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Identified More Than 1,000 Rescues
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Mine Disaster Calendar

united states mine rescue association
Successful Mine Rescues
Miners and others rescued after being trapped underground

United States United States
Present Day thru 1958
Rescue events are listed in descending chronological order
Related documents are available below
APR 2021 Abandoned Eureka Copper Mine Shaft Rescue, Corinth, Vermont — Police responded to a call someone had fallen in an abandoned copper mine shaft at the Eureka Mine on Pike Hill.  The man, who officials said was about 30 years old, tumbled down about 150 feet.  Firefighters assembled a twin-tension rope rescue system and lowered two paramedics into the shaft.  They then packaged and pulled up the patient in a basket.  After his — three-hour — confinement, the man was transported by ATV to a nearby helicopter, which took him to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.  There was no word on his injuries or his identity.  Officials said the entire rescue took less than one hour.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 2021 Abandoned Iron Mine Rescue, Galax, Virginia — Three hikers were lucky to be alive after they were rescued from a mine in Carroll County, Virginia.  Three women, in their early 20s, went hiking but got lost in an old, abandoned iron mine.  Incredibly, the women were able to call for help after finding they had 1 bar on a cell phone.  It was a miracle the girls got any cell signal at all.  There’s barely reception driving around on the road, let alone a thousand feet underground.  It took crews about 45 minutes to find the women until finally, rescuers spotted them.  After another 45 minutes of working their way out to safety, the young women thanked the responders from the Galax Volunteer Fire Department who left their families in the middle of the night and put their own lives on the line.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 2020 Abandoned Colorado No. 2 Mine Rescue, Eureka, Utah — One eighteen-year-old is thanking his rescuers after he was trapped in a mine for at least four hours.  Izick Garcia and his friend Moroni Oliveira were exploring caves and mines down in Eureka, when Garcia realized he had gone too far.  The two friends had explored a few other mine shafts and caves before reaching a ventilation shaft for the Colorado No. 2 mine.  "We went in, and I guess you could say there was a drop," said Garcia.  About a 25 to 30 foot drop that Garcia rappelled down in his homemade rope harness.  "I was trying to climb up and as soon as I grabbed it, it just started crumbling in my hand," said Garcia.  Moments later, the ground beneath his foot crumbled. Police said Garcia and Oliveira did a lot of things right in this situation: they were together, they told others the area they were going to, and they had some equipment.  Most importantly, when they realized they were in trouble, they called for help.  Nearly four hours after Garcia entered the mine shaft, he was pulled to safety.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 2020 Abandoned Mine Shaft Rescue, New River, Arizona — After an undisclosed period, firefighters rescued a teenage boy from an abandoned mine shaft after he fell about 50 feet while driving an all-terrain vehicle in a desert area in the northern outskirts of metro Phoenix.  The 17-year-old boy was taken to hospital for evaluation after being pulled out of the shaft near New River.  No information was released about possible injuries, but a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman said the boy was alert and speaking with rescuers.  Rescuers arriving at the scene found the boy at the bottom of the shaft with the ATV on top of him.  Personnel from the Glendale, Daisy Mountain, Phoenix and Peoria fire departments participated in the rescue.  Source document PDF Format
APR 2020 Isaban Mine No. 3, Gilbert, West Virginia — Timothy Kennedy, 26, who had been missing for more than a week, was located by MHST, West Virginia State Police, MSHA personnel, and a Southern Pocahontas Mine Rescue Team in the closed Isaban Mine No. 3 of Frasier Creek Mining, LLC.  Besides having to wade through some water, the rescuers did not encounter extreme adverse conditions and did not need to turn on their breathing devices.  They did find evidence of copper removal during their search.  The man was brought to the surface and examined by Elite Care Ambulance personnel before being taken to a hospital by life-flight for an evaluation.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 2020 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Twentynine Palms, California — San Bernardino County Fire Department search teams staged a daring and complex rescue of a man trapped in a remote mine.  County Fire officials received a call from an unidentified explorer in a rural, unincorporated area of Twentynine Palms who had recently left a mine and reported that a partner was still inside and unable to get out.  To reach the trapped man, rescuers braved significant hazards within the mine, including unsafe terrain, and high temperatures and humidity, officials said in the statement that described the 15-hour effort.  Members of the rescue team crawled through an entrance on their stomachs for approximately 50 feet.  After this, they navigated a large drop by skirting around a 14-inch ledge.  Secured by safety lines, the firefighters then climbed down a separate, 200-foot drop on a wooden ladder.  From there, they encountered another small gap with irregular height, which forced them onto their hands, knees and stomachs for another 150 feet.  Rescuers lowered themselves down another sheer drop with ropes before traversing a horizontal tunnel.  They found the man at the bottom of an additional 90-foot drop at the end of that tunnel.  The total distance the team traveled in the mine was estimated at over 900 feet.  A team of six rescuers used a system of ropes and pulleys to hoist the man out of the mine.  While exhausted, he suffered only minor injuries and declined transport to a hospital.  In total, the man spent roughly 20 hours in the mine.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 2018 Abandoned Gold Mine Rescue, Phoenix, Arizona — An Arizona prospector realized he was lucky to be alive after surviving nearly three days at the bottom of an old abandoned gold mine shaft in the Arizona desert and staring down rattlesnakes.  John Waddell, 60, broke his left leg and ankle when the rigging he used to lower himself into the 100-foot shaft about 90 miles northwest of Phoenix broke.  He free-fell to the rocky bottom and saw that his left leg "was flopped up and my ankle was going the other way," according to Waddell.  He had a cellphone but no service.  A flashlight that didn’t provide light for very long.  And no food or water.  Waddell said he killed three diamondback rattlesnakes with a stick before they could strike — including two the first day — and then hung on before he was finally rescued when a friend drove to the mine and heard his cries for help.  It took about three hours for rescue crews to lift Waddell to safety and then to a hospital for treatment.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 2018 Hi-Crush Sand Mine, Whitehall, Wisconsin — Robbie Gunderson was rescued at the Hi-Crush sand mine near Whitehall, Wisconsin when the bulldozer he was operating went into the holding pond and became submerged under several feet of water.  As the rescue efforts began, some 10 million gallons of water were released from the pond to lower its level the company statement said.  Officials at Hi-Crush said Gunderson was underwater for 2½ hours before he was rescued.
DEC 2017 Abandoned Mine Shaft Rescue, Golden, Colorado — A 15-year-old was pulled from an abandoned mine shaft near Golden Colorado after more than 3 hours.  Crews with the West Metro Fire Rescue rushed to rescue the teenager who was trapped in the old mine shaft.  The boy was climbing in the old mine shaft when his rope snapped and he fell about 60 feet down the deep hole.  He was already 40 feet down when he fell, so rescuers had to bring him up from 100 feet below.  He was rushed to St. Anthony’s Hospital for treatment of a broken leg.
JUN 2017 La Farge Gravel Mine Rescue, Placitas, New Mexico — Two workers became trapped while working on equipment at the La Farge gravel mine.  Attempting their rescue, two others also became engulfed in the material.  Two of the workers were buried up to their necks, a third to his chest and the fourth to his waist when emergency personnel arrived.  The last man was freed from his confines 6 hours after the incident occurred.
MAY 2017 Unnamed noncoal mine, Tooele County, Utah — Trent Widdop, 27, of American Fork, fell into a mine shaft on his UTV (utility task vehicle) at about 2:00 a.m. while searching for firewood.  The UTV lodged in the shaft at a depth of about 15-20 feet, but Widdop fell off the vehicle.  He fell 15-20 feet to a ledge and then slid another 50 feet to the bottom of the shaft.  His family began searching for him when he did not return to camp and finally located the UTV around 5:00 a.m., when they called 911.  Crews from the Utah County Sheriff’s office, Tooele County Sheriff’s office, Unified Fire Authority, and Tooele County Search and Rescue responded.  Search and Rescue retrieved Widdop from the shaft and he was flown to the hospital with serious injuries.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 2016 Keystone No. 1 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Keystone, West Virginia — Three men were found and rescued in the abandoned Keystone No. 1 mine following a search lasting more than 12 hours.  The three men found, Justin Bolen, Brandon Collins and Steve Cordle, along with Dustin Bolen and Jimmie were arrested following an investigation into the copper thefts at the mine.  A fourth man lost in the mine, Clay Epperly, was never found.
JUL 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.
JAN 2016 Cargill Salt Elevator Incident, Lansing, New York — Rescue crews freed 17 miners in upstate New York after they spent a terrifying 10 hours down in one of the world's deepest salt mines.  The first four of the Cargill Salt miners emerged to the surface in a basket around 7 a.m.  The rest were rescued from the salt mine over the next two hours.
SEP 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.
JAN 2015 Keystone No. 1 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Keystone, West Virginia — In January 2015, a McDowell County man had to be rescued from the Keystone No. 1 mine after entering it to steal copper, officials said (see page 2).  The injured man and his partner became separated after entering the mine.  The partner made his way out, but the injured man did not.  According to a source with knowledge of the incident, the trespasser survived 20 hours in 12 percent oxygen in a rescue effort lasting 6-8 hours.
Abandoned Mine Animal Rescue, Tuttletown, California — Molly the cow was rescued from almost certain death at the bottom of a Tuttletown mine shaft by UC Davis veterinarians on Jan. 22.  Her owner, Antoinette Nichols, went looking for the family pet Jan. 19 after Molly didn’t return to her corral that day.  Nichols spotted her in a 30-foot hole.  Molly was fed and given water, but Nichols and the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office had no way to get her out.  After three nights, the Sheriff’s Office called UC Davis’ Veterinary Emergency Response Team to rescue Molly.  Nichols was on hand to comfort the 1,200-pound cow as the team began her extraction.  "Molly, we’ve had since birth," Nichols said.  "She’s always been special.  One day old, she came up to humans, and every now and then you have to dodge her because she gives you a big lick."  Molly is a 9-year-old Brahman cow, a breed known for "snorty and aggressive behavior," according to Dr. John Madigan, a professor at UC Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine and head of VERT.  The response team sedated Molly before bringing her up for their own safety.  The team attached her to a lift specially designed by UC Davis veterinarians for picking up large animals and brought her out of the hole.  Molly was uninjured and returned to her corral following her rescue.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 2013 Tracy Lynne Mine Roof Fall, Kittanning, Pennsylvania — Two miners were rescued after a coal mine collapse at the Tracy Lynne mine operated by Rosebud Mining of Kittanning.  The miners were brought to the surface just after 6 p.m. after a rescue effort that began about an hour earlier.  The two miners were being taken to a hospital, one of the men was to be treated for a possible knee injury.  The injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 2013 Castle Valley No. 4 Mine Cave-in, Huntington, Utah — Two miners were involved in a cave-in at a mine in Bear Canyon, about 10 miles west of Huntington, Utah.  After an undisclosed period, rescuers freed Dallen McFarlane from the cave-in and took that worker to Castleview Hospital in Price where he was treated and released.  The second miner, Elam Jones, was killed by the collapse.  The mine is part of the Castle Valley Mining Complex operated by Rhino Resource Partners. Source document PDF Format Investigation Report PDF Format
DEC 2011 Young Zinc Mine Fire, Knoxville, Tennessee — Three miners were rescued 2 hours after a fire broke out in the Young zinc mine about 25 miles from Knoxville.  54 miners were in the mine at the time the fire started on a drill rig.  Two miners were treated for smoke inhalation.  The 3 men were trapped by smoke and needed respirators to leave the mine.  They were transported to a hospital for further evaluation.  Source document PDF Format
Lucky Friday Mine Rock Burst, Mullen, Idaho — Seven miners were pulled safely from the Lucky Friday mine after an undisclosed period following a sudden rock burst which left them injured more than a mile below the surface.  Hecla Limited officials said this incident did not appear to be connected to blasting activity in the underground shaft.  HecIa Vice President Melanie Hennessey said the miners were installing a safety system to contain rock bursts when precisely the kind of burst the company was seeking to protect against occurred.  Such a burst, a spontaneous fracture in the rock, can be triggered by blasting in deep mines, or by "seismic activity," she said in an interview.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 2011 Jellico No. 1 Mine Inundation, Middlesboro, Kentucky — Three mine maintenance workers were set free after being trapped for 14 hours in the flooded Jellico No. 1 mine of the Bell County Coal Company, a subsidiary of the James River Coal Company.  The miners became trapped when a collapse near the mine entrance sent water from a swollen drainage ditch gushing into the mine.  None of the miners were injured.  The three miners were Pernell Witherspoon, Doug Warren, and Russell Asher.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 2010 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Longswamp Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania — More than 50 rescue workers labored for seven hours to hoist four Berks teenage boys to safety after they found themselves trapped at the bottom of an old mineshaft in Longswamp Township.  Camping with four others near Bear Creek Mountain Resort, the teens decided to climb down the mine shaft to explore surrounding caves.  A youthful indiscretion, a good story for the grandkids until one of them lost his grip after making it more than halfway down.  The unidentified boy fell 30 feet to the shaft's floor, knocking himself unconscious.  Three of his friends climbed down to make sure he was OK and realized they couldn't get out, either.  They called police and the remaining campers hiked out half a mile through dense woods to meet rescue officers.  From there, emergency officials shuttled supplies in via all-terrain vehicle.  As dawn approached, emergency workers realized the shaft was much deeper than they expected.  Enter the Lehigh County Technical Rescue team, which rappelled down four rescuers to attend to the stricken campers.  With hypothermia setting in, paramedics administered warm intravenous fluids to boost their body temperatures.  Finally around 9 a.m., the last teen was hoisted to the surface.  The rescued boys were taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest for treatment of hypothermia and the fall victim's head injury.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 2010 Three Missouri miners were rescued from a DPOS after being trapped more than 5 hours in the No. 29 mine of the Doe Run Company near Viburnum on January 21, 2010.  Their escape was cut off when a 30-ton haul truck caught fire.  The trapped miners were: Robert McClain, truck driver; Michael Byers, loader operator; and Timothy Yount, scaler operator.  See moreExternal Link
AUG 2008 Abandoned Gold Mine Rescue, Sonora, California — Darvis Lee, Jr., 34, was rescued from an abandoned gold mine after tumbling more than 100 feet and spending two nights at the bottom of the dark shaft.  Lee fell down the shaft while exploring the mine.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 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
JAN 2006 One miner, Randal McCloy Jr., is found alive after 40 hours following the Sago Mine Explosion in West Virginia.  Twelve miners died in the accident.  This disaster prompted the creation of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act).

