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Successful Mine Rescues
Miners and others rescued after being trapped underground

Downloads available in MS Word formatComplete chronological lists in MS Word format of ALL the successful rescues and incidents of rescuer death in the United States that have been identified and compiled by the USMRA can be downloaded below ↓ or from any of the pages found at the Calendar of Mine Disasters.  These files are the copyrighted property of the United States Mine Rescue Association.

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Microsoft Word Format Successful Mine Rescues
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains hundreds of successful rescues in the United States.
Incidents of Rescuer Death
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 100 incidents of rescuer death in the United States.

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.

United States United States
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.
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.
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.
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 documentExternal 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.
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.
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 lowed food and extra mine lamps to the trapped miners during their ordeal.  Source documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal 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
Oct 1987 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 documentExternal Link
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
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 documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal Link
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.
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 documentExternal Link
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
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 documentExternal 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 documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal Link
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.
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 documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal 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 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 documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal 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.
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 DocumentExternal Link

Tragedy at Sunshine Mine by Frank Starr
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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.
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 documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal 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 documentExternal 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 documentExternal 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 documentExternal 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 documentExternal 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 documentExternal 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 documentExternal 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 documentExternal 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
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 documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal 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.
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 documentExternal Link
Oct 1965 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 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 documentExternal Link
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 2.5 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 documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal Link
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.
Aug 1963 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
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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 documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal Link
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.
Oct 1958 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 documentExternal Link
May 1958 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.
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.
Dec 1957 Mine No. 31 Explosion, Amonate, Virginia — Fourteen miners were trapped for six hours, but were rescued unharmed.  They had protected themselves from poisonous fumes by stretching canvas over openings in the shaft.  Woodrow Evans, 44, of Amonate, foreman of the 14-man group rescued at about 1 a.m., said his men remained calm during their wait and "some of them even ate their lunch."  The 14 joined their families at the surface and went home to rest.
Nov 1957 Unnamed Coal Mine Entrapment, Stockdale, Pennsylvania — Robert P. Thompson, 14, schoolboy, died after rescuing John T. Vingless, 13, schoolboy, from a cave-in, Coupon, Pennsylvania, November 2, 1957.  While John and Robert were digging for coal in a small pit four and a half feet deep at an abandoned strip mine, one side of the pit collapsed and clay, slate, and coal in a high ridge above it slid onto them.  Both boys, who were kneeling in the pit with their heads two feet below the top, were covered chest-deep.  John's hands were pinned, and a lump of slate 18 inches square and four inches thick rested on his head, pressing his face into the clay so that he barely was able to breathe.  Although he had sustained serious injuries to his back, chest, and legs, Robert freed his hands and dug himself out.  Unable to stand, he began crawling toward a nearby road to summon help, but at John’s pleas he dragged himself back to the pit.  Although in considerable pain, he moved the lump of slate from John's head.  John then dug himself out with some assistance from Robert, who removed several small pieces of slate.  John walked and Robert crawled 200 feet to the road, calling for help.  John’s mother was attracted, and the boys then were removed to a hospital.  John sustained a wrenched back and hip injuries but recovered.  Robert's injuries were extensive, including damage to his spinal cord, which caused his death later in the day.  Robert P. Thompson was posthumously bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Sep 1957 Marianna No. 58 Mine Explosion, Marianna, Pennsylvania — Six miners were rescued from the exploded and burning mine after more than 8 hours.  Shortly after noon, telephone lines were dropped to the men at the foot of the portal shaft.  The miners said they all were burned, one so badly he could take liquids only through a straw.  Blankets, first aid equipment and oxygen tanks were then lowered by rope.  The first of the trapped miners was brought to the surface in a makeshift oil drum elevator at 2:10 p.m.  At half-hour intervals, five other survivors were lifted to safety in the drums.
