three men left the scene before they could be identified.  Source document External Link
1938 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Two miners, William Bokuniewicz, 52, and Joseph Comisky, 18, were rescued 40 hours after they were trapped in a bootleg Anthracite mine cave-in at Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.  Hospital attaches said both were in fine shape but were being guarded against pneumonia.  Source document PDF Format
1940 Penn-Anthracite Collieries Company Cave-in, Scranton, Pennsylvania — Julius Yankowski was rescued after spending 49 hours trapped by a cave-in in a mine operated by the Penn-Anthracite Collieries Company near Scranton, Pennsylvania.  His companion, James Long, was found dead when reached by rescuers.  Source document PDF Format
1942 West Kentucky No. 10 Mine Explosion, Providence, Kentucky — Following the West Kentucky No. 10 explosion, the rescue party headed by District Mine Inspector James Fugate brought out nine trapped miners after an undisclosed period.  They were unable to reach six other victims in time to save their lives.
1944 Maryland Fuel Mine Cave-in, Lonaconing, Maryland — William Reiber, 49, of Douglas street, was rescued from the Maryland Fuel mine after being pinioned for two hours by a cave-in of timber supports.  Reiber suffered a fractured right leg and was admitted to Memorial Hospital.  The mine was owned by the Jenkins Coal Company.  Source document PDF Format
1948 John George Lease Mill Entrapment, Wardner, Idaho — George A. Scheurich was rescued after being buried for four hours under seven feet of muck in a chute at the John George lease mill in Wardner.  Fellow millmen and Bunker Hill employees rescued him by tearing out the sides of the ore chute.  Scheurich was alone when the accident occurred and it is believed he was walking on top of the muck when it started to roll.  He was uninjured, but suffered from cold and cramp and was being kept in the hospital for observation.  Source document PDF Format
1950 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania — Walter Legins, 39, coal mine shaftman, helped to rescue Stephen C. Grozio, 49, coal mine shaftman, from a cave-in in a mine, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, November 20, 1950.  At night while Grozio and two other men were at work on a platform in a mine-shaft 1,160 feet below ground-level, a cave-in occurred above them.  Grozio jumped quickly onto a cage partly protected by a metal canopy in an adjoining section of the shaft, as a huge mass of debris struck the platform and demolished it.  The other two men fell with the debris from 250 feet above the bottom of the shaft.  The cage was wrenched from its guides but remained suspended 150 feet below a landing.  The rumble of falling debris was heard at the surface, but the extent of the cave-in could not be determined.  A group comprising two foremen, Legins, and three other men entered the mine at another shaft and reached the landing.  Visibility into the damaged shaft was negligible, but all noted that a section of the shaft opposite the landing had fallen away.  Crozio's head-lamp was dimly sighted.  In response to calls, Grozio apprised the others of conditions and told them his hands were numbed.  Only Legins volunteered to descend to Crozio.  Although aware that another cave-in might be imminent, Legins with a rope tied to him entered the shaft and was lowered to the cage, where he removed the rope.  Using a metal bar, he broke away an obstruction in the shaft above the cage.  Calling repeatedly to the landing with directions for the raising and lowering of the cage, Legins and Crozio after 20 minutes engaged the guide and were drawn to the landing.  Legins and Grozio were taken to the surface.  After extensive digging operations, the bodies of the other two men were recovered; and the shaft was closed permanently.  Crozio was chilled, and he and Legins were nervous.  Both recovered.  Walter Legins was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source document External Link  