See You on the Other Side by Les Freres
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MAY 2006 Darby No. 1 Mine Explosion, Holmes Mill, Kentucky — Paul Ledford, roof bolter, was rescued after more than 2 hours following the explosion.  Ledford had traveled approximately 1,050 feet in the No. 5 Entry where he collapsed and lost consciousness.  He regained consciousness at approximately 3:05 a.m. and crawled into the No. 6 Entry, where he was discovered by rescuers.  He was then taken out of the mine on a battery-powered personnel carrier and transported to Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, where he was treated.
MAY 2005 Rouchleau Mine Rescue, Virginia, Minnesota — Charles Grant and Joseph Kure, both 18, were rescued from the Rouchleau Mine late Thursday and early Friday when rescuers rappelled along the pit wall where the two were stranded.  The teens became trapped about 200 feet into the pit, after they apparently walked into it while exploring a trail.  A Virginia firefighter rappelled down to Kure, attached a "pickoff" harness strap to the teen, and lowered him to safety.  A rescue squad member then rappelled to Grant and lowered him.  Neither required medical treatment.  Rescue crews worked for about two hours atop a barren edge of the pit to establish a secure rescue location.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 2005 South State Dredge and Plant, Bridgeton, New Jersey — Elwood Durham, 66, was injured when a work boat he and another co-worker were on capsized.  A crane and the boat were being used in an attempt to retrieve a dredge anchor from the bottom of a dredge pond.  The crane and the boat were simultaneously hooked to the anchor line.  The crane operator's view of the boat was obstructed and there were no communications established between the crews.  Because there was too much slack in the cable connection to the crane, the crane backed away from the shore, capsizing the boat.  After an undisclosed period, two co-workers rescued the two employees from the cold water and administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation to revive Mr. Durham.  He was hospitalized and died on March 24, 2005.  The other miner was able to rescue himself.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 2004 Unnamed Abandoned Noncoal Mine Rescue, Ogden, Utah — Steve Mahoney, 46, of Ogden suffered a broken leg (tibia-fibula fracture) from a fall in a mine.  He had descended an 85-foot winze located 150-200 feet inside the mine using a 75-foot polypropylene waterskiing tow rope.  He jumped the remaining ten feet and was injured (how he planned to reach the rope to exit was unknown).  A companion summoned help, although she originally denied being in the mine and gave changing stories to emergency responders.  The rescue by Weber County Search and Rescue required a difficult in-mine litter hoist to get the victim to an ambulance.  Source: Weber County Sheriff Search and Rescue Training Newsletter.
JUN 2004 Unnamed Abandoned Noncoal Mine Rescue, Utah County, Utah — A 21-year-old Riverton man was hospitalized after falling about 60 feet into a gravel pit on his all-terrain vehicle.  Utah County Sheriff’s deputies say he was riding with a group of friends around 3:30 p.m. in the Fivemile Pass area when the accident happened.  Officers say he drove his four-wheeler through a break in the wall and fell.  The man suffered neck and back injuries and several broken bones.  He was flown to the University of Utah Hospital.  Source: MSHA Stay Out, Stay Alive campaign.
SEP 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
JAN 2003 McElroy Mine Shaft Explosion, Cameron, West Virginia — Rescuers clambered into an oversized bucket attached to a crane and were lowered to two injured miners below.  They brought out Benjamin Bair and Richard Brumley.  They were transported to Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital.  Bair was listed in critical condition with second-degree burns and multiple fractures.  Brumley was in serious condition with second-degree burns, puncture wounds and a concussion.  The five rescuers were honored with Carnegie Medals for heroism for saving injured workers after the explosion in a mine shaft.  They included Sheriff’s deputies, Brent Wharry and Steven Cook; Donald Kline, paramedic; and miners Aaron Meyer and Jack Cain.
AUG 2002 Walter L. Houser Strip Asphyxiation, Kittanning, Pennsylvania — At 7:15 a.m., Timothy E. Barrett, a 40-year-old auger machine operator became overcome from low oxygen after crawling in a 30-inch diameter auger hole at the Walter L Houser Strip mine.  Barrett crawled into the auger hole but did not return, nor did he respond when Darlene Orr, helper, called to him.  Orr crawled into the hole and found Barrett unconscious about 120 feet into the hole, but was unable to drag him out.  Joseph O'Donnell, MSHA inspector, donned a self contained breathing device, tied two ropes around himself and entered the hole.  Barrett was found unconscious due to the oxygen deficiency.  O'Donnell tried to drag Barrett, but could not.  He then tied a rope to Barrett and signaled to the rescue personnel to begin pulling.  Barrett was removed from the hole at approximately 9:15 a.m. was given emergency medical treatment.  Barrett was transported to Armstrong County Memorial Hospital where he unfortunately was pronounced dead at 9:44 a.m.  Source document External Link
JUL 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.

Miracle at Quecreek Mine by Mountain John
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MAY 2002 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Kern County, California — While riding his dirt bike in a remote part of Kern County, California, a 10-year-old boy fell 200 feet into an abandoned mine shaft.  In a rescue which lasted several hours and was executed by the Indian Wells Valley Mine Rescue Team and the Kern County Fire Department, the boy and his rescuer, Sean Halpin, were raised to the surface.  The victim was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was kept 24 hours for observation and then released.
Zeigler Coal Company Mine No. 11, Coulterville, Illinois — Kenny Penrod, 56, and Raymond Smith were rescued uninjured after an undisclosed period following a massive roof fall in the Zeigler Coal Company Mine No. 11 near Coulterville.  Penrod said the area he was trapped in was approximately 2 to 3 feet high, and 4 feet wide.  He estimated it to be about 8 feet long.  Penrod said the fact that the rock was on top of the buggy saved his life.  Raymond Smith, who was running the shuttle car that was directly behind the miner was also trapped.  The fall that had Penrod and Smith trapped was one solid slab of rock that measured 72 feet long. 19 feet wide and 7 feet thick.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, California City, California — A 12-year-old boy fell 200 feet down an abandoned mine and remained trapped for almost four hours before fire officials rescued him.  The boy emerged from the ordeal conscious and without major injuries, said Kern County Fire Capt., Thomas Patlan.  He was airlifted to Loma Linda Medical Center.  "He was conscious and he helped us out a lot.  He’s a brave young man," Patlan said.  The fire department was notified of the incident at 2:15 p.m. and succeeded in freeing the boy about 6 p.m.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 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.
APR 2000 Unnamed Abandoned Noncoal Mine Rescue, Utah County, Utah — Randy Gatton, 26, of Provo, was riding a motorcycle with a friend when he fell approximately 30 feet down a mine shaft and landed with the motorcycle atop him.  He suffered a sprained ankle, scrapes and bruises.  He was in the mine for three hours before being rescued.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1998 Abandoned Stateline Noncoal Mine Rescue, Modena, Utah — Todd Meeks, 36, of Ivins, slipped and fell about 100 feet down a mine while prospecting.  He suffered a broken arm, broken leg, and other injuries and was not discovered and rescued until the day after the accident.  He was hospitalized in critical condition.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1998 Mine Shaft Rescue, Acton, California — A man was rescued after being trapped for nearly six hours on a ledge 150 feet down a mine shaft.  He was trapped after falling in the 800-foot vertical mine shaft prompting an effort by more than 60 rescuers.  He had fallen off a ladder, but details about what he had been doing were unavailable.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1998 Abandoned Mine - Dog Rescue, Avra Valley, Arizona — A male Chow Chow - hungry, thirsty and too weak to stand - was rescued from an abandoned mine shaft where firefighters said the dog may have been trapped up to a week.  Ten firefighters and rescue workers from Northwest Fire District worked for nearly 90 minutes to lift it safely from the 30-foot-deep pit in Avra Valley.  The Pima County Animal Control officer who took the dog to the county shelter, said it hadn't eaten in at least a week.  The dog was treated for dehydration, malnutrition, infections in both eyes, and minor injuries it received from the fall into the shaft.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1997 Lehigh Coal & Navigation Strip Mine Rescue, Coaldale, Pennsylvania — Heroic overnight efforts by about 70 people saved two Lansford teen-agers stuck in a 500-foot stripping pit for up to 11 hours Wednesday and Thursday.  John Urso, 18, and a 13-year-old boy escaped with minor injuries.  The two, along with Howard McLaughlin, 20, of Lansford and another boy apparently entered the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company property in Coaldale.  All four were walking around and climbing the walls of the Springdale mining pits.  Trouble started when Urso and the 13-year-old became stranded around 4:30 p.m.  The pit is about a quarter-mile wide and 500 feet deep and consists of a number of narrow, descending ledges spaced 50 to 60 feet apart.  McLaughlin and the unidentified boy climbed out of the pit, while Urso was stranded on a ledge about 200 feet from the top and 300 feet from the bottom.  The 13-year-old was 300 yards away, on a ledge 400 feet down.  "Urso was holding onto a tree so he wouldn't fall farther down."  Rescuers with spotlights stationed on one side of the wide pit illuminated the opposite side, where others worked their way down ledges to the 13-year-old and placed him in a basket.  He was raised to safety at 1:49 a.m.  The boy was treated for minor scrapes and ankle injuries at Miners Memorial Medical Center, Coaldale.  Urso refused medical treatment.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1996 Mine Shaft Rescue, Morris County, New Jersey — Four rock climbers who were reported missing for more than a day were rescued from a Rockaway Township mine shaft in New Jersey.  A police officer found their vehicle along the roadside near property owned by Mount Hope Rock Products.  A search party was sent onto the property, and a police officer heard cries for help coming from 100 feet below the opening to the mine shaft.  The men had climbed down over a protruding ledge, and could not climb back out.  Rescuers dropped ropes down the shaft, and the climbers were able to assist in their own rescue.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1995 Solvay Minerals Trona Mine Rescue, Green River, Wyoming — Two miners were rescued after becoming lost when a 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit the area.  The first miner was lifted to safety after a day and was in good condition at a hospital.  The second miner was rescued after nearly two days.  He suffered a heart attack as he was being lifted out of the mine and died hours later.  Source document 1 PDF Format  Source document 2 PDF Format
Unnamed Abandoned Noncoal Mine Rescue, Tooele County, Utah — Mark Hoefnagel, 20, and Anthony Ballif, 23, both of Sandy, crashed their Jeep through a fence and plunged 50 feet down a mine shaft around 3:00 p.m.  They survived the fall and were able to get out of the vehicle, but not climb out of the shaft.  The two were rescued around 7:30 by another party of off-roaders who heard their calls for help.  Hoefnagel was hospitalized in serious but stable condition with internal injuries; Ballif was treated for minor injuries and released.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1993 Unnamed Mine Inundation, Wilkesville, Ohio — Daniel J. Beam and Charles Jody Neece helped to save eight men from drowning on July 11, 1993.  Eight miners were working in a distant area of an underground coal mine when millions of gallons of water from an adjoining, abandoned mine began to flood the corridors of the working mine.  The miners were alerted to the situation and ordered to evacuate.  They proceeded on foot toward the nearest elevator, unaware of the extent of the flooding ahead of them.  After a fire boss left, on foot, to get them to change their course, Beam, 46, mine supervisor, agreed to take a mine trolley more than three miles to the far end of the mine, where the miners and fire boss were expected.  When Beam reached that point, the men had not yet arrived, and he was unable to determine their location or the advance of the floodwater.  Rather than flee himself, Beam waited 50 minutes before the fire boss and miners appeared.  They boarded Beam's trolley and another one that was available and rode toward an elevator, picking up another fleeing miner on the way.  As the group proceeded, a power outage forced them to abandon the electrical conveyance, and they continued on foot.  When one of the men restored power to the trolleys, Beam turned, ran into the path of the advancing floodwater, and took a trolley to the others.  They resumed riding to the elevator, which they took to the surface of the mine shortly before floodwaters reached the bottom of the elevator shaft.  Both Mr. Beam and Mr. Neece were awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  Source document 1PDF Format  Source document 2PDF Format
JAN 1993 Whitwell Mine No. 30 Roof Fall, Whitwell, Tennessee — Investigators were trying to determine what caused a 100-foot-long, 14-foot-wide rock to fall at Whitwell Mine No. 30, killing two miners and injuring two others.  The mine is in a remote location on Daus Mountain, about 50 miles northeast of Chattanooga.  Robert Dempsey was rescued after 10 hours and taken to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga for emergency treatment.  He had to have at least two fingers amputated as part of the rescue and was in undetermined but apparently non-life-threatening condition.  The fourth miner, William Watts, was in good condition at Whitwell Medical Center with bruises on his head and cuts on his scalp.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1992 U. S. Gypsum Company Mine Cave-in, Ocotillo Wells, California — Leroy Witherspoon, 34, was rescued after being trapped for more than seven hours in the U. S. Gypsum Company Mine.  He had been operating a mine train that became engulfed in 200 tons of gypsum ore.  Conscious when rescued, Witherspoon suffered fractures in his left arm and right leg.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1991 Rocky Mouth Canyon Mine Rescue, Sandy, Utah — Adam Smolensky, 19, of Sandy crawled through a steel barrier installed by the UAMRP to enter the mine around 8:30 a.m. and fell into a 25-foot-deep winze located about 20 feet inside the mine.  Passers-by discovered him around 1:15 p.m. and summoned his parents, who unsuccessfully tried to rescue him.  Smolensky was finally rescued by Sandy Fire Department and Salt Lake County Search and Rescue crews about 3:00 p.m.  Smolensky was hospitalized with a shoulder injury.  Sandy firefighter Tad Norris suffered a broken nose during the rescue when a steel bar being removed from the entry hit him in the face.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1991 Unnamed Abandoned Noncoal Mine Rescue, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah — Kent Parker, 16, of Sandy fell down a 50-foot shaft near Alta while snowboarding.  He did not see the shaft until he was airborne in it.  His companions did not see him fall and continued down the mountain.  He was trapped for 90 minutes before being discovered.  It took an hour for rescuers to remove him from the shaft.  He suffered a concussion and hypothermia and was hospitalized for several days.  Source: Salt Lake Tribune, November 3, 1991.