Jun 1957 Five miners were rescued from the Betsy No. 3 coal mine operated by the Powhatan Mining Company at Fernwood, Ohio.  Released from their tomb after their entrapment of 14½ hours were Hank Horvath, Martin Kovalski, Fred Sabol, Joseph Supinski, and Kenny Hamilton.  The Betsy No. 3 mine is a small, "punch mining operation" that produces about 600 tons of coal per day.  Source documentExternal Link
Mar 1957 50-year-old Cantrell Owens was rescued from an abandoned Kentucky coal mine near Harlan after spending more than 2 days lost in mine.  Rescuers had to give up the search once because of the foul air they encountered.   Source documentExternal Link
Apr 1956 A roof fall at the Kaiser Coal Company mine near Sunnyside, Utah occurred trapping 4 miners.  Three of the miners were rescued after 44 hours.  The rescued were Lavell Golding, Joe Archuletta and Lloyd Allen Heath.  Deceased in the accident was Joseph Otterstrom.  Source documentExternal Link
Jan 1956 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania — On January 31, 1956, when a section of roof fell in a coal mine 550 feet below the surface, Percy A. Hooper, 33, was buried between a loading machine and a coal pillar.  During an arduous rescue in a space 18 inches wide and 20 inches high, and working with handtools, John W. Blazek, Jr. managed to free Hooper enough that the pair were able to be pulled to safety by assisting miners.  Hooper, who had been buried an hour and a half, was hospitalized for four days from shock and bruises.  Blazek, who had been in the tunnel 30 minutes, was nervous and sustained minor cuts.  Both recovered.  For his bravery, Mr. Blazek was given the Carnegie Hero Award.  Source documentExternal Link
Nov 1954 Abandoned Anthracite Coal Mine Fall of Person, Shaft, Pennsylvania — Alden A. Hartz, Jr., 27, construction worker, rescued Catherine M. Murphy, 72, from a cave-in, Shaft, Pennsylvania, November 23, 1954.  Mrs. Murphy was crossing a field near her home when a cave-in occurred above an abandoned coal mine underlying that area.  Ground gave way beneath her; and she fell into a hole 70 feet deep caused by the cave-in, landing on a mound of fallen earth which rose 20 feet above the bottom of the hole.  She sustained severe injuries and partially was buried by earth.  The hole was four feet wide at the surface and thence downward to the bottom widened irregularly to 40 feet, the sides having numerous overhanging protuberances.  Attracted by the screams of Mrs. Murphy, Hartz and others gathered at the hole.  A 20-foot ladder was placed on the ground across the hole.  Although he could observe that the sides of the hole were unstable, Hartz, who observed others already there were reluctant to enter the hole, volunteered at once to descend to Mrs. Murphy and tied the end of 150-foot rope to himself.  He was lowered into the opening carrying a hand lamp.  Three men played out the rope, and another man lay prone on the ladder to guide the rope as Hartz was lowered 50 feet to the mound.  Descending 12 feet on the mound, he found Mrs. Murphy and freed her from the fallen earth.  She became unconscious.  He had difficulty obtaining footing on the muddy slope and called to the men above to pull slowly on the rope.  Hartz drew Mrs. Murphy to the top of the mound.  He saw small stones and dirt falling from the sides of the hole and realized another cave-in might be imminent but removed the rope from himself and fastened it securely to Mrs. Murphy, deciding because of her injuries to have her taken up separately while he waited on the mound.  At Hartz's call the men lifted Mrs. Murphy to the surface.  The rope was returned to Hartz, and he was drawn rapidly from the hole after being in it seven minutes. Mrs. Murphy was rushed to a hospital but died of her injuries two days later.  Hartz was nervous but recovered.  Mr. Hartz was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Oct 1954 Nearly freed from fallen timber and rock in an Anthracite mine in Branchdale, Pennsylvania, Carl Herman became trapped again when a second cave-in occurred.  35 friends worked for an undisclosed period to free Herman who managed to get out with only a broken leg.  Source documentExternal Link
Jan 1953 Gilberton Coal Company Drill Hole Entrapment, Gilberton, Pennsylvania — Five-year-old Laura Mae Helser was freed from her 90-minute confinement after falling 10 feet into an 11-inch test hole at the strip mine owned by the Gilberton Coal Company.  Rescuers ingeniously fashioned a make-shift vertical stretcher to free the child from her entrapment.  Source document.  PDF Format
Jun 1952 June 2, 1952: Three of five miners were rescued after being trapped for 24 hours by a cave-in at Republic Steel Corporation's Penokee Iron Ore Mine near Ironwood, Michigan.  The rescued miners were Victor Cox, Christopher Hocking, and Mack Krecker.  The body of Jerome Olkonen was later found by rescuers, lying beside his machine.  The fate of the 5th miner, Serafim Zackarzewski, is not known, although mine officials feared he would have been crushed to death in the fall of rock.  See MoreExternal Link
Dec 1951 One miner, Cecil Sanders, was rescued after 60 hours from the Orient No. 2 coal mine in West Frankfort, Illinois following an explosion which killed 119.  At that time, this disaster was the nation's worst in the preceding 23 years.  Source documentExternal Link
Apr 1951 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Shaft, Pennsylvania — Henry W. Eckley, Sr., 61, coal miner, died as the result of attempting to rescue Anthony Woznicki, 46, coal miner, from a cave-in.  During the course of the rescue, a large quantity of debris fell from near the ceiling and partially buried Eckley, who sustained severe internal injuries and a broken leg.  Eckley and Woznicki were removed from the entry by other miners and were taken to the surface.  Woznicki was disabled six months.  Eckley succumbed to injuries three days later.  Posthumously, Mr. Eckley was awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Dec 1950 His life saved by the same huge beam that kept him prisoner for 54 hours, John Wolti was freed from his tomb by rescuers in the Big 4 coal mine at Selleck, Washington.  Wolti was brought out of the mine with a crushed arm and suffering from shock and was expected to be hospitalized for a week to ten days.  Source documentExternal Link
