September Mine Disaster Anniversaries in 2021


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View the planets for this day1936
Macbeth
Mine Explosion
Logan, WV
No. Killed - 10

3


View the planets for this day1926
Tahona
Mine Explosion
Tahona, OK
No. Killed - 16

View the planets for this day1926
Sunshine
Mine Explosion
Sunshine, CO
No. Killed - 12

4


View the planets for this day1914
Union No. 1
Roof Fall
Adamson, OK
No. Killed - 14

5
6


View the planets for this day1869
Avondale
Mine Fire
Plymouth, PA
No. Killed - 110

7


View the planets for this day1895
Osceola
Mine Fire
Calumet, MI
No. Killed - 30

8
9


View the planets for this day1889
White Ash
Mine Inundation
Greeley, CO
No. Killed - 10

10
11
12
13


View the planets for this day1989
William Station 9
Mine Explosion
Sullivan, KY
No. Killed - 10

14
15


View the planets for this day1902
Big Four
Mine Explosion
Algoma, WV
No. Killed - 17

16


View the planets for this day1924
Sublet No. 5
Mine Explosion
Sublet, WY
No. Killed - 39

View the planets for this day1914
Lehigh No. 5
Mine Explosion
Lansford, PA
No. Killed - 17

View the planets for this day1943
Three Point
Mine Explosion
Three Point, KY
No. Killed - 12

17


View the planets for this day1914
Centennial-Eureka
Mine Cave-in
Eureka, UT
No. Killed - 11

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19
20


View the planets for this day1907
Rolling Mill
Hoisting Accident
Negaunee, MI
No. Killed - 10

21
22
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View the planets for this day2001
Jim Walter No. 5
Mine Explosion
Brookwood, AL
No. Killed - 13

24


View the planets for this day1943
Moffett Schreader
Mine Explosion
Minersville, PA
No. Killed - 14

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27
28


View the planets for this day1893
Mansfield
Mine Inundation
Crystal Falls, MI
No. Killed - 28

View the planets for this day1918
North No. 1
Mine Explosion
Royalton, IL
No. Killed - 21

View the planets for this day1911
Shakespeare Placer
Mine Cave-in
Dome Creek, AK
No. Killed - 0

Detective work by the USMRA revealed the 14 miners listed as deceased in this disaster by NIOSH were in fact rescued after 84 hours.  See details.

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Did You Know? September has produced 38 mine disasters with 5 or more fatalities; 71 successful rescues (longest - 7 days); and the death of 26 rescuers in 10 incidents.