SEP 1991 Unnamed Abandoned Noncoal Mine Rescue, Tooele County, Utah — Terry Blackburn, 16, of South Jordan was hiking with two friends after dark to camp near the rim of the Kennecott pit.  Around 10:30 or midnight Blackburn stumbled 20-30 feet into a 4-foot-wide ventilation shaft.  His friends summoned help, but were unable to relocate the shaft for some time.  Blackburn was not rescued until 5:25 a.m.  He suffered a broken leg, four broken teeth, and cuts and bruises.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1991 70 miners were rescued after more than seven hours following a roof fall at the Consolidation Coal McElroy Mine near Moundsville, West Virginia.  The fall occurred when a mine car struck a roof support causing the collapse.  Rescuers lowered food and extra mine lamps to the trapped miners during their ordeal.  Source documentExternal Link
DEC 1990 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Lavelle, Pennsylvania — A rescue crew of nearly 50 worked for five hours to save a teen-age boy who fell into a mine shaft while hunting.  William L. Hubler, Jr., 16, of RD1 Ashland, sustained injuries during the 30-foot fall.  He was listed in satisfactory condition at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, where he was flown by medical helicopter.  "It's a very treacherous area very steep and rocky," said state Trooper H. Thadd Dillon, explaining why the rescue took so long.  Also, rescue workers were unsure whether the teen had a neck or back injury and needed to be cautious, he said.  Emergency workers from Lavelle, Washington and Yorkville fire companies used ropes, chains, and a Stokes rescue basket to haul Hubler from the abandoned hole, Dillon said.  Yorkville Fire Company was called in because of its mine rescue equipment.  Two or three workers went down into the shaft to secure the boy in the Stokes basket.  He was then hoisted up, according to Dillon.  The shaft is about 80 feet long, 30 feet wide and 60 feet deep.  Hubler landed on a rocky ledge about 30 feet from the top.  "Because of the area being so steep, rescue workers had to use chainsaws to cut a path to the road so they could carry him out quickly and safely," Dillon explained.  "That was time consuming."  According to the trooper, Hubler was hunting with his father, William Sr., and several other people when he fell.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 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
SEP 1990 High Splint Mine No. 1 Roof Fall, Cloverlick, Kentucky — Two miners were injured and trapped in a roof fall at a mine in Harlan County, but one was rescued a few hours later, officials said.  Rescuers pulled one man from the underground mine, but the other, a foreman, was still trapped last night and authorities could not make voice contact with him.  The roof fall occurred at the High Splint No. 1 underground mine at Cloverlick.  The mine, run by Arch Mineral’s subsidiary Arch of Kentucky, is about one mile south of Southeast Community College in Cumberland.  The miner who was rescued was identified as a roof-bolter operator, Elmo Banks, age unknown.  Banks was conscious when pulled from the mine.  He had been talking to rescuers before being freed and had said that the foreman was alive.  Banks was to be taken by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.  His condition was not available.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1990 Abandoned Lorman Mine Rescue, Twentynine Palms, California — Jeff Smith, 29, was lifted from the mine after an undisclosed period by a rescue team from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.  The 240-pound Smith and two friends had lowered themselves by rope into the 85-foot deep Lorman Mine.  They were climbing out of the mine when a rock dislodged and broke Smith’s arm.  His friends lowered Smith to the floor of the mine.  They intended to use the ropes and their car to pull him out, but the car would not start.  One friend found some members of a ham radio operators’ group that notified authorities, who dispatched the rescue team.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 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
TM Coal Company Mine Roof Fall, Pikeville, Kentucky — A Pike County coal miner, trapped for five hours by a roof fall, emerged unharmed after rescuers dug through a thick pile of rocks and coal with their hands.  Herman Coleman, 41, drove home after being rescued from the TM Coal Co. mine.  It's kind of hard to explain," said Coleman, who had been working at the mine just two days.  "It's just one of those things that will happen to miners as long as we work underground."  He was operating a coal-cutting machine when a section of the roof fell.  Coleman was examined by emergency medical technicians at the scene, given a clean bill of health and then allowed to drive home.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1988 Abandoned Monarch Noncoal Mine Rescue, North Willow Canyon, Utah — Phillip Butterfield, 15, entered the mine portal without a flashlight or safety gear and slipped down a 30-foot winze.  His father, William Butterfield, 44, went after him and could not climb out.  They were rescued by the Tooele County Sheriff’s search and rescue unit.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Maxfield Noncoal Mine Rescue, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah — John Mazuran, 16, and two companions tried to explore a winze located about half a mile inside the mine.  Mazuran lost his footing about 60 feet down and slid another 100 feet to the bottom.  He was unable to climb out.  His friends summoned the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office, which performed the rescue.  Source: Deseret News, August 4, 1988.
MAY 1988 Unnamed Abandoned Noncoal Mine Rescue, Fivemile Pass, Utah — John Carlson, 25, of West Valley City was lowering himself into the mine when the rope broke.  He fell approximately 50 feet and sustained minor injuries.  He required rescue by the county search-and-rescue team.  Source: Deseret News, May 22, 1988.
DEC 1987 Charles Simpson, Jr. was rescued 19 hours after a roof fall accident at the Slate Top Coal Company mine near Woodbine, Kentucky.  Source document External Link
OCT 1987 Rescuers worked for 58 hours to free "Baby Jessica" McClure from an eight-inch (20 cm) well casing 22 feet (6.7 m) below the ground.  The story gained worldwide attention (leading to some criticism as a media circus), and later became the subject of a 1989 television movie Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure on ABC.  As presented in the movie, a vital part of the rescue was the use of the then relatively new technology of waterjet cutting.  See moreExternal Link
Five miners trapped for more than a day were hauled 800 feet to safety in a bucket about the size of a garbage can.  The became trapped when a cable suspending a 3-ton piece of machinery snapped, sending the equipment and debris plunging into the Diamond gold and silver mine at Leadville, Colorado.  The mine was owned by the Leadville Corporation.  Source document External Link
MAY 1987 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Pinos Altos, New Mexico — A 17-year-old was rescued about seven hours after he had fallen about 90 feet down a mine shaft west of Pinos Altos, New Mexico authorities said.  He was taken by helicopter to Gila Regional Medical Center, Silver City, where he was treated Thursday for a broken leg and cuts.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1987 Big Mountain Mine Cave-in, Prenter, West Virginia — Cecil Hager, 32, was rescued — 11½ hours — after he was trapped under 14 feet of rubble in a cave-in at the Big Mountain Mine at Prenter, West Virginia.  Rescue workers believed that Hager was working under the canopy of a continuous mining machine at the time of the cave-in and was protected from the falling rock.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Mine Accident, Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania — A state Game Commission worker was in stable condition this morning after being rescued from the bottom of a 60-foot shaft after an accident while on a bat-counting expedition.  James Kennedy of Uniontown, was one of about 10 people helping with an annual census of the endangered Indiana bat inside the cave and abandoned mine in Canoe Creek State Park.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1986 Abandoned Mine Cave-in, Pilot Knob, Missouri — About 30 tons of rock fell onto a teen-age boy in an abandoned mine, and rescuers using heavy equipment took more than 17 hours to roll a boulder aside to free him.  Gerald Dwayne Easter, 17, was freed and flown to St Mary's Health Center in Richmond Heights, a St Louis suburb, where he was listed in serious but stable condition after surgery.  Easter became trapped in the mine on Pilot Knob Mountain when a shaft wall collapsed and the boulder fell on his legs, said Don Wynn, the Pilot Knob fire chief.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1986 Lewis No. 2 Mine Roof Fall, Harlan County, Kentucky — One miner was killed and another miner was trapped for more than 2 hours by a roof fall in the No. 2 mine of the Paul and Robert Lewis Coal Company at Cumberland, Kentucky.  The trapped worker, Terry Rigney, was rescued unharmed.  The body of the other miner, Paul Lewis, was recovered after Rigney was freed.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Quicksilver Mine Rescue, Guerneville, California — Rescue crews pulled a tired and thankful teenager from a 150-foot abandoned mercury mineshaft Saturday night where the luckless explorer was trapped for more than six hours.  Rick Gloege, 18, of Sebastopol was hoisted with rope and harness by firefighters and the Sonoma County sheriffs rescue and search team from a carved room 150-feet down the mercury mineshaft where he had been stuck.  The youth, who described himself as a professional tree climber now working at a pizza restaurant, said he was stranded in the shaft at the old Quicksilver Mine when he was unable to find the footing and strength needed to pull himself 30 feet to a ledge.  Neither Gloege nor his 19-year-old friend Jeff Brown, who didn't enter the mineshaft, were injured in the incident.  Gloege spent about three hours trying to pull himself out of the mineshaft Saturday afternoon before Brown drove into town for help at the Guerneville firehouse.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1986 Ophir Canyon Mine Shaft Rescue, Ogden, Utah — An Ogden Scout leader, Steven F. Stanford, 65, was rescued from an Ophir Canyon mine shaft by Tooele County Search and Rescue volunteers.  Mr. Sanford had trouble with his equipment when hiking the mile route to the cave and the five boys accompanying him went ahead of him.  While searching for the boys, however, Mr. Stanford made a wrong turn and fell down a 70-foot incline, then dropped another 20 feet to the bottom of the cave.  The Scout leader had suffered a broken wrist, strained knee, and sprained ankle from the fall, Deputy Park said.  Rescuers hoisted him out from the cave and administered first aid.  After walking out of the cave, Mr. Stanford was placed on a stretcher and transported down the mountainside.  He was taken to the Tooele hospital.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 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 1External Link  Source document 2External Link
OCT 1985 Abandoned Maxfield Mine Rescue, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah — Two brothers missing for 2½ days were found in an abandoned mine where they had been lost in darkness since their flashlight went out.  Dennis Workman, 26, and his brother Scott Workman, 25, were found by teams led by a Sheriff’s deputy.  The use of dogs helped pinpoint them.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1985 Abandoned Lead Mine Rescue, Thida, Arkansas — Volunteers digging by hand rescued two young brothers, their teen-age cousin and a dog from an abandoned lead mine Monday, more than 24 hours after they had become trapped while searching for gold.  The trio — ages 9, 11 and 19 — were pulled out of a small pocket about 250 feet inside the Civil War-era mine.  They were cold and wet, but otherwise appeared uninjured.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1985 Trapped for 37 hours following a roof fall accident, Curtis Sanders, age 32, was rescued and walked out of the Powderhorn Coal Company's Roadside mine in DeBeque Canyon, Colorado.  Sanders had been hunched over and nearly waist-deep in water in the cab of a large mining machine during his period of entrapment.  He was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, where nurses in the emergency room said he was in good condition.  Source document External Link
AUG 1984 LTV Corp. Mine Entrapment, Nemacolin, Pennsylvania — Three miners were rescued uninjured after being trapped in a mine shaft lift in an LTV Corp. mine for more than an hour.  The accident occurred when an outdoor crane struck a 25,000-volt power line, causing a motor in the lift to burn out just as the midnight shift workers were leaving.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1984 Abandoned Tungsten Mine Fall of Person, Visalia, California — Joel Baca, 22, was listed in stable condition at Valley Medical Center in Fresno after he fell about 100 feet down an abandoned tungsten mine shaft.  Tulare County sheriff’s deputies said Baca and his brother were checking the mine shaft when Joel Baca fell into the opening.  His brother rushed to the nearby Chrisman Ranch to get help.  A sheriff’s rescue team lifted Joel Baca from the shaft and a California Highway Patrol helicopter transported him to VMC.  Deputies said he suffered facial and head injuries.  The mine was on the Chrisman Ranch in Drum Valley, 20 miles east of Orosi.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1984 Unnamed Mine Cave-in, Sidney, Kentucky — James G. Thornsbury rescued Frederick J. Pinson from a cave-in, Sidney, Kentucky, January 23, 1984. Pinson, 31, was seated in the operator's cab of a mining machine when a large section of the ceiling of the mine in which he was working collapsed atop the machine, trapping him.  Thornsbury, 25, miner, who had been working nearby, fled the area of the fall.  Hearing Pinson's cries for help, Thornsbury returned to the edge of the collapsed ceiling, under which there was a narrow space.  Despite additionally falling rock, Thornsbury crawled into the space and proceeded to clear a path to Pinson.  Upon reaching Pinson, Thornsbury assisted him from the cab, then crawled with him from beneath the fallen ceiling.  Pinson suffered bruised ribs but fully recovered.  Mr. Thornsbury was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source document External Link
JUL 1983 No. 9 Twilight Mine Roof Fall, Boone County, West Virginia — A coal miner trapped 13 hours under tons of rock said yesterday that he prayed and thought about his family because he figured he was in a "tight spot."  "I didn’t know whether they were going to get me out or not," said William Epling, 52, of Sharples.  Epling was trapped in a 4-by-4-foot space under the canopy of a mining machine after a 50-foot section of the mine roof collapsed about 2 a.m. Tuesday.  "I thought this might be my way to go.  I knew I was in a pretty tight spot."  Rescue crews reached Epling about 3 p.m., and the miner emerged from the Armco No. 9 Twilight mine in Boone County with just bruises and scratches.  Epling said he was helping cut the last coal out of a seam when the roof fell.  Epling said he was trapped once before by a roof fall, for about 90 minutes, but escaped Injury that time too.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1983 McClure No. 1 Mine Explosion, McClure, Virginia — Three miners at the faces survived and were rescued shortly after the explosion.  Ronald Sluss, Albert Holbrook, and Carson Blackstone were returned to the surface suffering from burns and were taken to hospitals.