Nov 1950 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania — Walter Legins, 39, coal mine shaftman, helped to rescue Stephen C. Grozio, 49, coal mine shaftman, from a cave-in in a mine, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, November 20, 1950.  At night while Grozio and two other men were at work on a platform in a mine-shaft 1,160 feet below ground-level, a cave-in occurred above them.  Grozio jumped quickly onto a cage partly protected by a metal canopy in an adjoining section of the shaft, as a huge mass of debris struck the platform and demolished it.  The other two men fell with the debris from 250 feet above the bottom of the shaft.  The cage was wrenched from its guides but remained suspended 150 feet below a landing.  The rumble of falling debris was heard at the surface, but the extent of the cave-in could not be determined.  A group comprising two foremen, Legins, and three other men entered the mine at another shaft and reached the landing.  Visibility into the damaged shaft was negligible, but all noted that a section of the shaft opposite the landing had fallen away.  Crozio's head-lamp was dimly sighted.  In response to calls, Grozio apprised the others of conditions and told them his hands were numbed.  Only Legins volunteered to descend to Crozio.  Although aware that another cave-in might be imminent, Legins with a rope tied to him entered the shaft and was lowered to the cage, where he removed the rope.  Using a metal bar, he broke away an obstruction in the shaft above the cage.  Calling repeatedly to the landing with directions for the raising and lowering of the cage, Legins and Crozio after 20 minutes engaged the guide and were drawn to the landing.  Legins and Grozio were taken to the surface.  After extensive digging operations, the bodies of the other two men were recovered; and the shaft was closed permanently.  Crozio was chilled, and he and Legins were nervous.  Both recovered.  Walter Legins was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Jan 1950 Joseph Burda was rescued after being trapped for 40 hours in a "bootleg" anthracite mine near Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania.  He and his brother, Edward, became trapped following a cave-in.  Rescue attempts carried on for Edward, however, it is unknown if they were successful.  Source documentExternal Link
Feb 1949 Kittoe Mining Works Fire, Benton, Wisconsin — Fifteen miners were rescued after being trapped for seven hours by a fire which occurred in the engine room of the Kittoe Mining Works near Benton, Wisconsin.  The fire cut the men off from their 167-foot escape shaft to the mine head.  Except for one miner who suffered a slight heart attack, all the men remained calm throughout their ordeal.
Jul 1948 Edgewater Mine Explosion, Birmingham, Alabama — A company spokesman said a pocket of gas apparently was set off near the junction of a new ventilation shaft with an old areaway.  About 50 men were working in the vicinity.  Most escaped through an air shaft and others trapped by gas, were brought to safety by rescue workers after an undisclosed period.
May 1948 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Inundation, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Edward Heck and Peter Gorton were rescued from a bootleg Anthracite mine near Shamokin, Pennsylvania following their 60-hour entrapment from an inundation of water from an adjoining abandoned mine.  The men said they believed their companion, Charles Bashore, was trapped in the lowest part of the mine and had no chance to escape.
Jul 1947 Old Ben No. 8 Mine Explosion, West Frankfort, Illinois — At the time of the explosion 264 men were in the mine, and all those not in the immediate area of the explosion escaped, unaided.  All of the deaths were due to burns and violence resulting from the explosion.  Four men in the immediate explosion area were rescued after an undisclosed period but one man died approximately ten hours after being taken to the surface.
Mar 1947 Centralia No. 5 Mine Explosion, Centralia, Illinois — Rescue workers kept digging in a gaseous, clogged-up passage 540 feet underground.  The picking and the toiling slow work in the thick of the lingering fumes, in about 20 hours had accounted for only nine survivors of the 131 who were caught in the blast just a few minutes before quitting time.
Dec 1946 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Frank J. Di Andriole helped to rescue Peter A. Byczkowski from a mine cave-in.  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.  In a rescue that took 2½ hours, Di Andriole and Clair S. Sigworth, a mine inspector, were able to remove the debris and carry Byczkowski to safety.  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.  Messrs. Di Andriole and Sigworth were awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Apr 1946 Great Valley Mine Explosion, McCoy, Virginia — A rescue squad from Radford donned gas masks and made its way to the site shortly after the explosion.  Eleven were found dead of burns.  The twelfth miner, Paul Price, was brought to the surface but died without regaining consciousness at a hospital here.
Dec 1945 Belva No. 1 Mine Explosion, Fourmile, Kentucky — Approximately 3 hours after the explosion, nine miners barricaded themselves noting, "nine miners in here, 11 a.m. Thursday" on a pile of slate.  More than 50 hours later, they were discovered and brought to the surface.  The first out and the oldest of the group was Al Bennett.  He died while awaiting rescue.  The other eight miners were: Charles Lingar; McKinley Leath; William Branstutt; Ivan Philpot; Joe Hatfield; Huey Miller; Tom McQueen; and Bud Towns.  Mr. McQueen died a few hours after the rescue.  Mr. Towns died several months after he was rescued.