Successful Mine Rescues Rescuer Deaths All September Mine Disasters

Successful Mine Rescues in September
1894 Northwest Colliery Cave-in, Carbondale, Pennsylvania — The four miners who were entombed in the Northwest Colliery of Simpson & Watkins, near Carbondale, were rescued — 57 hours — after having been buried alive.  The rescued men were Thomas Mitchell, John J. Fanning, Andrew Clopposky and George Barney.  Their experience was one of the most remarkable in the history of the coal regions.  As the rescuer’s pick made a hole through the wall the men inside cried, "Give us some water, for the love of God!  We are dying!"  The rescuers had everything ready to aid the men and passed in a little weak tea and whisky, cautioning them to drink moderately, fearing ill effects after their long abstinence.  After wetting their parched throats with the liquid, for they could not swallow at first, the men begged for food, but this was refused them, and the rescuers continued to break through until the hole bad been sufficiently enlarged to enable one of them to crawl through and into the little chamber where the entombed men were lying.  Considering that they had been without food or water and with impure air for nearly sixty hours, the men were in good condition and, after being fed and resting at the bottom of the shaft for some time, they regained considerate strength and were able to talk.  Source document PDF Format
1897 Williamson County Mine Explosion, Johnston City, Illinois — Fifteen wounded miners, two of whom later died, were rescued from the smoke and flames after an undisclosed period.
1899 Michael Oroko was rescued from a mine breech near Shenandoah, Pennsylvania after an undisclosed period.  The breech was sixty feet deep with perpendicular sides thwarting his ability to climb out.  His plight was discovered by a miner returning home from work.  Oroko was almost dead when taken out suffering from hunger, thirst, and exposure.  He was forced to stand in knee-deep water the entire time he was confined.  Source document PDF Format
1902 Stafford Mine Explosion, Stafford, West Virginia — Six badly wounded miners were rescued after an undisclosed period and placed under the care of Mine Superintendent Stewart.  Several others were also hurt in the incident.  The most serious cases were sent to the hospital.
Big Four Mine Explosion, Algoma, West Virginia — H. F. Frankenfeld, a mine boss, and Geo. Gaspie, a Hungarian miner, succeeded in crawling over fallen coal and slate after the explosion to the lights of the rescuing party and were taken out alive although burned and nearly suffocated by the gas and smoke inhaled.
1904 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Kingston, Pennsylvania — William Watkins, 24, coal miner, rescued Brinley R. Davis, 22, mine car tender; Rees J. Williams, 19, driver, and Joseph Winchent, 45, coal miner, in a mine, Kingston, Pennsylvania, September 3, 1904.  Watkins successively took the men from the place of an explosion, where there was imminent danger of the roof falling, to a position of safety.  Mr. Watkins was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his efforts.  Source document External Link  
1905 Joe Oinesky was trapped under a fall of coal for 14 hours in the North End Coal Company’s mine near Scranton, Pennsylvania.  He was finally released after forty carloads of coal and rock were dug from around him.  Remarkably he was saved from injury by the fact that two big slabs of rock formed a sort of tent over him.  Source document PDF Format
1907 Unnamed Mine Rescue, Duluth, Minnesota — Paul Meliege was rescued from an unnamed mine near Duluth, Minnesota after an undisclosed period.  He was 265 feet underground when he was caught in a sinking depression taking him down another 115 feet.  When dragged out, Meliege fainted from exhaustion.  He was rushed to a nearby hospital where it was said he would recover.  Source document PDF Format
1908 Chauncey Colliery Cave-in, Avondale, Pennsylvania — After being entombed in a mine working for over ten hours, Andrew Harris, a miner, was rescued from under the debris in the Chauncey colliery, at Avondale.   Harris was shut in by a fall of roof, and the miners had little hope of his being alive.  Soon however, faint tappings from behind the debris told of his existence, and gangs of men were called to work on the fall.  They worked without interruption till they could hear the voice of Harris directing them the way nearest to him.  He was considerably exhausted when the last shovel of rock and coal was cleared off, but in a short time he felt as well as usual.  Source document PDF Format
1911 Shakespeare Placer Mine Rescue, Dome Creek, Alaska — The fourteen miners entombed in the Shakespeare Placer gold mine cave-in at Dome Creek, Alaska were freed after 84 hours. The Keystone drill hole was enlarged by thawing until it was large enough to permit the body of a man to pass. Then the imprisoned miners were pulled up one after another 174 feet to the surface.
Morning Star Mine Cave-in, Leadville, Colorado — Fred Caski, Andrew Perle, and Nat Jacobson, the miners who were imprisoned in the Morning Star mine for sixty hours as the result of a cave-in were rescued.  Their rescue was effected through a hole made in the obstruction in the shaft.  Source document PDF Format
1912 Boston Colliery Water Rescue, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — While repairing a sluiceway at the Boston colliery of the Delaware and Hudson Company, James Lawson was nearly drowned when the pumps of the mines began to work, sending great quantities of water into the sluiceway.  As he attempted to make his escape, Lawson became fastened in the woodwork and water was creeping gradually up about him.  The force of the pump was terrific, and as it reached its highest speed, Lawson was hurled from his fastening and carried away in the overflow water.  He was almost dead when rescued, but first-aid work restored him to consciousness.  Source document PDF Format