JUL 1982 Unnamed Abandoned Noncoal Mine Rescue, Fivemile Pass, Utah — Kerry West, 24, was recovering from his injuries at Utah Valley Hospital in Provo after he and his motorcycle fell 30 feet into a mine shaft.  The accident occurred in the area of Five Mile Pass, near the Utah-Tooele County border.  Mr. West and a friend were riding dirt bikes in the area when the victim apparently rode up a pile of mine tailing which led to a vertical mineshaft.  He and the motorcycle fell about 30 feet to the bottom of the shaft.  The bike apparently struck a ladder near the bottom of the shaft, which is believed to have broken the fall.  Mr. West suffered a broken leg and other injuries.  He was rescued by members of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office and by personnel from the Lehi Ambulance Association.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1982 Magma Mine Cave-in, Superior, Arizona — Three miners died between 5:30 and 6 p.m., on May 10, 1982 in three separate incidents that involved a cave-in and fall-of-ground in the Magma Copper Mine in Superior, Arizona.  During a daring rescue and recovery which lasted through May 12th, one of the victims was recovered from the dangerous area, however, he died shortly thereafter from his injuries.  Joseph Granillo was also entrapped in the same manner, and while his rescue was being attempted, both he and his would-be rescuer, Joseph Cassaro, were killed when additional material fell.  For their brave efforts, the Carnegie Hero Award was bestowed upon Frank Aldecoa, Andy J. Arroyos, Jr., Billy Ray Evans, Henry Lopez Rodriguez, George Anthony Gomez, G. Michael Martinez (posthumously), and Joseph Cassaro (posthumously).  Source document External Link
Abandoned Strip Mine Fall of Person, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — A MedEvac rescue helicopter was used to evacuate a seriously injured Tamaqua youth to the Allentown and Sacred Heart Hospital Center (ASH) after he had fallen 100 feet into an abandoned strip mine.  Mark Rudenko, 15, was in serious condition in the ASH Shock Trauma Unit with head injuries, a collapsed left lung, a broken clavicle and possible internal injuries, a hospital spokesman said.  Rudenko was found at the bottom of the strip mine by Jack Brode, a neighbor, who had been walking his dog along the mountainous ridge that overlooks Tamaqua Area High School.  The 50-year-old Tamaqua man ran about a quarter mile to his home and called the Tamaqua police, who later arrived with the Tamaqua Rescue Squad.  Michael Lincovich, a rescue squad official, said it took about a half hour to retrieve the youth from the rocky pit. It was not known how long the boy had been there.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1981 Stillhouse Run No. 1 Mine Roof Fall, Bergoo, West Virginia — On December 3, 1981, a roof fall occurred in the Stillhouse Run No. 1 Mine of the Elk River Sewell Coal Company that resulted in the deaths of Robert Bennett, Doyle Gillis, and Donald Arbogast.  Rescuers found Donzil Cutlip, 27, pinned under the block about seven hours after the fall, but it took six more hours to free him (13 hours total).  He was in serious condition after surgery to repair deep gashes in both arms.  Larry Clevenger, 18, and Carl Hull, 24, were rescued earlier and were unhurt.  Clevenger said the seven hours before rescuers found him was "the worst thing that ever happened to me."  Source document PDF Format
APR 1981 Dutch Creek No. 1 Mine Explosion, Redstone, Colorado — Seven miners working in other areas of the mine at the time of the explosion survived.  Three were injured and were rescued; the other four were not injured and escaped unassisted to the surface.  The injured miners were admitted to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs for treatment of burns, bruises and shock.  Source documentExternal Link
U.S. Steel Zinc Mine Equipment Fire, Jefferson City, Tennessee — Gene "Yoggi" Carey and Cecil Wallen spent — more than four hours — trapped deep in a U.S. Steel Corp. zinc mine in this East Tennessee city 30 miles from Knoxville.  Mine supervisor Joe Miller refused to release details of the ordeal, which began when the engine of a 22-ton truck used to haul zinc ore from the mine caught fire, trapping the men behind it.  The men, who were in an air pocket, were uninjured, officials said.  The two miners, filthy when they emerged from the mine, were greeted by 70 co-workers, family members and, friends when they stepped off a tractor at a mine office building.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1981 Centralia Mine Fire Fall of Ground, Centralia, Pennsylvania — 12-year-old Todd Domboski narrowly escaped serious injury when he fell through an opening created by a smoldering underground mine fire at Centralia.  Residents were shocked when they learned that he fell through the opening while playing in his grandmother’s yard but was rescued by his teen-age nephew.  The boy told authorities he noticed smoke rising from the ground in the yard.  When he went to look at it, his foot broke through the surface, the ground opened up and he slipped through, dropping about 6 feet before he was able to grab some tree roots.  "If he didn’t have a red hunting cap on, I wouldn’t have found him," said Eric Wolfgang, who pulled the stunned boy to safety.  Todd was taken to Ashland Hospital where he was tested for inhalation of carbon monoxide fumes and released.  The fire, which started in an underground vein of coal, has been burning below this Columbia County community of 1,000 since 1962.  Todd was the first person known to have fallen through an opening, although smoke is often seen rising from holes in the ground.  Officials of the state Department of Environmental Resources took a temperature reading of 350 degrees in the hole.  Neighbors, looking at the 2-foot hole after the rescue, tossed a brick down the shaft to see how deep it was.  It was quite a few seconds before they heard the brick hit bottom.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1980 Two men, David Aubuchon and Guy Hayton, and the car they were driving were rescued after spending 4 days at the bottom of a vertical shaft of the University of Arizona experimental mine near Tucson.  They had crashed their car through a barbed-wire fence protecting the shaft entrance.  Following their rescue, the men were questioned by Pima County Sherriff’s detectives about the burglary of $700 worth of tools from the mine.  Apparently no charges were filed.  Source document External Link
APR 1980 Clyde Waddell was rescued 13 hours after a roof fall at the Florence Mine near Huff, Pennsylvania.  The mine was owned by the Florence Mining Company.  Source document External Link
JUL 1979 Gateway Mine Cave-in, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania — Five miners trapped by a rockfall for 4½ hours deep inside the Gateway Coal Company mine near Waynesburg were rescued without injury.  "It feels great," said John K. Self after he emerged from the mine and passed a medical checkup.  "It was a great rescue effort by the other miners to get us out" adding that he was "a little scared" during the ordeal.  The men were cut off from the mine entrance when the roof collapsed in a shaft about 460 feet below the surface.  Bill Gibbons, a spokesman for Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. which owns the mine, said the miners "were a little dusty, but there were no injuries.  The fall occurred between the mine entrance and their location.  They were not trapped in the debris."  Also trapped were Charles V. Ferguson, James Bell, Jr., Kenneth Beatty, and Robert S. Baker.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Abandoned Noncoal Mine Rescue, Eureka, Utah — Sean Winters, 13, Christian Brown, 14, and Curt Conrad, 17, of Eureka, and their dog decided to explore the mine.  The dog ran ahead and fell down a winze, landing on a ledge of rotting timbers 35 feet down, with a shaft of unknown depth below.  The boys left and returned with a rope.  They lowered Winters down to the ledge to retrieve the dog, but he got stranded there instead.  The others summoned help.  Winters and the dog were rescued by the Juab County sheriff.  Williams suffered scratches and bruises, shock, and a possible concussion from a rock that fell on his head.  Source: Eureka Reporter, July 27, 1979.
JUN 1979 Belle Isle Salt Mine Explosion, Franklin, Louisiana — An outburst of flammable gases and salt occurred following a face blast and a gas explosion approximately 10 minutes later.  At the time of the explosion, 22 persons were in the mine.  Seventeen persons were rescued and five persons died as a result of the explosion.
MAR 1979 Trapped for 6½ hours by a rockslide at the Upper Taggert Coal Mine at Oven Fork, Kentucky, Larkin Napier was rescued.  Two other miners, Grant Sturgill and Ernest Stetzer, were crushed by the falling rock.  Source document External Link
JUL 1978 Unnamed Noncoal Mine Rescue, Rock Canyon, Utah — Don Bateman, 16, of Castro Valley, California, suffered cuts and bruises when he fell 25 feet into a shaft in Rock Canyon.  He was exploring the mine with two companions at the time.  His companions summoned help.  Bateman was rescued by the then new Provo City Alpine Rescue Squad.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1978 Clinchfield Coal Company, Moss No. 3 Portal A InundationWilliam Joe Arden External Link, and Willis Ison External Link, and Richard L. Shelby External Link died attempting to save fellow workmen from suffocation, April 4, 1978.  Strickler Mullins External Link helped to save Charles L. Breeding in the same incident.

Arden, 25, Shelby, 56, Service Manager from National Mine Service, and Ison, 45, Mine Safety and Health Administration subdistrict manager, entered the tunnel to give aid but, before reaching any of the men, were overcome.

One of the three men was removed from the tunnel and revived; but Arden and the others died.  Messer's Arden, Shelby, Ison and Mullins were posthumously awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.