Sep 1943 Rescuers freed six miners after an undisclosed period following an explosion at the Three Point Coal Company mine in southeast Kentucky.  Twelve miners perished in the accident; 3 directly by the explosion and 9 others found huddled together, overcome by gases.  The six rescued miners had traveled one mile further into the mine where they constructed a barricade.  Source documentExternal Link
Sep 1943 Primrose Colliery Explosion, Primrose, Pennsylvania — After an undisclosed period following the explosion, nine injured men were removed from the mine and taken to a hospital in nearby Pottsville.  Most of them were suffering from burns, bruises and shock.  Only one of these, James Connelly, was believed to be in serious condition.
May 1943 NuRex Mine Explosion, LaFollette, Tennessee — Eighteen coal miners, huddling behind a hastily erected canvas barrier nearly 2,000 feet underground, survived an explosion that rocked the Etna Coal and Coke Company mine and suffocated ten of their companions.  The miners, fighting against the deadly fumes of "black damp" for more than eight hours, stumbled and crawled from their barricaded cell as rescue parties freed them.
Mar 1943 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Inkerman, Pennsylvania — Henry R. Skibitski, 32, coal miner; and John Kuchinsky, 37, coal mine, helped to rescue Frank Chas, 44, mine laborer, from a cave-in in a mine, Inkerman, Pennslvania, March 30, 1943.  Two runaway mine cars were derailed in an air-course of a coal mine, causing the roof to collapse for 17 feet in the air-course and in a cross-cut that extended six feet off the air-course at one end of the cave-in.  Chas, who was in the cross-cut, was pinned by a timber on which rock rested.  While the debris moved and settled somewhat and a few rocks fell, Skibitski, followed by John Kuchinsky, from the end of the cave-in crawled 12 feet in a narrow passageway at one side of the cave-in under debris and reached Chas.  They placed blocks under the timber; and with bars Kuchinsky and then Skibitski dug at rocks under Chas, freeing him.  They dragged Chas into the air-course, lifted him across one of the cars, and lowered him to the floor beyond the inner end of the cave-in.  Chas had sustained a cut on his head, and his legs were numb.  Twenty minutes later, the debris having fairly well settled, Kuchinsky aided Chas over the car; and all crawled through the passageway into a safe section of the mine.  Chas recovered.  Skibitski and Kuchinsky were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Feb 1943 Smith No. 3 Mine Explosion, Carbon County, Montana — As told in the book "Red Lodge Saga of a Western Area" by Shirley Zupan and Harry J. Owens, three miners were rescued from the Smith No. 3 mine disaster.  At the time of the explosion, Alex Hawthorne, Willard Reid and Eli Houtonen felt unusual pressure in their ears with no sound.  A terrible wind came at them from inside the mine, blowing debris.  Hawthorne reached a phone and sent word that something was wrong, and that he was coming out.  He was then overcome by gas.  Reid and Houtonen were knocked off their feet by the force of the wind.  Reid managed to get up and tried to waken Houtonen.  Guided by Reid's lamp, rescue men found the three and took them above ground.  The three survived the explosion; 74 others did not.
Nov 1942 West Kentucky No. 10 Mine Explosion, Providence, Kentucky — Following the West Kentucky No. 10 explosion, the rescue party headed by District Mine Inspector James Fugate brought out nine trapped miners after an undisclosed period.  They were unable to reach six other victims in time to save their lives.
Mar 1942 Teddy the mule was rescued following an 8-day entrapment after a roof fall occurred in the Cracker Jack mine near Boulder, Colorado.  Teddy survived the ordeal by nibbling on bark from pine roof props and drinking from pools of water in the damp mine.  The owner, Joe Robertson, turned Teddy out to pasture to rest for a month following his ordeal.  Source DocumentExternal Link

Timothy by Rupert Holmes
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Jan 1942 Wadge Mine Explosion, Mt. Harris, Colorado — Four miners who were working nearer the entrance were rescued after an undisclosed period.  These men included Joe Gall, Bill Fickle, Elmer Everson and Mike Atansoff.
Oct 1941 Daniel Boone Mine Explosion, Daniel Boone, Kentucky — 34 rescued miners were brought to the surface by way of an air shaft within two hours after the explosion.  Four other survivors were able to leave through the main entrance before it was filled by gas.