Bolan-Darnell Mine Explosion & Fire, Craig, Oklahoma — Imprisoned for sixteen hours in the burning Bolan-Darnell mine at Craig, Oklahoma, Frank Spanevelli was taken out alive.  He was badly burned but would recover.  The body of Antonio Piatza was found not far from the cave-in where Spanevelli was found.  They were the only two men in the mine when it caught fire after an explosion.  Source document PDF Format
Central Coal Mine No. 42 Cave-in, Wier, Kansas — Antonio Mullain, a miner who was imprisoned in the Central Coal Company’s mine No. 42 was rescued following an undisclosed period after the rescue party had dug through twenty feet of solid coal.  Mullain’s worst injury was a broken leg.  Source document PDF Format
1913 Valley Crystal Ice and Storage Co. Lost Person, Charleroi, Pennsylvania — Fred Lambert, aged 23, became lost in the coal mine of the Valley Crystal Ice and Storage Company and wandered a day and night in the mine without sleep or anything to eat before by accident he stumbled into the right entry to find himself in the arms of friends who had gone to search for him.  Source document PDF Format
1914 Cave-in at Centennial Gold Mine, Eureka, Utah - Twelve men were imprisoned.  One man was rescued by company men, who, in seven hours, drove a drift 15 feet in country rock without shooting.  Source document 1 External Link  Source document 2 PDF Format
Rockwood Mine Explosion, Rockwood, Tennessee — The explosion killed one miner, and another miner was overcome while trying to escape.  An apparatus crew of four company men several hours later advanced 1,000 feet, rescued this miner, and carried him to fresh air, where he quickly revived.
Alderson Mine Cave-in, Placerville, California — William Williams, a miner, who was buried alive by a cave-in at the Alderson Mine, was dug out safe and sound after having been imprisoned for 12 hours.   He had plenty of air to breathe at all times and was not cramped for space in which to stretch his limbs.  A hole large enough for a man to crawl through was dug through fifteen feet of gravel and Williams crawled to liberty by means of it.  Source document PDF Format
1915 Rahn Colliery Explosion, Coaldale, PA – On September 27, an explosion caused a rush of water and coal which cut off and entombed 11 men.   Two of the men were rescued 12 hours after the disaster, but the others were not reached until October 3, after an imprisonment of 6 days and 5 hours.  Three hundred men working 3 shifts per day drove the tunnel to reach the trapped miners.  Source document 1 External Link  Source document 2 External Link
Logan Coal Company Mine Explosion, Hanna City, Illinois — Seventy-five miners who were imprisoned by a fall of rock caused by the explosion were rescued after several hours of desperate work.  Immediately following the explosion, fire broke out in the mine a mile from the shaft and 250 feet below ground where the accident occurred, and for two hours it was feared the entombed would be burned to death.  Deceased in the accident were Martin Perrit and Frank Robinson who were shot firers in the act of setting off a charge when the explosion occurred.  Source document PDF Format
Archbald Colliery Roof Fall, Archbald, Pennsylvania — Twenty-seven hours of imprisonment behind hundreds of tons of rock ended for four miners in the Archbald Coal Company's colliery who had been trapped by an extensive fall of roof.  One-half slice of bread was all the food the four men had in more than thirty hours.  They divided that before their matches gave out.  A little cold coffee in their dinner buckets was all they had to drink, and that, too, they divided.  But they are hardy men and strong and used to exposure.  And when they were hauled to the surface over a 3,000-foot slope that tops the vein they were penned in, they leaped from the mine cars and half ran to the company’s office.  Source document PDF Format
1916 Jacob Dixon and William Gammell became enclosed by a rush of coal in the Good Spring Colliery of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company near Tremont, Pennsylvania.  After five hours, Dixon succeeded in getting into a blind heading where he was rescued.  They were engaged in the hazardous work of "robbing pillars."  No further news could be found regarding the rescue of William Gammell.  His survival was unlikely.  Source document External Link
1917 Empire Mine Asphyxiations, Grass Valley, California — James Harris. Nick Fungus and a third miner named Eldridge were rescued after an undisclosed period from the workings of the Empire Mine, where they had been overcome by gas when a large rock fell on the air pipe valve, cutting off their supply of fresh air.  All three were removed to their homes and it was believed they would recover.  Source document PDF Format
1918 Coon Hollow Mine Explosion, Pikeville, Kentucky — Seven miners trapped in the Coon Hollow Coal Company's mine near Pikeville were rescued after an undisclosed period.  They were imprisoned behind a wall of fire caused by a gas explosion.  Source document PDF Format
1920 William Penn Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Martin Becker was rescued from his entrapment after an undisclosed period from a cave-in at the William Penn Colliery in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.  Felix Mack, a co-worker of Becker, was probably responsible for saving the life of a driver who was bringing a trip of cars into the gangway.  Mack saw the fall was coming and flagged off the driver.  Source document PDF Format