1951 Blue Flame Mine Rescue, Plano, Iowa — Eugene Welch, 40, trapped 125 feet underground, was released by his fellow workers afternoon a few hours after a doctor was critically injured in a plunge down the mine shaft.  Welch underwent amputation of his right leg below the knee following his rescue by fellow miners.  Dr. C. L. Richey, 44, was in "very critical condition" from multiple fractures suffered when the cable broke on a cage in which he was being lowered into the mine to aid Welch.  Welch’s leg was drawn into the cutting chain on a coal-cutting machine while he was working in the Blue Flame coal mine a mile south of Plano.  The men were working in a space 28 inches high when Welch’s trouser leg caught in the endless chain which is used to cut into the vein of coal.  Source document PDF Format
1954 Abandoned Anthracite Coal Mine Fall of Person, Shaft, Pennsylvania — Alden A. Hartz, Jr., 27, construction worker, rescued Catherine M. Murphy, 72, from a cave-in, Shaft, Pennsylvania, November 23, 1954.  Mrs. Murphy was crossing a field near her home when a cave-in occurred above an abandoned coal mine underlying that area.  Ground gave way beneath her; and she fell into a hole 70 feet deep caused by the cave-in, landing on a mound of fallen earth which rose 20 feet above the bottom of the hole.  She sustained severe injuries and partially was buried by earth.  The hole was four feet wide at the surface and thence downward to the bottom widened irregularly to 40 feet, the sides having numerous overhanging protuberances.  Attracted by the screams of Mrs. Murphy, Hartz and others gathered at the hole.  A 20-foot ladder was placed on the ground across the hole.  Although he could observe that the sides of the hole were unstable, Hartz, who observed others already there were reluctant to enter the hole, volunteered at once to descend to Mrs. Murphy and tied the end of 150-foot rope to himself.  He was lowered into the opening carrying a hand lamp.  Three men played out the rope, and another man lay prone on the ladder to guide the rope as Hartz was lowered 50 feet to the mound.  Descending 12 feet on the mound, he found Mrs. Murphy and freed her from the fallen earth.  She became unconscious.  He had difficulty obtaining footing on the muddy slope and called to the men above to pull slowly on the rope.  Hartz drew Mrs. Murphy to the top of the mound.  He saw small stones and dirt falling from the sides of the hole and realized another cave-in might be imminent but removed the rope from himself and fastened it securely to Mrs. Murphy, deciding because of her injuries to have her taken up separately while he waited on the mound.  At Hartz's call the men lifted Mrs. Murphy to the surface.  The rope was returned to Hartz, and he was drawn rapidly from the hole after being in it seven minutes.  Mrs. Murphy was rushed to a hospital but died of her injuries two days later.  Hartz was nervous but recovered.  Mr. Hartz was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source document External Link  
1957 Unnamed Coal Mine Entrapment, Stockdale, Pennsylvania — Robert P. Thompson, 14, schoolboy, died after rescuing John T. Vingless, 13, schoolboy, from a cave-in, Coupon, Pennsylvania, November 2, 1957.  While John and Robert were digging for coal in a small pit four and a half feet deep at an abandoned strip mine, one side of the pit collapsed and clay, slate, and coal in a high ridge above it slid onto them.  Both boys, who were kneeling in the pit with their heads two feet below the top, were covered chest-deep.  John's hands were pinned, and a lump of slate 18 inches square and four inches thick rested on his head, pressing his face into the clay so that he barely was able to breathe.  Although he had sustained serious injuries to his back, chest, and legs, Robert freed his hands and dug himself out.  Unable to stand, he began crawling toward a nearby road to summon help, but at John’s pleas he dragged himself back to the pit.  Although in considerable pain, he moved the lump of slate from John's head.  John then dug himself out with some assistance from Robert, who removed several small pieces of slate.  John walked and Robert crawled 200 feet to the road, calling for help.  John’s mother was attracted, and the boys then were removed to a hospital.  John sustained a wrenched back and hip injuries but recovered.  Robert's injuries were extensive, including damage to his spinal cord, which caused his death later in the day.  Robert P. Thompson was posthumously bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source document External Link  