Jan 1941 John Ryan, 28, died shortly after he had been rescued from a "bootleg" coal mine near Pottsville, Pennsylvania in which he had been trapped for 48 hours.  Joseph Slane, 30, who was trapped with Ryan was rescued after a third miner, Vincent Burns, had spread the alarm.  Source documentExternal Link
Dec 1940 No. 4 Mine Explosion, Beckley, West Virginia — Soon after the explosion in the No. 4 mine, five men were brought out and taken to hospitals.  The injured included Albert Wade, Harry Sexton, Joe Saunders, Roy Hill, and John Dalton.  Physicians said Sexton may die but the others would probably recover.
Dec 1940 December 31, 1940 — 18 hours after a 70-foot roof fall entrapment in the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company’s Kent No. 2 Mine in McIntyre, PA, the following miners were rescued: Edgar Swan, Louis Canton, J. Fulmer, Leland Stutchell and Paul Cochran.  Six months later, a mine explosion in the Kent No. 2 mine would take the lives of 7 miners.  Source documentExternal Link
Jul 1940 Sonman "E" Mine Explosion, Portage, Pennsylvania — Some of the survivors of the blast were slightly burned by the hot air that rolled through the mine.  Thirteen of them came out of the 18th heading and eight escaped from the 16th heading.  Edward Bem, one of these survivors, said the men crawled on their hands and knees and finally made their way to the 'dip' where they were rescued after an undisclosed period.
Mar 1940 Willow Grove No. 10 Mine Explosion — An explosion in this mine resulted in the death of 72 miners.  Twenty-two others were overcome by afterdamp, rescued and taken to the surface.  Seventy-nine uninjured men were temporarily imprisoned and rescued five hours later.  Investigators believe that the explosion was caused by the firing of a shot charged with black powder.
Jul 1939 Duvin Mine Explosion, Providence, Kentucky — Five of the men in the explosion area escaped, 4 being slightly cut and bruised.  A trip rider standing near a telephone at a parting was knocked down but received no injuries; he called the top foreman and then helped two injured men out of the smoke and fumes to a place where a locomotive was sent to bring them to the shaft.  Two of the rescued, Ernest Johnson and Douglas Cates, had been caught beneath the fallen walls, Dennis Walker, was not hurt.  William Reynolds, who had been working near the shaft was injured.
May 1939 Robert Galligan was rescued from a "bootleg" anthracite mine near Shenandoah, Pennsylvania after a cave-in trapped him in the mine for 65 hours.  During the rescue, he was heard joking and singing.  Source documentExternal Link
May 1939 Rescuers worked for 15 hours to free 60-year-old Joseph Babatsky after a fall of clay in a "bootleg" anthracite coal mine near Shenandoah in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.  Thirty rescuers began the work shortly after the fall and as they neared him, he instructed them how to proceed.  Source documentExternal Link
Jan 1939 Nineteen miners were rescued from the Clinton Coal Company’s Crown Hill No. 6 Mine Fire near Clinton, Indiana after being trapped there for 10 hours.  Rescuers waded water waist-deep through another tunnel, abandoned for 20 years, broke down a barrier and reached the men from behind.
Oct 1938 Lilly Meade Mine Rescue, Owensburg, Kentucky — Dolar Johnson, 54, was rescued after being lost for four days in the Lilly Meade Company mine.  Johnson, a miner of 25-years’ experience, became lost when his carbide light went out.  He suffered no ill effects from being without food and water for that period.  Source document.  PDF Format
Jul 1938 Praco No. 7 Rock Fall Disaster — A roof fall occurred in this mine, trapping nine men, three of whom were rescued alive, severely shocked, with minor injuries.  One rescued alive, died, probably from shock, en route to the surface, and the remaining five bodies were dead when recovered.
Jul 1938 Five miners, buried alive for more than 48 hours following a cave-in at the Veta silver mine at Duncan, Arizona were brought safely to the surface by rescue crews.  The entombed men were Alfred Gillenwater, G. C. Robinson, D. H. Grissom, E. D. Wright, and Albert Carlson.  Source documentExternal Link
Jun 1938 Butler Slope Explosion, Pittston, Pennsylvania — Rescuers were successful in bringing six miners to the surface after an undisclosed period.  Seriously injured were John Waskiewicz and Peter Morgantini.  They were treated at the Pittston Hospital for skull fractures and severe burns.  Others hurt were Warner Posdzich, Peter Wasluk, Patrick Nardone, and Joseph Lusto.  Lusto was the only one who reached the surface unaided.  Clutching an injured wrist, he staggered out of the mouth.  His wife, screaming, darted from the crowd and into his arms.