1921 Coalbrook Mine Cave-in, Carbondale, Pennsylvania — Peter Sufjack and Stanley Falosky, two of the four miners entombed for twenty-four hours in the Coalbrook mine of the Hudson Coal Company at Carbondale were rescued alive at noon today.  William Morcum and Dominick Alving, the other two miners were rescued alive earlier in the day.  Source document PDF Format
1922 Seven miners were imprisoned for an undisclosed period following the Lake Creek Mine Explosion in Johnston City, Illinois, but were taken from the shaft by rescue teams hastily called.  The seven men had taken refuge in another entry and by doing this prevented the gas from killing them.
Issaquah Mine Cave-in, Seattle, Washington — After being buried alive for 10 hours in the Issaquah mine, Mike Pedlock was back at work none the worse for his experience.  While working in a coal chute, Pedlock was caught by an avalanche of coal that burled the entrance to the chute forty feet deep.  Although sure that he had been killed by the slide, his comrades worked unceasingly to rescue him.  About dark they broke through the wall and found Pedlock.  A crevice in the chute had admitted plenty of air, and hunger was the only inconvenience he had suffered.  Source document PDF Format
1923 Turkey Run Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Joseph Bartinsavage, a contract miner at Turkey Run Colliery, had a narrow escape from being buried alive when he was closed in behind a heavy fall of coal and rock for almost six hours.  Fellow workmen, at the risk of their lives, owing to the top continually caving in, finally rescued him, only slightly Injured.  Source document PDF Format
1924 William Penn Colliery Rescue, Mount Carmel, PA — Anthony Stervis, 41, was found nearly frozen in an abandoned breast of the William Penn mine after he went missing for nearly a day.  From what could be learned, Stervis, who was a night shift employee at the mine, had attended a funeral the day before where he was said to have taken several drinks of hootch.  When found, he was completely naked and suffering from exposure.  An examining physician said he was suffering from the cold, had several minor cuts, and appeared to be in a semi-demented condition.  Source document PDF Format
1926 Tahona No. 29 Mine Explosion, Tahona, Oklahoma — After about 3 hours, George Adams saved himself and three workmen, including Sam Cox.  Cox was burned and was bleeding about the body.  Adams dragged him through the debris to the surface and then returned for the two other men.  At another location, Lee Carter was almost overcome by gas fumes when a rescue party carried him to safety.
G. Pabst Iron Mine Rescue, Ironwood, Michigan — 43 miners were rescued after nearly — 6 days — of imprisonment more than 700 feet underground in the G. Pabst iron mine near Ironwood, Michigan.  The hero of the disaster was Captain Thomas Trewartha, their 67-year-old mine boss who displayed courage and kept the men cheerful throughout their ordeal.  On June 23, 1927, Thomas Trewartha was given the Joseph A. Holmes medal for heroism at the banquet of the Lake Superior Mining section of the National Safety council.  Source document 1 PDF Format  Source document 2 PDF Format 
1927 Brindle Mine Asphyxiation, Latrobe, Pennsylvania — N. Mack Morley lay for 6 hours in the Brindle mine before he was finally rescued.  Fastened together with a rope so that if one of their number was overcome by the treacherous blackdamp the others could drag him, three members of a rescue crew, succeeded in getting through the pocket of gas which for hours had baffled their efforts to rescue Morley.  Working as quickly as possible, the first man in the chain passed his arms under the prostrated man and he was dragged to safety.  The successful rescue attempt had been preceded by a number of futile efforts to reach the miner.  The chain of men which finally succeeded in making the rescue was composed of: Kermit Topper, Andy Hefflefinger, and Floyd Hefflefinger, with the latter in the lead.  Morley was unconscious when rescued.  He was placed in Gosnell's ambulance and rushed to the Latrobe hospital.  Source document PDF Format
Clarence Lozier Mine Cave-in, New Derry, Pennsylvania — Benjamin Rosman, a miner employed at the Clarence Lozier mine at New Derry suffered a fracture of his right leg and had an artificial leg smashed off near the hip when he and his brother William Rosman were caught under a ton of rock which fell from the roof.  William suffered a fracture of the right ankle. Both men were brought to the Latrobe hospital after an undisclosed period.  Benjamin had just raised his pick into the air to test the roof when the huge rock fell without warning, pinning both men beneath it.  Source document PDF Format
Mather Mine Lost Person, Mather, Pennsylvania — Earnest Grewshock, aged 44, was rescued by a searching party after being lost for 18 hours in the Mather mine.  He appeared none the worse for his experience when brought to the surface.  Source document PDF Format
1929 Terrible Edith Mine Fire, Murray, Idaho — Three miners were rescued from the Terrible Edith silver-lead mine.  They had been trapped for several hours by fire which swept the mine portal.  Rescuers from the Hecla Mine reached the imprisoned men who were crouched behind a barricade.  Source document PDF Format
1931 Aukstock Carter, 30, was rescued after an undisclosed period following a cave-in in an unnamed coal mine near Charleston, West Virginia.  His rescue came after company physician, Dr. W. B. Davis, amputated his right arm.  Source document External Link
1932 Unnamed Mine Cave-in, Redding, California — Happy Holbrook, 42, a miner, was released from a 40-ton rock trap which kept him imprisoned for more than 12 hours while a crew of men worked frantically to release him.  Holbrook suffered no serious injury from the accident, with the exception of a severely pinched leg.  While excavating at the mine, a large quantity of dirt gave way, causing the heavy rock to pin him down.  He was fed during the work of releasing him, and chatted cheerfully with the rescue crew.  Source document PDF Format