Jersey Miniere Zinc Mine Equipment Fire, Gordonsville, Tennessee — Miners trapped underground by a fire in a zinc mine shaft were rescued after the flames were brought under control.  The miners were trapped for several hours by the fire, which occurred some 600 feet down the mine shaft.  A company official said there were no injuries.  The mine manager for Jersey Miniere Zinc Company said the fire was believed to have started when some hydraulic oil spilled from a piece of loading equipment in the mine shaft, called a load-haul dump unit.  The accident occurred at about 2:30 p.m., trapping miners farther down the shaft.  It was estimated about 20 men were involved.  The men were never in any danger, but they were unable to bypass the fire and get out of the shaft and into refuge chambers along the mine shaft, which are equipped with air, water and first aid supplies.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1977 Segco No. 1 Mine Roof Fall, Parrish, Alabama — Kenneth W. Ely rescued Ollis A. Bryant from a cave-in, Parrish, Alabama, October 11, 1977.  When a cave-in occurred in a coal mine, Bryant, 46, was pinned beneath a huge slab of shale and sandstone that was propped up slightly at one side by reason of its resting on a low machine.  Ely, 29, federal coal mine inspector, wriggled under the slab and, by moving debris and digging into the clay floor, created a crawl space to the machine, alongside which Bryant was trapped.  After freeing Bryant from the debris around him, Ely drew him into the crawl space.  Workers pulled Ely by the feet as he in turn pulled on Bryant.  In that manner both men were drawn from beneath the slab.  Source document External Link
SEP 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
AUG 1977 Jefferson Mine Rescue, Cottonwood Heights, Utah — A 17-year-old Salt Lake City youth was rescued unhurt from the Jefferson mine about 8 p.m. Monday but not until he spent four frightening hours perched on a narrow ledge.  The youth was one of five to walk into the mine through a tunnel.  They found the four-foot diameter shaft rising to the surface on the mountain above.  The youth climbed up the shaft to tie a rope to a beam.  When he climbed to the break, he found that it wasn’t safe.  That was about 4 p.m.  The rest of the party tried to rescue him, but couldn’t.  They called the sheriff from nearby homes.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1977 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Plum, Pennsylvania — Joseph R. Sabot rescued Steven T. Tady following a rock fall, Plum, Pennsylvania, June 15, 1977. In an underground coal mine, a fall of slab rock covered a mining machine and trapped Tady, 27, in the operators compartment. Sabot, 46, mine mechanic, crawled into a crevice in the rocks 10 feet from Tady and began digging a tunnel toward him. As he removed the rocks, Sabot placed shoring in the tunnel, which was about two feet wide and high. After extending the tunnel to the machine, Sabot backed out. Tady, who was uninjured, then crawled from under the rock fall by way of the tunnel. Joseph R. Sabot was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his brave efforts.  Source document External Link
MAR 1977 Ronald Adley survived after being trapped for nearly 6 days following an inundation of water at the Porter Tunnel Mine owned by the Kocher Coal Company in Tower City, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.  Nine miners were killed in the accident.
FEB 1977 Dry Lake No. 4 Mine Cave-in, Cranks Creek, Kentucky — Robert Jones, 28, was rescued after his 8-hour entrapment in the No. 4 mine of the Dry Lake Coal Company.  Another miner was injured, hospitalized and listed in fair condition.  According to reports, Jones received a concussion, but was otherwise in good condition.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Apollo, Pennsylvania — John R. Bazella helped to rescue Donald J. McCully from a cave-in, Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, February 8, 1977.  When a cave-in occurred in a coal mine, McCully, 46, was completely buried alongside a mining machine but was able to breathe because the shale and sandstone rock that had fallen was partially supported by collapsed wooden beams.  Bazella, 31, coal mine mechanic, and other workmen gathered to assist in the rescue of McCully.  After another machine had removed enough rocks to uncover the end of the collapsed boom of the mining machine, a tunnel was dug by hand alongside the boom.  It was necessary to cut through a fallen beam along the way as, with the men crawling in and out, the careful removal of rocks finally extended the tunnel to McCully.  Rocks were removed from around him.  As a result of the efforts of Bazella and the other men, McCully then was pulled from under the rock fall via the tunnel.  For their bravery, Mr. Bazella, Clayton R. Wall, Vincent J. Shilobod, Thomas V. Damico, and Lawrence P. Rankin were given the Carnegie Hero Award.  Source document External Link
DEC 1976 Trixie Mine Cave-in, Eureka, Utah — Two men were rescued from a collapsed Trixie Mine tunnel owned by the Kennecott Copper Corporation on New Year’s Eve after one was buried up to his neck in sand for several hours.  It took a 22-man crew about 45 minutes to rescue Daryl Lance, 52, and Robert Kalletta, 28, from the 900-foot level of the 1,100-foot-deep lead and silver mine.  The cave-in occurred at about noon but wasn’t discovered until 3 p.m. when the men were to get off work.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1975 Piedmont Mineral Associates Mine Cave-in, Mineral, Virginia — Three miners who were trapped 150 feet underground by a cave-in at a zinc mine were brought safely to the surface by rescuers after an undisclosed period.  One suffered what were described as minor injuries.  Deputy Sheriff Louis Proffit of the Louisa County Sheriff ’s Department said the cave-in occurred at a mine operated by Piedmont Mineral Associates.  The three men were identified as Horace Sherry, George Dickson and Roosevelt Groom, who was taken to the University of Virginia Hospital.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1975 Wabash Mine Powered Haulage Rescue, Keensburg, Illinois — A mechanical failure which caused an AMAX Coal mine employee to be trapped for five hours 100 feet below the surface of an 800-foot elevator shaft at the Wabash mine at Keensburg, Illinois may have sparked a series of events which includes vandalism of AMAX employees' vehicles and caused two consecutive shifts of workers to leave their jobs.  John Davis, an electrical supervisor, was descending into the elevator shaft aboard a lowering hoist car when a five and one-half-inch reflective drive shaft broke.  Davis, the only passenger, was able to contact safety personnel who, with the assistance of the Frontier Kemper Construction Company, managed to remove Davis, unharmed, from the stopped hoist.  Davis was brought to the surface by means of a lowered bucket device.  Before Davis was rescued, employees reporting for the second shift at 4 p.m. refused to enter the mine until Davis was removed from the hoist car.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1975 Robena Mine Roof Fall, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania — A Fairbank man was rescued after being trapped when a mine car derailment triggered a roof fall at the Robena Mine’s Colvin Shaft.  Billy Grant, a main line brakeman was safely removed from the mine and transported to the West Virginia University Hospital in Morgantown where he was undergoing examination and treatment.  A company spokesman said a main-line empty trip derailed causing the fall.  Mine employees installed temporary roof supports and removed Mr. Grant from the area after an undisclosed period.  A physician at the scene underground reported Grant in good condition. Source document PDF Format
MAR 1975 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Calico, California — Billy Loenhorst, 13, was reported to be in good condition at Victor Valley Hospital following a fall into a 50-foot mine shaft in the Calico area.  Billy was with a group from Redlands, hiking in the Doran scenic drive area northeast of Calico, when he apparently fell into the shaft, sheriff’s deputies said.  Several members of the group from Redlands were hiking and exploring in the area which is dotted with abandoned shafts when the youth fell.  The Barstow sheriff’s substation was notified, and an all-out rescue effort began.  A total of 20 members of the desert rescue team participated in the removal of the youth from the shaft.  Billy suffered a fractured left arm and numerous cuts and abrasions in the fall.  The sheriff’s deputies and other members of the rescue team had Billy out 1½ hours after they were notified.  He was then taken to the hospital by Desert Ambulance service.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1975 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Calveritas, California — William Kerr, 31, escaped injury in a 35-foot fall down in a mine shaft.  Kerr, his mother, and their family dog were walking in a field near their home when the dog fell down the 75-foot-deep shaft.  Kerr got a rope and began lowering himself down the shaft to retrieve the small dog.  The rope broke when Kerr reached the half-way mark and he fell to the bottom of the shaft.  Mrs. Kerr ran to a nearby telephone and called sheriff's deputies for help.  Officers pulled out both Kerr and the dog with the aid of safety harnesses and lines.  Kerr suffered only minor cuts and abrasions and the dog had no apparent, injuries, officers said.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1974 Mars Hill Bauxite Mine Inundation, Bauxite, Arkansas — Sidney Hale, 57, was the lone survivor after being trapped for 13 hours in sandy water up to his chest in the Mars Hill Bauxite mine of the Reynolds Mining Company.  Hale and another miner, James Grooms, were caught in what miners call a "sand run."  Grooms did not survive the ordeal.  Hale said he almost froze to death in the chilly slush, saying he kept moving his arms to maintain body heat.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1974 Trona Mine Shaft Cave-in, Green River, Wyoming — Joe Beaucamp, 28, was rescued after being trapped for 23½ hours in a new trona mine shaft being dug at the Allied Chemical Company plant west or Green River, Wyoming.  He was trapped Tuesday evening when he fell 80 feet from a scaffold during a cave-in, 1500 feet underground.  Beaucamp, whose leg was pinned by a large piece of timber, almost was freed 10 hours after he was trapped, but another cave-in covered him again up to his nostrils.  Doctors said Beaucamp suffered from exposure and was dehydrated, but otherwise was in good condition.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1973 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Fallon, Nevada — A California teenager was in the Washoe Medical Center after being rescued from an abandoned mine shaft.  Doug Gard, 18, of Lafayette, suffered serious back, neck and shoulder injuries when he fell almost 50 feet down a mine shaft that he and three friends were exploring.  Gard and his three companions were exploring the mine with Gard in the lead when he fell.  Their only light, a flashlight, was carried by the third man back in the group.  When the rocks and dirt stopped falling, the three could hear Gard moaning.  They climbed down an old wooden ladder to find Gard some 50 feet below.  He was conscious and said he was numb from the neck down.  After rescuers arrived, it took almost an hour to lift Gard out of the shaft to a waiting helicopter.  The helicopter took him to the Washoe Medical Center in Reno where he underwent emergency treatment.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1973 Brush Creek Mine Mudslide, Downieville, California — Two veteran gold miners were rescued in good condition early today after being trapped in a century-old shaft for — 33½ hours — when a violent Sierra storm triggered a giant mudslide.  Air compressors had been used to pump oxygen into the Brush Creek Mine four miles west of this historic gold mining town in an isolated corner of the Sierra.  Both men were cold, hungry, and filthy but in "tip-top" shape, according to Sierra County Sheriff Sam Doyle, who headed a rescue team of 20 deputies, miners and friends of the pair.  The miners were working the mine 2,000 feet into the shaft when the slide hit.  But their fate was not discovered until a caretaker noticed the miners’ cars in front of the shaft and the entrance sealed with mud.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Old Forge Colliery Fall of Person, Old Forge, Pennsylvania — A 10-year-old Old Forge boy narrowly escaped death when he fell 40 feet down an abandoned mine shaft at the Old Forge Colliery.  Old Forge police said Michael Scarnato’s fall was broken at the 40-foot level by some old roofing material jammed in the open shaft.  He could have fallen a lot further down the shaft they said.  As it was, the youth suffered cuts and bruises and had to be taken to Community Medical Center after his rescue.  Police said Michael and several of his friends were playing near the shaft when he got too close and fell in.  Despite his 40-foot fall, Scarnato remained conscious during the entire time he spent in the shaft.  The Moosic Hose Company provided personnel and equipment and supervised the rescue operation.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1973 Ranger Fuel Company, Bolt, West Virginia — Five miners were rescued after 4 hours from the flooded Ranger Fuel Company mine at Bolt, WV.  The rescued miners were identified as Dennie Pauley, Otis Best, James Widensall, James Griffith Sr., and Jerry I. Lucas.  Four others had managed to escape.  Source document  External Link
DEC 1972 Itmann Coal Company, Itmann No. 3 Mine Explosion — Three miners were brought out by rescue crews about six hours after the explosion.  They were identified as Larry Bailey, 23, of Brenton; Dallas Mullins, 32, of Pineville; and Jerry Billings.  All three were said to be in critical condition.