Mar 1938 Oliver Busby, 49, mine foreman, saved Coleman Burrell, 25, trackman's helper, from bleeding and a cave-in in a mine, Birmingham, Alabama, March 28, 1938.  When runaway mine cars in a coal-mine collided with standing cars, Burrell was knocked to his knees between the ends of two cars, the car’s coming to a stop after one of them had dislodged two roof supports.  The roof began slowly to sag above Burrell. Burrell's leg was caught under a car and was fractured; and an artery was severed, from which blood spurted.  Busby crawled under the sagging roof to Burrell.  Lying on his side in a confined space on the floor, he pressed the artery, stopping the flow of blood almost entirely.  He was thus engaged for 10 minutes, all the time regarding the sagging roof with apprehension.  The car was then raised, and Burrell was carried to safety.  A very short time later roof timbers came to rest on the car alongside of which Busby had lain; and a large rock slid down on it, followed by a fall of small rock.  Burrell's leg later was amputated. Oliver Busby was given the Carnegie Hero award for his bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Feb 1938 Lehigh Valley Mine Inundation, Jeanesville, Pennsylvania — Seven out of eight miners were rescued after being trapped for 18 hours in the flooded Lehigh Valley Coal Company mine at Jeanesville.  The eighth man, Paul Kuritz was found dead.  The rescued men were Michael Olexa, Joseph Fidishin, Stephen Stefranko, John Lavaraski, Andrew Havrilla, William Davis, and Paul Molnar.  Source document.  PDF Format
Jul 1937 Baker Mine Explosion, Sullivan, Indiana — Four men, burned badly but still alive were rescued from the Baker coal mine shortly after the explosion trapped them and about 20 other miners.  Within the next two hours, eight more were rescued alive from the fire-swept area.  Only two of them had escaped severe burns.
Apr 1937 Toiling for 27 hours, rescue squads removed Anthony Vinscavage, 48, from a "bootleg" coal hole near Tamaqua, Pennsylvania.  Vinscavage was trapped while working with son, John, who had escaped and called for rescuers.  Source documentExternal Link
Feb 1937 Robert Johnson spent eight days without food in utter darkness in an abandoned Flemington, West Virginia coal mine.  Guided by his weak cries, Bill McDonald, Minor Cleavenger and Lon Smith found the man and brought him out on a stretcher.  Source documentExternal Link
Aug 1936 Following a 72 hour entrapment in the burning Esry Mine near Moberly, Missouri, two of four men were rescued.  The deceased were Ed Stoner, one of the owners, and George Dameron.  The rescued men were Demmer Sexton and Jack McMann.
Jun 1936 Caught by crumbling rock and fallen timbers in a Helena, Montana mine, Ed Moore became held firmly by the jam.  One of the owners, John Brophy, who was working with him, managed to get out and get help.  Despite being warned by Moore not to come down, rescuers worked for four hours to free him and return him to his wife and daughter, who were waiting on the surface.  Source documentExternal Link
Mar 1936 Gus Brown and his three husky sons rescued "Fannie,” their pet pony from the family coal mine in Louis Hollow near Crooksville, Ohio.  Fannie, trapped 19 days due to a cave-in, emerged sleepily and appeared none the worse for her experience.  The pony, led through hastily-driven shafts was taken into the Brown home and given a warm place by the kitchen stove.  Source documentExternal Link
Dec 1935 Wolf Run Mine Explosion, Amsterdam, Ohio — 20 miners were rescued from behind a barricade 1 to 2 hours after an explosion in the Wolf Run mine at Amsterdam, Ohio.  Four miners were killed in the incident.  Source document.  PDF Format
Oct 1935 Mine workers who worked all night, rescued one of two men entombed in a "bootleg" coal mine, 2 miles south of Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania.  Source documentExternal Link
Oct 1935 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Steubenville, Ohio — John Henry Wiggins helped to rescue Richard S. Riser from a mine cave-in, Steubenville, Ohio, October 14, 1935.  While Riser, 51, was working in an entry five feet high in a mine, a rock 30 feet long, 10 feet wide, and two to three feet thick fell from the top, knocking him down close to a rail of a track and pinning his right arm and left foot.  His left knee was pressed against his chest, causing him to breathe with great difficulty.  Wiggins, 48, mine loader, ran to the rock and at a point 12 feet from Riser lay prone and crawled under it toward Riser through an opening 14 inches high.  The rock rested mainly on refuse coal, and as Wiggins crawled, he pushed rock fragments from in front of him and stacked them to aid in preventing the rock from sinking lower and crushing him.  Reaching Riser, he tugged at his left foot and forced off Riser's shoe but was unable to free his foot.  Riser urged him to break his leg, if necessary.  Wiggins crawled back to the opening, got a jack handle, again crawled to Riser, and tried to raise the rock by means of the handle but failed.  He then took hold of Riser's ankle with both hands and pulled his foot free, crawled backward for four feet, and pulled Riser's leg to a straight position.  He removed rock fragments from around Riser's right leg and then tried to pull Riser's arm from its wedged position.  Failing to do so, he crawled back to the opening and clear of the rock.  He had been under the rock for 20 minutes Later the rock was raised by means of jacks, and Riser was dragged from beneath it.  His arm was paralyzed.  Two other men who were caught under the fall were killed.  John Wiggins was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Mar 1935 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Starford, Pennsylvania — John S. Korfonta sustained fatal injuries attempting to help rescue Francis R. Yaros from a mine cave-in, Starford, Pennsylvania, March 11, 1935.  While Yaros, 21, was close to the face of the coal at the end of a heading of a mine, a rock six feet and a half in diameter and from two to 15 inches thick fell from the roof onto him.  The rock lay two feet from the face of the coal between two parallel rows of posts eight feet apart.  