1933 Truesdale Colliery Inundation, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — After a 14-hour entrapment, four miners dug through cave-ins and waded through neck-deep water to reach rescue from the flooded Truesdale Colliery.  Source document PDF Format
1934 Independent Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Turkey Run, Pennsylvania — John Birchess, 22, was rescued after being trapped for four hours in a coal hole near Turkey Run.  He was covered almost to the neck, suffering injuries of the left chest, left hip, both knees and legs.  He was removed to the Locust Mountain Hospital, where his condition was said to be serious.  Birchess was working an "independent" mine hole with his partner when he was caught by a fall of dirt and rock.  Source document PDF Format
1936 Macbeth Mine Explosion, Logan, West Virginia — An explosion of gas and dust resulted in the death of 10 men, and the injury of one man by afterdamp.  This man was rescued after an undisclosed period and revived.  The explosion was restricted to 12 and 13 Right entries.  Gas had accumulated near the face of room 14, 13 Right entry, when a door was left open.  An arc from a splice in the cable of a cable-reel locomotive ignited the gas, and dust propagated the explosion.  Its spread was stopped by rock dust placed in the entries some months earlier and by a pool of water on 12 right.  Cause of Explosion: Ignition of gas by a cable reel locomotive.
1937 Jermyn Mine Cave-in, Scranton, Pennsylvania — John Wannish, 28, was rescued after being entombed in the Jermyn Mine of the Hudson Coal Company for an undisclosed period.  Four other workers trapped with Wannish were brought to the surface the night before.  Suffering from head injuries, Wannish was taken to Carbondale Hospital.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — Two miners entombed overnight in a mine air hole on the mountainside four miles south of Tamaqua, were rescued.  William Lucas, 24, and Kenneth Lutz, 23, protesting that they were "all right," were rushed to a hospital for observation immediately after a rescue squad dug through the last of tons of rock to reach them.  Lutz and Lucas, accompanied by a third miner whose name was not learned went out to the mountain hoping to find a vein of coal.  Lutz and Lucas entered an air hole on the mountain, the third man, who remained on the surface, gave the alarm after a cave-in closed the entrance to the hole.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — Entombed 7½ hours his first day in a bootleg coal hole operated by his three sons, Steven Koperna, 57, was rescued alive from his underground prison near Pine Knot Colliery in the Heckscherville Valley.  Koperna was walled in when the workings collapsed.  He was reported slightly injured, taken immediately to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Pottsville, to be treated for shock and exposure.  Koperna said: “From the time I was trapped until I was rescued, I prayed to God to save me and I promised Him I would never work another day in a bootleg coal hole.  Now that I'm rescued alive, I thank God for my rescue and I’m going to keep my promise."  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Grier City, Pennsylvania — Gus Sincavage was rescued after an undisclosed period after being caught under a fall of coal and rock while working in a bootleg mine in Grier City.  He was taken to the Locust Mountain Hospital for treatment.  Source document PDF Format
Gowen Colliery Cave-in, Hazleton, Pennsylvania — Michael Kowalsky, a miner at the Gowen colliery of the Buck Mountain Coal Company, was rescued alive yesterday after being buried under a fall of coal for two hours.  Hospital attaches said that he walked from an automobile into the Hazleton Hospital.  He escaped with abrasions of the face, nose and legs.  Source document PDF Format
Badger mine Fall of Ground, Butte, Montana — William E. Church was rescued by fellow-workmen after being trapped for 15 hours by a fall of ground in the Badger mine.  Church, with three companions, had been working on a sill over a fill stope, when the ground gave way.  Church dropped 18 feet.  His companions could hear his cries for help but could not see him.  They gave reassurance as they worked.  Church was protected by the timbers from rock and earth pressure.  He was not injured.  Source document PDF Format
1938 Oneida No. 1 Colliery Cave-in, Oneida, Pennsylvania — Andrew Kakley, 66, was rescued uninjured three hours after he was trapped behind a fall of coal and rock in the No. 13 east slope of No. 1 Colliery at Oneida, operated by the Maurie F. Coal Company.  He was working with John Polegra and Steve Roble, both of whom were able to crawl to safety through an air hole.  Their exit, however, which was on a steep pitch, was too much for the older member of the trio to navigate.  Kakley was rescued by Andrew Mehalick.  Source document PDF Format
Phelps Dodge Mine Cave-in, Bisbee, Arizona — Thomas A. Hightower, 50, was recovering in Copper Queen Hospital after having been entombed for twelve hours by the collapse of timbers in the 900-foot level of the Phelps Dodge Mine.  Hightower was working alone in the shaft, timbering a tunnel when a supporting wall gave way.  Rescue crews dug him out unconscious.  Source document PDF Format