OCT 1972 Skelton Mine Rib Fall, Stanaford, West Virginia — Eugene Fugate, loader operator, and Ed Bryant, loading-machine helper, traveled to the No. 6 entry and began normal loading operations in the crosscut.  After the coal was loaded Fugate trammed his loading machine into the left side face of the No. 6 entry.  About 11:20 a.m., Fugate, moved the loading machine into the right side of the face of No. 6 entry.  The coal rib rolled over and caught Fugate against the loading machine.  Bryant rushed to Fugate, along with Frank Sauchuck, shuttle-car operator.  They disconnected the loading machine and freed Fugate from the fallen debris and rushed him to an awaiting ambulance.  He was pronounced dead at Raleigh General Hospital.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1972 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Garden Valley, California — Lowell T. Simpson, 17, was rescued from an abandoned mine shaft after spending seven hours 50 feet below the ground-level opening.  Sheriff's Deputies said Simpson and two other youths were exploring the old mine shaft by use of a rope when Simpson could no longer hold on and slipped down the rope.  He suffered severe rope bums on his hands.  A Sheriff's spokesman noted that Simpson was fortunate he did not fall farther down the shaft than he did.  He explained that a pile of dirt from a previous mine cave-in broke Simpson's fall, preventing the youth from continuing down the shaft.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1972 Two men, Tom Wilkinson and Ronald Flory, were rescued and found to be in good condition after being trapped for 8 days following the Sunshine silver mine fire in Kellogg, Shoshone County, Idaho.  91 miners were killed in the disaster.  The four men responsible for the rescue were Wayne D. Kanack, Frank J. Delimba, and Don Morris from the U. S. Bureau of Mines, and Sonny Becker, a Sunshine miner.  Source document External Link

Tragedy at Sunshine Mine by Frank Starr
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JAN 1972 Abandoned Red Rooster Gold Mine Fall of Person, Adelanto, California — A 19-year-old rockhound was rescued 3½ hours after he fell 160 feet down the shaft of an abandoned gold mine.  Alan Chamberlain of Adelanto, who was lifted out of the mine on a stretcher, was taken to the March Air Force Base hospital with a broken right thigh and hand and numerous cuts and bruises.  Sheriff’s deputies said Chamberlaine had been investigating a 15-foot deep side shaft at the Red Rooster gold mine in the foothills of Shadow Mountain.  After dragging a box full of equipment from the hole, Chamberlain stepped backward into the main shaft and fell to the bottom, striking timbers several times on the way down.  A friend called for help and a sheriff's department search and rescue team along with two tow trucks arrived several minutes later.  Deputies said Dave Stever, a member of the rescue unit, was lowered down the shaft about 50 feet above Chamberlaine but the deputy was painfully, but not seriously hurt when he struck a timber and had to be brought out.  A civilian volunteer was lowered next and he managed to reach the youth and give him first aid before he was placed on a stretcher and pulled out by winch and cable nearly three hours later.  Authorities said the gold mine had not been worked in nearly a decade and no barricades or warning signs were posted near the mine as required by law.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 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
JUN 1971 As a result of a roof fall, two miners were injured and rescued from the clogged section of an underground tunnel which is 700 feet deep and a mile and a half back in the Eastern Associated Coal Company's Federal No. 2 Mine.  Also injured and recovered from the mine were Robert Lee Strakal, 24, of Cassville, and Steven Shuman, 29, of Fairmont.  Shuman died the next day from his injuries.
FEB 1971 Abandoned Emery Mine Fall of Person, Westfield, Massachusetts — A 10-year-old Chester boy who was rescued after an undisclosed period from an abandoned 70-foot mine shaft of the Emery Mine near Westfield was reported in fair condition in a hospital.  He suffered a fractured pelvis and cut left arm in a 60-foot fall.  Gary Lutat was exploring with two friends when he fell into the shaft, after trying to climb down using a clothesline.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1970 Loren Hinkle was rescued after his 24-hour entombment following a roof fall in the Leckie Coal Company mine near Anjean, West Virginia.  Rescuers delivered water and orange juice through a two-inch emergency air vent while they dug him out.  Killed in the accident were R. B. Crookshanks and Charles Pitzenbarger.  Ironically, Hinkle previously escaped death in a mine fire and another roof collapse.  Source document External Link
NOV 1970 Hasting Mine Fall of Person, Deemstown, Pennsylvania — Harry T. King, 25, was seriously injured when he fell about 300 feet after slipping from a cable in a shaft of the Hasting Mine at Deemstown, Pennsylvania.  King was rescued four hours after he fell.  Firemen had to enter the bottom shaft through the mine and plodded a mile and a half to reach King.  The mine is owned by Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation.  Harry Dale King, 21, cousin of the injured man, also had been sliding down a cable but saved himself by stepping onto a beam about 350 feet from the bottom of the shaft.  Companions were outside the mine and called police when the Kings failed to return.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 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
JUN 1970 Amateur miner, Clifford J. Cox, was pulled out of the abandoned Hazard Gold Mine near Foresthill, California when he was found laying unconscious after 11 hours in the mine.  Would-be rescuer, Lester Benbow, a school teacher, died from a lack of oxygen in the incident.   Source document External Link
MAR 1969 William "Buck" Jones was rescued 8 days following a cave-in at the Deep Lark lead, zinc and silver mine near Lark, Utah.  The elderly miner was tired but able to laugh following his ordeal.  He was greeted on the surface by his wife and 11 children.  Source document External Link
JAN 1969 Twelve miners were rescued after being trapped more than six hours after a fire at the Christopher Coal Company, Humphrey No. 7 mine near Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.  Eleven of the miners were walked out by rescuers, one man was removed by stretcher.  Source document External Link
NOV 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.

About the Farmington Disaster
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SEP 1968 Somerset Mine Roof Fall, Somerset, Colorado — John W. Southerland was rescued after an undisclosed period 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.
AUG 1968 Buried up to his waist in debris, Ervin Roark was rescued following a roof fall accident in the Amherst Coal Company’s No. 1 mine at Lundale, West Virginia.  Three other miners, Charlie Lowe, Enoc Tudor, and Emmett Copley, were recovered dead after 8 hours.   Source document External Link
MAY 1968 Inundation of water at the Saxsewell No. 8 Mine in Hominy Falls, WV.  Fifteen men were rescued 5 days later and six others were rescued 10 days after the inundation occurred.  Source document External Link
APR 1968 Two Carlsbad, New Mexico miners trapped over 34 hours were rescued by workers using their bare hands and chisels.  They became trapped when a 50-foot potash slab collapsed in the Southwest Potash Company mine.  The two miners rescued were Fred Crabtree and Arnold Delso.  Source document External Link
DEC 1967 Abandoned Clay Mine Rescue, Wellsville, Ohio — After becoming lost in the abandoned clay mine for 30 hours, Mike Sanfrey, age 19, and Harry Reibold, age 18 were located and rescued by Columbiana County Sheriff’s deputies.  The youths were found more than a mile from the mouth of the mine.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1967 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, China Lake, Nevada — A 14-vear-old China Lake boy was reported in good condition after being rescued from the bottom of a 50 foot deep abandoned mine shaft.  Gilbert Soto, the boy who was rescued, and Allen Comb, also of China Lake, were exploring while on a visit to the Wheeler Ranch, some 70 miles east of Bakersfield.  Soto accidentally dropped his pellet gun into the shaft.  He lowered himself into it but lost his grip and fell to the bottom.  The Kern County sheriff’s office summoned the China Lake mine search and rescue group which pulled young Soto out.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1967 Morton Salt Company Mine Entrapment, Grand Saline, Texas — Sixteen miners emerged unharmed after 9 hours trapped 700 feet underground with a heavy drill suspended above them.  A 6-foot-square, 10-foot-high drill was being lowered into a Morton Salt Company mine when it tilted and wedged itself across the elevator shaft.  Then, during the efforts to right the drill, the cable attached to it snapped.  As the miners took cover, the drill crunched through one supporting crossbar and then stopped, dangling 610 feet above the mine floor.  For the next eight hours, the miners left their area cluster in protected areas within calling distance of the mine Superintendent Ray Rucker, near the elevator shaft.  Above the trapped miners, three repairmen cut holes in the floor of the elevator and lowered it to just above the jammed drill, then labored to secure it to the elevator.  The men below watched as the drill was lowered cautiously down the elevator.  Rucker said the men stayed cheerful.  "They knew the danger involved that the equipment might fall and tear out the elevator shaft, but after the mechanism was once tied back to the elevator, we all relaxed."  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1967 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Salt Lake City, Utah — Melaine Beck, 17, was rescued from the bottom of a 150-foot mine shaft where she had fallen not once but twice.  She was lifted from the near-vertical shaft by deputy sheriffs using ropes and a basket stretcher.  It took nearly 2½ hours to bring her out.  Melanie suffered a broken arm, head lacerations and a possible concussion in the fall.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1967 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Concord, California — A 17-year-old Concord high school boy, out hiking with friends, fell into an abandoned coal mine shaft and had to be hauled to safety after an undisclosed period by Concord firemen.  The youth, Charles Frederickson, was able to strap himself into a stretcher firemen lowered and was pulled the 30 feet to the top.  He was under treatment for back injuries at Concord Community Hospital.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1967 Two miners, Virgil Williamson and Harry Silman, became trapped after a roof fall in the Shannopin Mine of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation.  Williamson was found dead early on January 24 and Silman was rescued after 2 hours.  Taken to the hospital, he was listed in fair condition, suffering from shock and bruises.  Source document External Link
Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Johannesburg, California — John Hawkins, 15, suffered a broken pelvis and cuts and bruises in an 80-foot fall at Johannesburg and was in fair condition at a Ridgecrest hospital.  Hawkins slipped into a loosely covered shaft 40 miles east of Mojave while searching with three cousins for old whisky, medicine and other bottles which are sought as collector's items.  He disappeared without anyone immediately realizing it.  He was located after an intensive all-night search by 40 deputies and members of the Kern County sheriff’s search and rescue team, a helicopter from China Lake Ordnance Test Center and a group of local miners.  On the same day, some 68 miles away, Gordon Mahoney, 37, a silver mine explorer from Anaheim, sustained a broken shoulder and ankle as well as facial cuts when he fell 20 feet down a shaft near Barstow.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Silver Mine Fall of Person, Barstow, California — Gordon Mahoney, 37, a silver mine explorer from Anaheim, sustained a broken shoulder and ankle as well as facial cuts when he fell 20 feet down a shaft near Barstow.  Mahoney was exploring an old silver mine with W. V. Thornton of Barstow, who summoned San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies to carry Mahoney out in a wire basket.  On the same day, some 68 miles away, John Hawkins, 15, suffered a broken pelvis and cuts and bruises in an 80-foot fall at Johannesburg.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1966 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Clarksburg, West Virginia — On October 25, 1966, when a cave-in occurred in a coal mine, G. Edward Longwell took refuge under the steel boom of a digging machine in a three-foot space between the machine and a shuttle car.  A second cave-in piled coal and shale as much as 50 feet deep over a wide area.  Longwell was surrounded by debris but was not injured.  In about 24 hours digging machines had removed the debris to the shuttle car within 22 feet of Longwell.  With the debris creaking overhead, and after 5 more hours, Longwell was removed.  For their bravery in the rescue of Longwell, Baxter Ellison, John Ashcraft, and Gayle Davis were given the Carnegie Hero Award.  Source document External Link
JUL 1966 Siltix Mine Explosion, Mount Hope, West Virginia — Eleven men in the 6 left section heard the explosion, but they were unaware of what actually happened, and they erected a barricade in the return entries about 250 feet from the entrance to the 6 left section when they encountered smoke and fumes in the return entries.  The men remained behind the barricade until they were rescued about 2 hours later.  After leaving the barricade, seven of these men assisted in recovery operations in the 2 left mains section; two of these seven employees and three additional men were overcome by smoke and fumes and were removed from the mine.
Glen Nan Mine Fire, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania — Fire in an air shaft trapped 150 miners for more than an hour in a Glen Nan Coal Company mine.  All were rescued. Stanley Ftorkowskl, Nanticoke fire chief, said at least 10 miners were taken unconscious to Nanticoke State hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.  A spokesman at the mine said 160 men were working in the mine when the fire broke out.  Ambulances from all nearby hospitals were dispatched to the scene.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Uranium Mine Cave-in, Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico — Three dirty but happy Indian miners, trapped all night 100 feet down in a New Mexico uranium mine, scrambled out unhurt Wednesday after a perilous rescue.  The trio had spent — 16 hours — in a cubicle four by eight feet in size, with eight feet of solid limestone separating them from a main tunnel of the small rimrock mine.  There were air holes into the chamber and rescuers were able to pass food into them through a passage drilled through the limestone.  The men were in good condition.  When they got out, they embraced their families, talked briefly to newsmen, shook the hands of their rescuers and then got in their cars and went home.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1965 Wildcat Cave Entrapment, Hinckley, Ohio — A fifteen-year-old boy was rescued after being trapped for 24 hours.  He was wedged in a crevice 10 inches wide and three feet high and was found tilted downward at a 45° angle.  Consultation and assistance was provided by employees of the Ohio Division of Mines.  Source document External Link
Mars No. 2 Mine Fire, Wilsonburg, West Virginia — Workers inched their way deep inside the fire-ravaged Mars No. 2 mine tunnels for nearly 20 hours before coming upon Charles Lantz, 26, of Buckhannon.  He was brought out alive but died of his injuries en route to a hospital.