Only Yaros's feet and ankles extended from under the rock.  Frank L. Russell, Jr., heard the crash and went to another heading, where he notified Korfonta, 46, miner; J. Clair Irvin; Joseph C. Resovsky; and another man.  Irvin, closely followed by Russell, Resovsky, and the other man, hurried through a crosscut and the heading to the rock and then crawled over it to positions between the rock and the face of the coal.  Russell placed a crowbar beneath the edge of the rock, and his companions placed their hands beneath the rock to lift it.  Korfonta then reached the rock and began to crawl over it.  Another rock, five feet wide and eight inches thick, fell and knocked him aside onto loose slate.  Slate dribbled from the roof, and the men feared another fall.  After standing aside a moment, Irvin and Resovsky lifted a part of the rock, which had been split by the second rock, from Yaros's legs.  Russell and Resovsky then lifted the rock from Yaros's back.  Irvin grasped Yaros's ankles and pulled him to the face of the coal.  Russell and Irvin then carried Yaros toward the other side of the heading, the roof of which was amply supported by crossbeams, then for 25 feet over a pile of slate to a safe part of the heading.  Resovsky remained with Korfonta.  Russell ran to the entrance of the mine for help.  Irvin returned to the rock and crawled over the loose slate to Korfonta and Resovsky.  He and Resovsky then carried Korfonta over the same course to the crosscut and the other heading.  In the meantime, Yaros died.  Korfonta was placed in a minecar and hauled out of the mine.  He died of his injuries that evening.  J. Clair Irvin, Frank L. Russell, Jr., Joseph C. Resovsky and John S. Korfonta (posthumously) were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Aug 1934 William Jones, 35, from Minersville, Pennsylvania was rescued from a rock slide in a Bootleg anthracite mine where he was trapped for more than 24 hours.  Source documentExternal Link
Aug 1934 Derby No. 3 Mine Explosion, Big Stone Gap, Virginia — After an undisclosed period following the 7 a.m. explosion, two men, Lawrence Fleener and Walter Bayless, were brought out alive and were taken to the Stonega hospital for treatment.  Artificial respiration was resorted to in vain efforts to save some of the others.
Jul 1934 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, McComas, West Virginia — Joseph James Ellis and Armado Bucchi helped to rescue Walter J. Church from a mine cave-in, McComas, West Virginia, July 28, 1934.  As Church, 31, was standing between the side wall of a room in a coal mine and a mine car that was three feet from the wall, a block of slate eight feet long, six feet wide, and eight inches thick dropped from a long crack in the roof, covering the car and extending to within four inches of the wall.  Church was knocked to his knees, and one arm was pinned against the top of the side of the car.  Ellis, 45, miner, who was between the end of the car and the face of the coal, was struck a glancing blow by the slate and then got out of the room.  He heard slate dribbling from the roof and knew that dribbling slate often preceded a fall.  Calling that there had been a fall and getting an axe, Ellis crawled on his hands and knees four or five feet under the slate, which was but three feet above the floor, and chopped the side of the car four or five inches from Church's arm.  Another block of slate similar in size to the first then dropped on the first block, crushing the sides of the car so that the slate was but two feet above the floor.  A little later Ellis and Bucchi managed to move the side of the car, freeing Church's arm.  The three then backed from beneath the slate.  Church's arm was later amputated at the elbow.  He recovered otherwise.  Messrs. Joseph Ellis and Bucchi were given the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Apr 1934 Sinclair Mine Fire, Switz, Indiana — Five miners escaped death in the Sinclair mine after fire broke out there.  They walled themselves into a space 24 by 12 feet for an undisclosed period more than 100 yards away from the blazing wooden shaft, and awaited rescue.  The rescued miners were Jack Hineman, Dennis Combs, Thomas Barnett, Henry Johnson, and Roll Himebrook.  Source documentExternal Link
Feb 1934 Glen Rogers No. 2 Mine Explosion, Glen Rogers, West Virginia — 38 miners were rescued from behind a barricade several hours after an explosion in the Glen Rogers No. 2 mine in West Virginia. Four miners were killed in the incident.   Source document.  PDF Format
Nov 1933 Five men were rescued from a mine after an undisclosed period in South Scranton, Pennsylvania following a cave-in.  Two of the men, Paul Mariello and Carmel Comparta, were seriously hurt, suffering from internal injuries.  The other three men left the scene before they could be identified.  Source documentExternal Link
Jul 1933 Twelve miners were rescued after having been trapped for three hours by a fall of coal in the Locust Gap mine operated by the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company at Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania.  Source documentExternal Link
Jun 1933 Joseph Terescavage, a 56-year-old miner, from Shamokin, PA was rescued after having been entombed for two days in the collapsed Madeira Hill mine near Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania.  Source documentPDF Format
Mar 1933 Bootleg anthracite miner, John Cheslock, was rescued from the abandoned Sayre colliery near Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania.  In a state of collapse, but conscious, Cheslock was rescued following a 4 day entrapment.  Source documentExternal Link
Dec 1932 Morgan Jones Mine Explosion, Madrid, New Mexico — Following the first impact of the explosion, some ten men near the outer edge of the area made a dash for the main passageway.  Three of these, including Jimmie Taylor, 19, son of H. L. Taylor, assistant superintendent of the company's Madrid mines, were overcome.  They were picked up and carried out safely by their comrades.  Andrew Sampria, rushing out, picked up a prostrate form and carried it with him.  When he had reached the area of clean air, he learned that it was his own son, Pete, he had rescued.