1939 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Sheppton, Pennsylvania — Faust Bertie, 37, of Sheppton, was caught by a fall of coal and rock in an independent coal hole about 4 miles west of Sheppton, and was rescued a half hour later.  He was given first aid treatment and then directed to enter the State Hospital for observation.  His injuries were not regarded as serious.  Bertie’s plight was discovered by Adolph Ferrari, of Sheppton, who was walking by and heard the victim’s moans.  Help was immediately summoned and the rescue was affected by 4 more miners.  Source document PDF Format
Wanamie Colliery Cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Five mine workers caught behind a fall of roof yesterday in the Wanamie colliery, of the Glen Alden Coal Company, tapped an alarm by way of pipes and were rescued uninjured.  The fall cut off the gangway of a slope and the five men were trapped back of the fall.  The alarm signals given on water pipes were heard on the surface and within a short time a rescuing force started the work of clearing away the fall.  While the rescuers worked, they kept up conversation with the trapped men, who were rescued after having been imprisoned about four hours.  The trapped men were: Edward Makowski, assistant mine foreman; Stanley Symolzak, miner; his son, Edward, laborer; Edward McCloskev, miner; and Edward Wozniak, laborer.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Leon Landau, 38, was rescued alive after being entombed 10 hours in a narrow rock hole of the small mine he operated with Clarence Haertter.  Following his rescue. Landau was taken to Shamokin Hospital, where surgeons said his right side was partially paralyzed.  He was also suffering from shock.  Surgeons said the injured man's condition was ''fair,'' and that barring the unexpected, he had a good chance for recovery.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Rescue crews freed six miners two hours after they were trapped behind a rock fall deep in an anthracite mine.  None was seriously injured.  Source document PDF Format
1940 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Branchdale, Pennsylvania — Two Pine Grove miners were rescued alive yesterday after being trapped 15 hours in a bootleg mine operation near Branchdale.  James Kimmerling, 50, and Rep Batz, 32, were found uninjured but suffering greatly from cold and shock after they had been trapped in cramped quarters following the fall of many tons of coal.  The two miners were working in a gangway 20 feet in from the bottom of a shaft when the bottom fell out of their working place when it was driven into old workings.  As the bottom dropped, the mine collapsed.  Kimmerling and Batz stepped to a narrow ledge and clung there while rescuers worked 15 long hours to remove debris, place timber and reopen the workings to reach the trapped who aided by directing activities of the rescuers.  Miners who assisted in timbering the old workings and driving a new tunnel to reach the men marveled they escaped with their lives.  Source document PDF Format
1941 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Brady, Pennsylvania — A crew of independent miners labored four hours before freeing Charles Madden, who was trapped in a bootleg coal mine near Brady, Pennsylvania.  The accident victim at first was thought to be seriously injured, but after being examined at Shamokin Hospital was allowed to return to his home.  He sustained bruises of the legs.  Fellow workmen said Madden was trapped by a fall of rock and that he was covered to the waist.  Working carefully, a rescue crew succeeding in extricating Madden without causing further falls.  Source document PDF Format
1942 Edy Creek Colliery Cave-in, Olyphant, Pennsylvania — Peter Partonova, 24, was rescued from behind a 50-foot wall of rock 700 feet below the earth’s surface.  He was confined there for 15 hours.   Partonova was working in a chamber a mile and a half from the base of the Edy Creek Colliery shaft when the rock roof collapsed.  Partonova shouted directions to a rescue squad of 25 men all through the night.  He was without food, but had water and lights, which were dimming as he was released.  He was transported to the Mid-Valley Hospital where he was being treated for shock. Source document PDF Format
1943 Rescuers freed six miners after an undisclosed period following an explosion at the Three Point Coal Company mine in southeast Kentucky.  Twelve miners perished in the accident; 3 directly by the explosion and 9 others found huddled together, overcome by gases.  The six rescued miners had traveled one mile further into the mine where they constructed a barricade.  Source document External Link
Primrose Colliery Explosion, Primrose, Pennsylvania — After an undisclosed period following the explosion, nine injured men were removed from the mine and taken to a hospital in nearby Pottsville.  Most of them were suffering from burns, bruises and shock.  Only one of these, James Connelly, was believed to be in serious condition.
1947 Well Cave-in Rescue, Warner, New Hampshire — Norman Wood, 23-year-old war veteran, was rescued from an 18-foot well after being buried up to his waist for 22 hours by a cave-in.  Trapped while working in the well, Woods was pinned at the bottom of the pit and held prisoner for all the day and night before.  When finally rescued by 300 volunteer workers, Woods was taken 18 miles to the Margaret Pillsbury hospital in Concord, where he was determined to be in fair condition.  Source document PDF Format
1951 Vesta No. 5 Mine Roof Fall, Vestaburg, Pennsylvania — Though he was almost completely buried from a fall of slate in the Vesta No. 5 mine of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation, Harry Layhew, 28, only suffered a back injury.  Fellow workmen dug him out of the slate after an undisclosed period and transferred him to the Brownsville hospital.  He was admitted there after treatment but his condition was not listed as serious.  Source document PDF Format