AUG 1965 Bethlehem Mine No. 32 Roof Fall, Revloc, Pennsylvania — William Ferguson, 64, was rescued unharmed 12 hours after he was trapped in a roof fall in the No. 32 mine of Bethlehem Mines Corporation at Revloc.  Ferguson was operating the continuous miner.  Two other miners working nearby were uninjured.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Mine Cave-in, Chillicothe, Ohio — Ernest L. Bradley, 36, heavy equipment operator, sustained fatal injuries helping to rescue Jack W. Berryman, 45, heavy equipment operator, from a cave-in, Chillicothe, Ohio, August 6, 1965.  Bradley immediately entered the ditch and, kneeling in front of Berryman, began digging the earth away with his hands.  As Bradley continued digging, another man entered the ditch.  A man outside the ditch shouted a warning.  A section of earth weighing about six tons caved in from the side nearest Bradley.  The other man jumped back, and only one of his legs was trapped.  Bradley managed to place his arms about his head before the falling earth knocked him face down and covered him completely.  Workmen extricated Bradley and Berryman, both of whom had suffered fractures.  Berryman recovered, but Bradley, who also had suffered internal injuries, died.  Mr. Bradley was given the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery (posthumously).  Source document External Link
JAN 1965 And then there was this chain of events that produced one of the more unusual rescues seen here.  Would-be rescuer Johnny Miller became lost for 9½ hours in a Dewar, Oklahoma abandoned while searching for Jackie Madewell, age 23.  Madewell was a Tulsa County prisoner being held on a bad check charge.  He apparently convinced a Tulsa police detective to allow him to enter the abandoned mine in search of stolen loot taken in nearby burglaries.  When Madewell failed to return to the surface, Johnny Miller, a retired miner, went into the mine to locate Madewell, but he got lost instead.  The story ended well when additional rescuers located Miller and Madewell came out of the mine on his own with his light turned off. There was no news of discovering the stolen loot.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1964 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — William Paul Holena and an unnamed mine inspector helped to rescue Peter A. Byczkowski from a cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, December 21, 1964.  When a cave-in occurred in a coal mine, Byczkowski, 54, was pinned face down under eight feet of coal and debris.  After another cave-in, the mine was cleared of all rescue workers, who by then had dug a tunnel six feet into the debris to find that Byczkowski was alive.  Although further slides were anticipated, Holena, 36, coal miner, and a mine inspector made their way to the debris pile where Byczkowski lay partially in the tunnel, trapped by his legs.  The inspector crawled into the tunnel, which was so small that he had to lie on top of Byczkowski.  Working as rapidly as possible, the inspector removed coal from atop Byczkowski's legs and passed it back to Holena.  Additional coal fell as the inspector worked, but he soon uncovered Byczkowski's legs.  While the inspector rested outside the tunnel, Holena made repeated trips to obtain rescue tools.  A mine foreman joined them.  He and the inspector took turns working to free Byczkowski’s feet; when either was in the tunnel, all of his body except his feet was beneath the debris.  The foreman cut Byczkowski’s boots and freed one foot, the other remaining pinned by a heavy timber against the metal conveyor on the floor of the mine.  The inspector positioned a jack to move the timber, but it broke on use, and the foreman likewise broke a second jack.  They and Holena then worked to bend the conveyor, after which the inspector pulled Byczkowski’s foot free, and he was removed from the debris then carried to safety.  He recovered.  The rescue had taken 2½ hours.  Several hours later another cave-in occurred in the area, and it required six days to uncover the body of a man who had been buried with Byczkowski.  Both men were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  Source document External Link
NOV 1964 Abandoned Quicksilver Mine Fall of Person, San Jose, California — To Eric Proter, 12, of San Jose, the abandoned quicksilver mine suggested adventure and the unknown.  But it almost became his grave Friday.  The boy crawled about 150 feet into the lateral shaft when he fell suddenly into a 10-foot-deep hole.  His cries were heard by a companion who summoned help.  Highway Patrolman Americo Gonsalves crawled into the hole and rescued the boy.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1964 Grays Creek No. 11 Mine Fire, Whitwell, Tennessee — Six miners were rescued after an undisclosed period after being trapped by a fire burning in the Grays Creek No. 11 mine operated by the Grundy Mining Company.  According to the news report, the miners were brought out "safe and sound."  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1964 Nuclear Test Site Entrapment, Mercury, Nevada — The last of four men trapped in an 1,800-foot-deep test hole was hoisted to the surface.  All were in good condition.  They had been lowered fresh food and other supplies throughout their three and one-half-day ordeal at the Nevada nuclear test site.  Last to come up was George R. Cooper, of Tucson. Arizona.  The others, rescued earlier were Floyd Shaw, Leland Roeder, and Art Luhnow.  They were stranded when a thick cable, being installed to link instruments in the underground nuclear blast chamber fell into a spaghetti-like tangle – jamming the shaft.  Workmen, toiling around the clock finally cleared the cable, restored the elevator to operating condition, and began bringing up the quartet.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1964 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Trumbull, Connecticut — Two Boy Scouts were trapped in the abandoned main mine shaft at Old Mine Park for 2½ hours while a third scout was corralled by a four-foot protective fence, unable to summon help for the trio.  Police said Andrew Kolessar, 14, and William Lapinski, 12, had entered the shaft while Mark Baker, 13, had crawled with them into the fenced off area where the mine is located, but did not venture into the shaft.  The boys were rescued, uninjured by members of the Long Hill Fire department who lowered a ladder into a shaft.  The three boys were part of a group of scouts working on a conservation project in Old Mine Park and the three wandered away and crawled under the fence surrounding the mine area.  The two who were trapped the shaft had dropped from a shelf in the excavation and could not find a toehold to climb out.  The plight of the trio was discovered by an unidentified member of the troop who had been detailed to find them.  They were returned to the police station and their parents notified to pick them up.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1964 Barnes and Tucker Mine Roof Fall, Spangler, Pennsylvania — Coal miners Joseph Chila and William Prandi were recuperating in Miners’ Hospital from shock sustained while trapped 540 feet underground for nine hours.  The two men were working at the Barnes and Tucker Coal Company mine when the roof gave way, causing a rockfall along a 125-foot haulage area.  Four other miners in the area escaped unhurt.  A crack rescue team labored for nine hours, clearing out the rubble and reshoring the roof.  The rescuers first reached Chila.  An hour later they found Prandi.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1964 Stanley Johnson was rescued after his 27-hour entrapment following a cave-in at a MacKay, Utah lead and copper mine owned by Empire Copper Mines.  Johnson suffered only a bad cold following his ordeal.  He was rescued by workmen who found an unused and uncharted back entrance to the mine.  The rescue operations had nearly been halted by frozen ground and cold temperatures just before the old tunnel was found.  The rear entrance led workers to within six feet of the cubicle where Johnson was trapped.  There were no others killed or injured in the accident.  Source document External Link
DEC 1963 Abandoned Peerless Mine Fall of Person, Silver City, New Mexico — A young Austin, Texas girl plunged down an abandoned mine shaft in southwestern New Mexico and suffered serious injuries.  Rescuers had to lower a litter basket on a fire hose to pull Lucy Marian Watson, 10, from the 75-foot-deep shaft.  The girl was taken to the Silver City Hospital with a broken leg, a broken arm and internal injuries, and in deep shock.  State Patrolman Gene Tow said the Watson family was driving through the area on a Christmas vacation trip.  They became attracted by the tailings dump and remains of the old Peerless mine shaft beside the road at Central in the Grant County copper mining district.  Lucy, described as a rockhound, went to search the ruins for mineral specimens and plunged down the open shaft.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1963 Cane Creek Mine Explosion — Seven men erected a barricade in 3U drift.  Two of these men left the barricade and traveled to the shaft station where they were met by a rescue crew and brought to the surface 19 hours after the explosion.  The other five men remained behind the barricade and were rescued 50 hours after the explosion.
David Fellin and Henry Throne were trapped for 14 days in the Sheppton Mine in the Pennsylvania anthracite coal region following a cave-in.  In the early hours of Tuesday, Aug. 27, 1963, first Throne, then Fellin were pulled from a depth of 330 feet to the surface wearing parachute harnesses and football helmets.  A third miner in the mine at the time, Lou Bova, was never recovered.  Vintage VideoExternal Link


Sheppton Mine Disaster by Ronnie Sando
Play this audio file in your browser.  
Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Webb City, Missouri — Mrs. Margaret Hayes, 29, fell 90 feet down an abandoned mine shaft and landed in deep water, then clung to the timbered sides of the shaft more than an hour until rescued.  Suffering only from bruises, hospital attendants said she was in good condition. Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Pittsburg, California — Ronald Buffo, 15, was pulled safely out of a 65-foot mine shaft Wednesday after spending over an hour on his backing looking up at "that little hole in the sky."  He suffered minor injuries.  Two friends lowered him into the shaft with a rope.   It broke when he was halfway down, dropping him to soft ground at the shaft bottom.  Two Pacific Gas and Electric Co. linemen climbed down and rescued him several hours later.  "It was pretty gruesome," Buffo confided while recovering at his Pittsburg home.  "I was knocked out, I guess, and then I woke up, I was lying on my back, and I looked up and all I could see was that little hole in the sky."  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1963 On July 12, 1963, in a miracle survival that confounded experts, three teenage boys were found alive after spending 2 days in an abandoned, gas-ridden mine.  The youngsters were found nearly a half-mile from the mouth of No. 2 shaft of Castle Shannon Coal Company which had not been used for more than 25 years.  Their rescuers were U. S. Bureau of Mines Inspectors Everett Turner, James Hutchens and Jennings Breedon.  The boys, Danny O'Kain, Billy Burke and Bobby Abbott were taken to St. Clair Hospital where they were treated for exposure and dehydration.  See Vintage VideoExternal Link  Source document External Link
APR 1963 Old Sparks Well Entrapment, Rupert, Idaho — Two amateur gold prospectors were rescued from a 600-foot deep dry well 12 hours after they became trapped.  Floyd Gambrell and Darnell Hamilton were imprisoned when a bucket being lowered to lift them to the surface broke loose, dropped halfway down the shaft and became wedged in the narrow hole.  With their communications severed and their exit block, their companions on the surface summoned help to free the men.  This shaft, known as the "Old Sparks Well" claimed the life of another prospector 25 years earlier when a bucket of tools fell on him in a similar incident.  Source document PDF Format
Box Mine Cave-in, Hamilton, Alabama — Rescuers removed two brothers from a coal mine where they had been trapped for three days deep in a cave-in.  Bobby Gene Johnson, 23, and Lewis Ray Johnson, 20, were unharmed by their ordeal.  They were taken to a Winfield hospital for rest and observation.  Officials said rescuers bypassed a rock and tunneled through coal to reach the trapped men.  A rock slide pinned the brothers more than 2,000 feet in the Box mine.  Officials said the men were removing rock deep inside the mine when the cave-in trapped them.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1963 Abandoned Coal Mine Rescue, New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania — Harry Noerr of Middle Run was rescued by New Bethlehem firemen after being trapped for four hours in a cave-in at an abandoned strip mine.  Mr. Noerr, 39, had entered a hole in the highwall at the mine to dig out coal.  He had traveled approximately 20 feet when the cave-in occurred.  When the walls caved in, Mr. Noerr fell another 15 feet and was trapped in the hole.  Accompanying Mr. Noerr were two unidentified youths, who attempted to rescue him with a rope.  When the rope broke, the youths went to the home of a neighbor, who contacted the New Bethlehem Fire Department.  Thirty-four men and two trucks responded to the call.  Two firemen were lowered into the cave with a light and a rope.  They fastened a rope around Mr. Noerr and firemen pulled him up.  After the rescue, Mr. Noerr was able to walk around.  Firemen said he seemed to be in a state of shock but refused medical treatment.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1963 Abandoned Mine Animal Rescue, Sonora, California — A 12-year-old gray mare, trapped in an abandoned mine for — two weeks — was rescued, shaken but apparently unharmed.  Lottie Pedro said the mare, Rena, vanished January 15.  Ranch hands searched every day.  She was found Tuesday, the 29th, in the 20-foot mine shaft.  Wednesday, in a drenching rain storm, the mare was given a tranquilizer shot and hauled out with block and tackle.  The thin old horse lay down for a few minutes, then got up and trotted to the barn.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 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
SEP 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