1962 After falling 200 feet down the abandoned Idaho Bride gold mine near Idaho Springs, Colorado and spending 14 hours in the mirky depths, Airman Chester West was rescued.  It took rescuers, led by District Mine Inspector, Norman Blake, three hours to lead West out of the winding tunnels.  Source document External Link
1968 Eight miners were rescued five hours after explosions ripped through the No. 9 mine in Mannington, West Virginia owned by the Consolidation Coal Company.  13 other miners managed to exit the mine shortly after the 1st of at least 3 explosions tore through the mine.  This disaster, which killed 78 miners, triggered Congress to pass the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969.  See videoExternal Link

Among the 21 miners rescued from the Mountaineer Coal Co. (Consol) No. 9 mine was Matt Menas, Jr., whose father died in a similar disaster in the same mine 14 years earlier.  The explosion on Nov. 13, 1954, killed 16 men.  The mine at that time was owned by the Jamison Coal Co., and was called Jamison No. 9.  See VideoExternal Link  Source document External Link

Here is a list of the other miners rescued, all of whom are from the area around Mannington, Fairmont and Farmington: Byron Jones; Nathaniel Stephens, 48; Charles Biafore; Nick Rose, 23; Roy Wilson; James Herron; Paul Sabo; Walter Slavikosky; Henry Conway; Nezer Vandergrift, 48; Ralph Starkey, 41; Lewis Lake, 55; George Wilson, 54; Alva Davis, 29; Raymond Parker; Robert Bland; Robert Mullen; Gary Martin; Charles Crumm; and Brad Hillberry.
1971 Grays Knob Coal Mine Cave-in, Harlan, Kentucky — Jessie Cornett was rescued after spending — 9 hours — trapped from a roof fall in the Grays Knob Coal Company mine near Harlan, Kentucky.  The 25-year-old miner was operating a coal cutting machine when he spotted the rock begin to fall.  He managed to duck under the steel cage of the machine for protection.  Four hours passed until he heard his name shouted by the rescuers.  Before that, his co-workers thought he was dead.  Source document PDF Format
1985 Following an avalanche at the remote Bessie "G" gold mine in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, rescuers, including officers from the LaPlata County Sheriff’s Department worked for 24 hours to rescue Lester Jay Morlang.  His partner, Jack Ritter, died of suffocation when the men were buried around 6 p.m.  Source document 1 External Link  Source document 2 External Link
1990 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Cave Creek, Arizona — Michael Clark, 18, fell 60 feet into an abandoned mine shaft, breaking both legs and a hip, but survived.  It took rescuers nearly 10 hours to extract Michael Clark, 18, from the mine near Cave Creek after his fall.  Clark was camping with friends in the Tonto Hills area when they decided to explore a mine tunnel.  They had walked in about 300 yards when Clark fell through flooring.  Source document PDF Format

Rescuer Deaths in November
1901 Baby Mine Fire, Pocahontas, Virginia — While the fires were being fought, a small explosion occurred, which injured no one, but blew out some of the brattices and allowed the smoke and gases to pass through into the adjoining West Mine.  Nine men in the West Mine were overcome by smoke and suffocated.  On November 22, 1901, a rescue party of eight men was also overcome by gases in the West Mine and suffocated.
1903 Koarsarge Gold Mine Fire, Virginia City, Montana — At the first alarm the 170 employees hastened to extinguish the flames.  The Mine Superintendent entered the tunnel through the fire and smoke to warn the entombed miners and to aid them to escape.  He returned and tried to enter the mine by the air shaft but fell from the ladder and was killed.
1908 Zeigler Mine Fire, Zeigler, Illinois — A fire broke out in this mine after the day shift had left the mine.  The fire was caused by crossed electric wires and although it was originally very small, it was expanded and originated several explosions and eventually brought about the death of 31 men who attempted to put it out.  Once Draeger helmets were purchased, a single man wearing one of the helmets was sent into the mine to reconnoiter.  It is reported that the cartridges were caked and the man panicked, pulled off the helmet and perished.