1955 Pioneer Mine Cave-in, Ely, Minnesota — A cave-in occurred in one of the deepest underground iron mines in the world entombing Albert Marolt, 41, and Tokvo Hill, 55.  The miners were rescued from the Oliver Mining Company’s Pioneer Mine after being trapped for 20 hours.  Also missing in the mine was Joe Glinsek.  Workers said there was no chance he was still alive.  Source document PDF Format
1957 Marianna No. 58 Mine Explosion, Marianna, Pennsylvania — Six miners were rescued from the exploded and burning mine after more than 8 hours.  Shortly after noon, telephone lines were dropped to the men at the foot of the portal shaft.  The miners said they all were burned, one so badly he could take liquids only through a straw.  Blankets, first aid equipment and oxygen tanks were then lowered by rope.  The first of the trapped miners was brought to the surface in a makeshift oil drum elevator at 2:10 p.m.  At half-hour intervals, five other survivors were lifted to safety in the drums.
International Salt Mine Hoist Accident, Detroit, Michigan — A safety saving device was credited with saving the lives of six men who fell 200 feet down a mine shaft when a hoist cable snapped.  The device was a set of clamps installed in the 1,200-foot shaft of the International Salt Company mine in the downriver area near the Ford Rouge plant.  A cage carrying the men back to the surface plunged downward again when a cable snapped.  The safety clamps stopped the fall at the 900-foot level but it took five hours to complete the rescue.  None of the workers were injured, despite their harrowing experience.  Source document PDF Format
1962 Williamson Coal Mine Fall of Person, Valley View, Pennsylvania — William Klinger, 36, was listed in guarded condition in Geisinger Medical Center where he was admitted with a fractured skull, leg, ribs and possible internal injuries.  Klinger suffered the injuries in a 40-foot fall down a mine shaft at the Williamson Coal Company in Valley View, Pennsylvania.  Source document PDF Format
1968 Somerset Mine Roof Fall, Somerset, Colorado — John W. Southerland was rescued following a roof fall in the United States Steel Corporation’s Somerset Mine.  Southerland said he was trapped among the rocks for about 45 minutes before two fellow workers, Chuck Woodburn and Jim Pavisik, dug him out.  Four others were killed in the accident.
1970 Richard Owens was rescued 10 hours after being trapped in mud and rock up to his neck in the Ranchers Exploration and Development Corporation’s Tungsten Mine.  The mine is located in Vance County in north-central North Carolina, near the Virginia border.  Source document External Link
1977 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Prosperity, Missouri — A rural Joplin youth emerged with only minor bruises after a 60-foot tumble down an abandoned mine shaft.  Kevin Rumble, 15, spent about an hour trapped in the water-filled old shaft before rescue workers retrieved him by rope.  Rumble and another youth were exploring the area around the shaft, when Rumble slipped and plummeted into water about 60 feet from the top of the 140-foot shaft.  Clinging to some old boards, he managed to keep himself above water while his friend flagged down a passerby in a dune buggy.  The motorist tossed a rope down to Rumble, then attached the other end to his vehicle until rescue workers arrived.  A Jasper County Deputy Sheriff was lowered by rope into the shaft to retrieve the youth, who was then taken to a Joplin Hospital for examination.  Preliminary reports showed a possible broken rib, but no other serious injuries.  Source document PDF Format
1989 Joshua Dennis, a 10-year-old gone missing from a Boy Scout exploring trip, was rescued after nearly one week from the abandoned Hidden Treasure Mine near Stockton, Utah.  The boy was found by a Utah Power and Light Company mine rescue team, ranked among the best teams in the country.  Source document External Link
2003 Abandoned Mine Shaft Rescue, Santa Fe, New Mexico — Rescuers hoisted a 27-year-old Santa Fe man out of an old mineshaft, more than 20 hours after he fell while climbing into the shaft.  The man apparently injured his ankle during the fall but otherwise suffered only minor cuts and bruises.  He was taken to St. Vincent Hospital for a routine checkup.  The man's family looked on throughout the three-hour rescue operation.  Ten yards from the hole, an old cotton-braid rope was tied off to a small shrub.  The rope apparently broke after the man climbed into the shaft.  Officials weren’t sure how far he fell, but he was found at the bottom, about 115 feet down.  Source document PDF Format
2007 Abandoned Mine Shaft Rescue, Chloride, Arizona — A 13-year-old girl who went missing while riding an all-terrain vehicle was found dead in a mine shaft while her 10-year-old companion was rescued with serious injuries.  She was transferred to the University Medical Center in Las Vegas.  Source document PDF Format
2015 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Adelanto, California — After a man became trapped in an abandoned mine near Adelanto, California, the call was for a vertical shaft mine rescue.  The subject was 40 feet down a shaft with a level adit that went on for 20 feet.  He had hand over handed down a poly rope to see inside the mine.  When his friends tied the rope to a quad and tried to pull him out, the rope broke.  He fell a distance back down the shaft, landing on a pile of discarded mattresses at the bottom of the mine.  Since vehicles could not access the shaft, equipment was hiked in and pickets were set up for anchors.  An EMT from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Cave & Technical Rescue Team was lowered to bring the man to the surface.  The subject was unhurt, and after a nearly 8 hour entrapment, he was raised in a harness and declined further treatment.