JUL 1962 Abandoned Quicksilver Mine Rescue, San Jose, California — After hours of walking around lost in the abandoned quicksilver mine, five children were located by rescuers including Sheriff’s deputies and a 17-year-old neighbor.  The lost teens included Eileen Patrino, 17; Robin Patrino, 9; Wayne Patrino, 4; Jim Butters, 17; and Mike Atchison, 17.  The children became lost when their light failed.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1962 An 8-year-old boy was responsible for saving two miners caught in a cave-in at the Bull Gulch lead and zinc mine near Jefferson City, Montana.  Robert Steinbacher and Henry Madison, who were both in considerable pain, were safely removed from the mine by rescuers after their brief entrapment.  Source document External Link
DEC 1961 Abandoned Mine Animal Rescue, Gilbert, West Virginia — Brownie, a 3-year-old rabbit hound was rescued after a 50-day entrapment in a caved-in mine shaft.  A bulldozer late Monday uncovered a hole leading into the shaft into which the dog disappeared almost two months earlier.  For 18 days after Brownie disappeared while on a hunting trip with his owner, he was thought dead.  But whatever the dog chased into that narrow slit, probably a rabbit, seemed to have provided him with enough food to keep him going for a while.  Brownie's whimpering and barking was heard by one of his owner’s numerous cousins.  The dog’s owner had visited the break every day since the dog had been located, dropping food down the slit to his pet.  Water was plentiful inside the shaft.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1961 Raven Gold Mine Asphyxiations, Thompson Falls, Montana — Jack Arms and Wally Monk were overcome by gas, then rescued from the bottom of a shaft of the Raven gold mine about eight miles northeast of Thompson Falls.  A blast had been set off the night before.  The miners entered the mine the next day and fell to the gases.  A third partner, Ralph Provence, discovered that the two had been overcome by gas.  He entered the shaft and attempted to assist them, but he was nearly overcome himself.  He shouted for help and two Montana Bureau of Mines employees working nearby and two other men came to their assistance.  When Provence first descended, he succeeded in opening an air compressor valve.  This was credited with saving their lives.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1961 Rescuers saved 15-year-old, Larry Dacek, after falling down an airshaft of the abandoned Sutro Tunnel silver mine near Virginia City, Nevada.  He was trapped for 11 hours there.  Mining experts said Dacek escaped certain death by coming to rest on a rock layer supported by a few rotten timbers.  Below him was a straight 1,400 foot fall.  Source document External Link
Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Yermo, California — The dry lake area just south of Mule Canyon was the scene of a dramatic rescue.  Little eight-year-old Gene Armand Stevens was rescued after falling 50 feet into an abandoned uncovered mine shaft.  Units from the Barstow Sheriff's Substation, Fire Department, along with the Civil Defense rescue Unit were dispatched to the scene.  Eight-year-old Gene Stevens was found lying at the bottom of a 50-foot mine shaft still conscious and able to move in spite of what proved to be a broken leg.  John Patton of the Barstow Fire Department Rescue Squad was lowered into the shaft, where he managed to tie the boy into a wire basket type stretcher which was raised to the surface by fellow workers.  An ambulance immediately rushed the hoy to the Barstow Community Hospital where he was given emergency treatment.  The report from the hospital indicated that the boy's condition was generally good.  He suffered a fracture of the left leg as well as cuts and bruises about his face and body.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1960 Unnamed Tourmaline Mine Cave-in, Unspecified City, California — A gem miner trapped for 10 hours in a cave-in Friday was behind bars Saturday in the county jail.  He was Calvin Trevor Mellish, 42, of nearby Escondido.  He was pinned by his right arm 130 feet underground in a tourmaline mine 63 miles north of here when a 500-pound boulder rolled down on him.  Mellish, serving a year’s sentence for arson in the burning of his home, was freed last month on $2,625 bail to enter the mine.  He told the court at that time he wanted to recover a cache of gem stones and $8,300 in cash.  Rescue workers had to shore up a narrow mine shaft and jack up the boulder to free Mellish.  He was treated and released at a hospital.  The bail bondsman said he had surrendered Mellish to the county jail.  "He was supposed to get that money," the bondsman said, "but now it's too dangerous in there, and a slide has covered his cache."  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1960 Joseph Mismash was rescued after being trapped 15 hours in a U. S. Steel Corporation iron mine near Ely, Minnesota.  Mismash was trapped in a walled-in cubicle blocked by a 14 foot-thick block of ore.  Source document External Link
MAY 1959 Ken Coal Company Mine Cave-in, Beaver Dam, Kentucky — The main thing when you re trapped underground is to "keep together, keep level-headed and wait."  This is the way Jake Lewis, 39, put it after he and two other exhausted miners crawled to safety after 41 hours of imprisonment in a western Kentucky coal shaft.  "I'm thankful we got out, we felt real good," said Lewis.  "We're just thankful to the Lord and to the men that done it."  A machine that cuts and loads coal in the same operation dug rescuers a path to reach Lewis, Earl Bennett, 50; and Don McClernon, 53.  A roof cave-in caught the three miners 90 feet underground and 500 feet from the shaft entrance at the Ken Coal Company mine.  "We slept 30 or 40 minutes at a time, then we'd get cold.  We'd have to move around to get warmed back up," said Lewis.  The men had a watch to tell time, small lights, and plenty of fresh air.  They drank water and milk piped through a tube used as a sprinkler system.  A telephone cable kept them in touch with the outside.  Earl Bennett survived a 1928 explosion at West Frankfort, Illinois, that killed 21 miners.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Mine Cave-in, Talache, Idaho — Three miners were rescued unhurt after an undisclosed period by a shovel-wielding miner’s wife after the trio had been trapped by a cave-in 75 feet from the mouth of a side-hill claim near this old mining community on Lake Pend Oreille, Bonner County, sheriff’s officers reported.  They said Mrs. Floyd Watts grabbed a shovel and headed into the tunnel for the eight foot wide cave-in while her husband hurried to a phone at a lake resort to call for help.  They said John Solomon, Frank Hubbard and a man identified as Swanson were trapped when recent heavy rains loosened dirt and debris and sent it crashing down across the 2,100-foot-long tunnel, some 75 feet from the mouth as they installed roof timbers.  By the time help arrived, Mrs. Watts, covered with mud from her one-woman rescue mission, was nearing the trapped men, officers said.  A short time later, with some male help, rescuers broke through the cave-in and the trapped men crawled out shaken but unhurt.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1959 Abandoned Mine Cave-in, Ironton, Ohio — Bob Russell, 17, was lucky to be alive after his rescue from a mine shaft cave-in.  Authorities said the boy and a companion, Jerry Thacker, 10, were exploring a deep mine shaft when a rock fall occurred, trapping the two.  Thacker freed himself, but Russell was buried up to his neck.  The younger boy ran for help and four men, two of them from a nearby coal company, rushed to the rescue.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1959 Unnamed Gold Mine Explosives Detonation, Death Valley, California — A gold miner lay helpless in a Death Valley tunnel hearing the fuses for 18 sticks of dynamite hiss a song of destruction.  Frank Rasmussen, 35, could only wait.  His right leg was shattered from a premature blast and gushing blood.  As he waited for the remaining charges to blast him into eternity, he gasped a prayer and buried his head under his arms.  Then he heard his alarmed partner Harry Boyer starting into the shaft from 18 feet above to see what was wrong.  "Don't come in here!"  Rasmussen shouted.  "No use both of us dying!"  Moments earlier he had lighted the 40-inch fuses to 10 two-stick charges spaced across the end of the tunnel wall.  Ordinarily, he would have had two or three minutes to get out.  Something went wrong this time — a faulty fuse.  Wham!  With each blast two sticks of dynamite went off.  Rocks and dirt flew.  The noise was deafening, the concussion terrific.  Rasmussen counted the explosions.  One, two, three — ten in all counting the first one which had slammed him right against the opposite wall 10 feet away.  As the echoes died away Boyer charged into the shaft.  All he could see of his comrade was a shoulder sticking out of the debris.  Boyer grabbed it and pulled Rasmussen’s head free.  Boyer tied a rope tightly around Rasmussen’s leg to stop the pouring blood.  Then he packed the injured man up a ladder and drove him to the nearby village of Skidoo.  Rasmussen told the story from his hospital bed while in traction with a leg broken in two places.  He was waiting for X-rays to show how badly his back was injured.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1959 St. Joseph Lead Mine Hoist Accident, Viburnum, Missouri — Two men were killed and two critically hurt in a 100-foot fall to the bottom of a lead mine shaft.  Killed were Junior Gilliam and Don Hall.  Injured were Lloyd Francis and Loy Bennett.  Bennett's right arm was severed.  The mine is operated by the St. Joseph Lead Company.  The men were being hauled up from a new 800-foot-deep shaft in a bucket when one of two ropes clamped together to hold the bucket slipped, spilling them out.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1959 River Slope Mine Inundation, Port Griffith, Pennsylvania — One miner, Amadeo Pancotti, age 50, was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Heroism for leading 32 miners to safety.  As the flood waters rose, Pancotti scaled a 50 foot sand-stone wall which rose generally at an angle of 75 degrees making his way to the surface.  Once there, he summoned others, who raised Louis Randazza, John Elko, and Joseph Soltis from the shaft.  A rescue team entered the mine through the shaft and found James LaFratte, Jerome Stuccio, and Pacifico Stella.  Twenty-six other men later were located and removed.  Twelve miners perished and their bodies were never recovered.
OCT 1958 Burton Mine Explosion, Craigsville, West Virginia — Four men who miraculously escaped death after being trapped underground were hospitalized.  The first of four men rescued reached the surface on his own feet, leaning on the shoulders of his rescuers, some four hours after the blast.  He was Artie Humphreys of Craigsville.  Three others, two of them horribly burned, were brought out on stretchers.
Bishop No. 34 Mine Explosion — An explosion occurred in this mine and resulted in the death of 22 miners.  Thirty-seven others erected barricades and remained behind them until they were rescued.
MAY 1958 24 miners, trapped for more than 15 hours, were rescued from a flooded Boone County Coal Corporation mine in Logan, West Virginia.  There were no deaths reported in this accident.  Source document External Link
Wharton No. 2 Mine Roof Fall, West Virginia — Resulting from a roof fall in the Wharton No. 2 mine, one employee was rescued after being pinned against an air compressor for 5 hours.  Four miners were killed in the accident.
Unnamed Potash Mine Cave-in, Carlsbad, New Mexico — A 60-year-old miner took refuge under a shuttle car and was saved after an undisclosed period as the roof of a potash mine caved in, killing the man working with him.  Lori K. Boll, the rescued man, was in fair shape in Memorial Hospital at Carlsbad after being miraculously rescued from the underground pillar "country" mine, where he was trapped 900 feet below the surface.  A fellow miner, Joe Cattaeno, around 50, apparently died instantly when the avalanche of rock and dirt thundered down.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1958 Glenn Burchett was rescued after a 6 hour roof fall entrapment in the Amherst Coal Company’s Lundale Mine at Morgantown Post, West Virginia.  Rescue workers using hydraulic jacks slowly and methodically lifted the fallen slate to a point where Burchett could be extricated.  Sadly, Burchett later died from his injuries.
JAN 1958 Abandoned Mine Shaft Rescue, Crafton Hills, California — Scared and dirty but unhurt, two Yucaipa youths were pulled to safety from an abandoned mine shaft in the Crafton hills area above Oak Glen road by sheriff's deputies and volunteers.  The boys, Larry Anderson, 12, and Lee Schumann, 13, waited at the bottom of the shaft for nearly four hours while their companion ran back to Yucaipa for help.  The boys had climbed to the area Saturday, discovered the mine shafts and decided to return to the site Sunday with a rope and go down into this particular mine.  The Anderson boy made the descent safely on the spindly rope.  But when the Schumann youth attempted to go down, the rope broke and he tumbled to the bottom.  Neither boy was hurt but they were unable to climb back out.  The boys became stranded about 4:30 p.m. and the rescue party set out for the site about 5:45.  When the party arrived at the mine, ropes were lowered and Anderson and Schumann were pulled to safety, dirty but otherwise unhurt at about 8:30 p.m.  Source document PDF Format
Page Navigation for More Rescues
Mine Accident Research Documents
Successful Mine Rescues  (MS Word format)    (PDF format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 1,000 successful rescues in the United States.  See more.  
Incidents of Rescuer Death  (MS Word format)    (PDF format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 125 incidents of rescuer death in the United States.  See more.  
Carnegie Hero Award Recipients  (MS Excel format)
Inspired by the bravery that Daniel A. Lyle and Selwyn M. Taylor External Link displayed at the Harwick Mine Disaster in 1904, Andrew Carnegie started the Carnegie Hero Fund External Link.  The file linked here includes awardees associated with mining along with additional resources which you may find interesting.
Children Killed in Mine Accidents (MS Excel format)
This is a compilation of more than 100 incidents involving the death of children in mines.  Source documentation links are provided.  See more.  
Women Killed in Mine Accidents (MS Excel format)
This is a compilation of more than 50 incidents involving the death of women in mines.  Source documentation links are provided.  See more.  
Loss of Life Among Wearers of Oxygen Breathing Apparatus
From 1911 to 1940, 26 men lost their lives while wearing oxygen breathing apparatus.
And many, many more . . .
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