1909 St. Paul No. 2 Mine Fire, Cherry, Illinois — Six times, Mine Manager John Bundy went down in an iron cage to rescue trapped miners.  He emerged six times, black and sweating, lifting survivors into the sun.  But on the seventh trip, Bundy and eleven volunteers were burned alive.  When the cage was hoisted, it held a charred and flaming pile of bodies.  Source document.
1910 Victor American No. 3 Mine Fire, Delagua, Colorado — A member of the rescue crew who gave his breathing apparatus to one of the four men found behind a barricade stayed behind to wait for the party's return.  He was later found overcome in another part of the mine and died the next morning.
1911 Adrian Mine Explosion, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania — It is believed that the six dead miners, realizing that there had been an explosion, dropped their dinner buckets and ran further into the mine to rescue their fellow workmen.  The dinner buckets were found about a mile and a half from the innermost workings of the mine, which is five miles from the entrance.
1916 Jamison Coal & Coke Company Asphyxiation, Greensburg, Pennsylvania — William Kirkley was overcome by gas while searching for a miner who was sent into the mine to make some repairs.  Kirkley’s body was found in an abandoned working which had become gaseous.  It was later learned that the workman he thought was lost had exited the mine before Kirkley went in.  Source document PDF Format
1917 Jamison No. 7 Mine Explosion and Fire, Barrackville, West Virginia — On November 13, 1917, in an incident related to the initial disaster which occurred in October 1916, Samuel T. McMahon and Bryce Warren lost their lives while wearing Fleuss oxygen breathing apparatus in a sealed fire area in the No. 7 mine of the Jamison Coal & Coke Company, Barrackville, West Virginia.
1948 Nethken Mine Asphyxiations, Kitzmiller, Maryland — One of those suffocated in the Nethken Mine was a miner, Robert Jackson from Kitzmiller, Maryland, age 25, who had gone down the shaft to warn the other 4 miners of the danger and lead them out.  He had been married less than 6 months.
1957 Unnamed Coal Mine Entrapment, Stockdale, Pennsylvania — Robert P. Thompson, 14, schoolboy, died after rescuing John T. Vingless, 13, schoolboy, from a cave-in, Coupon, Pennsylvania, November 2, 1957.  While John and Robert were digging for coal in a small pit four and a half feet deep at an abandoned strip mine, one side of the pit collapsed and clay, slate, and coal in a high ridge above it slid onto them.  Both boys, who were kneeling in the pit with their heads two feet below the top, were covered chest-deep.  John's hands were pinned, and a lump of slate 18 inches square and four inches thick rested on his head, pressing his face into the clay so that he barely was able to breathe.  Although he had sustained serious injuries to his back, chest, and legs, Robert freed his hands and dug himself out.  Unable to stand, he began crawling toward a nearby road to summon help, but at John’s pleas he dragged himself back to the pit.  Although in considerable pain, he moved the lump of slate from John's head.  John then dug himself out with some assistance from Robert, who removed several small pieces of slate.  John walked and Robert crawled 200 feet to the road, calling for help.  John’s mother was attracted, and the boys then were removed to a hospital.  John sustained a wrenched back and hip injuries but recovered.  Robert's injuries were extensive, including damage to his spinal cord, which caused his death later in the day.  Robert P. Thompson was posthumously bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source document External Link  
2013 Revenue-Virginius Mine Asphyxiation, Ouray, Colorado — A miner, Nicholas Cappanno, did not return from an area of the mine where an explosive had been previously detonated.  The shift foreman, Rick Williams, went in to search for him.  Eventually they were both found by other miners working in the area, and those miners immediately evacuated the mine.  Mine rescue teams entered the mine and found the two others.  During the recovery operation, they detected fatal levels of carbon monoxide.  The teams brought the victims to the surface.  Twenty miners were taken to the hospital, and three were kept overnight.  All 20 were subsequently released.

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 . . .