Rescuer Deaths in September
1869 Steuben Shaft Mine Fire, Plymouth, Pennsylvania — 108 miners were asphyxiated, 2 rescuers killed.  Thomas W. Williams of Plymouth and David Jones of Grand Tunnel, entered what subsequently proved to them the pit of death.
1879 Grizzly Mine Asphyxiations, Alta, Utah — Six men were asphyxiated in the Grizzly mine from carbon monoxide.  Three of them were killed in an effort to rescue others.  The cause of the accident is ascribed to smoke from the engine furnace on the tunnel level, the exit of which had become choked, and thereby smoke was driven back through the mine.
1901 Packer No. 4 Mine Roof Fall, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Isaac James was killed while attempting to rescue 2 miners that were caught in a roof fall in the Packer No. 4 mine of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company, a second fall occurred killing him instantly.  Jeremiah Mahoney and Charles Lewis were timbering the Buck Mountain Slope when the initial fall of top rock nearly covered them.  Source document PDF Format
1913 Mine Rescue Training Fatality, Rock Springs, Wyoming — On September 30, 1913, Edward Evans, an employee of the Bureau of Mines, lost his life during mine rescue maneuvers at a mine of the Union Pacific Coal Company, Rock Springs, Wyoming.
1915 Alta-Quincy Tunnel Exploration, Salt Lake City, Utah — On September 17, 1915, Thomas Hendrickson, a foreman of the International Exploration Company, lost his life while wearing a Dräger 2-hour oxygen breathing apparatus during an exploration in the Alta-Quincy tunnel, near Salt Lake City, Utah, leased by the Albion Mining Company.
1936 Metz Coal Mine CO Asphyxiation, Fulton, Missouri — Columbia firemen were called to remove the four bodies and helped save a fifth worker who was in serious condition.  Mine owner Louis Metz and his father-in-law were overcome by gas as they went into the mine to pump water.  The miner’s three younger brothers came to help and they too fell victim to the deadly gas.  Source document External Link
1966 Morgan Mine Fire, St. Clairsville, Ohio — William Adams, 33, of Barnesville, Ohio, was outside when a fire broke out deep inside the Morgan Mine near Bethesda, Ohio.  He ran into the mine and sounded the alarm.  Counting only 12 men running out, he then went inside again in search of Keith Spicer, 22, of Dillonvale, Ohio, a miner for only two months, and Tony Territti, 43, of Wheeling.  None of the three men surfaced from the mine.
1979 In the process of testing a newly installed rescue capsule in the 335 foot shaft of Consolidation Coal Company’s Mathies Mine in Peters Township, Washington County, PA, company safety inspector, John Marn, plunged 180 feet to his death after the capsule’s coupling device broke.  The Washington County Coroner, Farrell Jackson, ruled that Edward Nogal, federal mine inspector, was partially responsible for Marn’s death.  Source document External Link
1981 Warrier Gold Mine Explosion, Burgdorf, Idaho — After the explosion, Rocke Wilson and Ardy Johnson descended to search for two workman.  Shortly thereafter, both men were suddenly overcome by carbon monoxide.  Two hours later, the general partner and mine manager resumed the search.  During this effort, Johnson was found 75 feet from the portal and Wilson was found 100 feet from the portal.  Subsequent CPR attempts revived Wilson, but Johnson never regained consciousness.
2001 JWR No. 5 Mine Explosions, Brookwood, Alabama — After communicating with the section foreman about the events of the initial blast in 4 Section, 3 other miners entered the 4 Section to rescue the remaining injured miner.  Additional miners from other sections were notified and traveled toward 4 Section to lend assistance.  Five of these miners entered the Section and another 4 reached the mouth of the 4 Section.  The second explosion resulted in 12 fatalities and widespread destruction.

Mine Accident Research Documents
Successful Mine Rescues  (MS Word format)    (PDF format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains hundreds of 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 120 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 . . .