Nov 1932 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Avoca, Pennsylvania — Robert Hughes and Joseph P. Tigue helped to rescue Thomas A. Coleman and Louis J. Doran from a mine cave-in, Avoca, Pennsylvania, November 8, 1932.  While Coleman, 37, miner, and Doran, 45, mine laborer, were digging coal in an abandoned entry that connected with a narrow shaft, a collapse occurred.  Coleman was buried under shale at the bottom of the shaft.  Doran was knocked to the floor of the entry and lay under shale four feet deep 18 feet from the shaft.  Using their hands, Hughes, 50, miner, and Tigue removed the shale from Coleman.  Occasionally shale sloughed off the sides and dropped from overhead.  In three hours they removed enough shale to free Coleman, who was pulled out.  Hughes and Tigue worked all afternoon and far into the night to make a trench to Doran.  They erected posts, piled the shale behind boards resting against the posts, and finally reached Doran.  While they were removing debris from over him, the sides of the entry caved in.  Hughes and the other man ran to the shaft and were hoisted out.  During the remainder of the night and the next morning all of the shale and other debris was removed by men under safe conditions, adequate braces having been placed, and Doran was taken out.  He suffered injuries from which he died seven hours later.  Both men were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Apr 1932 Mary Ann Lead and Zinc Mine Shaft Entrapment, Picher, Oklahoma — Toddling after his workbound father, Gerald Collins, age 3, fell into a 250-foot drill hole and became wedged in the hole about 20 feet down.  He remained trapped there for 11 hours until rescuers dug a parallel shaft to reach and free the child.  Source document.  PDF Format
Oct 1931 Two miners who never gave up hope after 4 comrades were killed in an explosion in the Mocanaqua Mine of the West End Coal Company were rescued after 133 hours of entrapment.  The survivors were John Thomashunis, age 40, and John Metz, age 22.
Sep 1931 Aukstock Carter, 30, was rescued after an undisclosed period following a cave-in in an unnamed coal mine near Charleston, West Virginia.  His rescue came after company physician, Dr. W. B. Davis, amputated his right arm.   Source documentExternal Link
Jul 1931 Jesse Engle rescued Charles Napier from a mine cave-in.  While Napier, 31, was working beside a mine car in a mine, a rock weighing approximately 56 tons fell from the roof, knocking him down, and rested on hard-packed coal 20 inches above the floor.  The fingers of one of his hands were pinned between the rock and the top of a box on the car, and his other arm was pinned under the end of the car.  For 40 minutes, Engle he made thrusts against the top edge of the box with iron bars, chipping it, and inserted wedges.  Napier then was able to free his hand.  Engle then reached under Napier and helped him free his other arm.  Engle backed out from beneath the rock, and Napier followed him.  The rock settled four inches during the act, and a half-hour later the rock had crushed the car and settled within three inches of the floor.  Two of Napier's fingers had to be amputated.  He was not otherwise injured.   Mr. Engle was awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Jan 1931 Seven miners were rescued after an undisclosed period following an explosion in the Little Betty Mine at Dugger, Indiana.  The men who were rescued had barricaded themselves in an entry off one of the main corridors.  Those rescued included Locie Hale, William Bedwell, Ben Snyder, Herman Brown, Charles Love and Charles Centers, all of Linton, and Jule Wellington of Sullivan.
Nov 1930 Millfield No. 6 Mine Explosion, Millfield, Ohio — 19 miners were rescued 10 hours after the explosion.  The miners, most of them unconscious, were found behind a ventilation partition.  John Dean, Inside Foreman, is credited with saving the lives of the rescued miners, including him.  Dean and the other miners erected and gathered behind a ventilation partition which protected them from the deadly gases.  Dean risked several trips into the smoke-filled entries to carry some of his comrades to safety before he collapsed and had to be carried to safety.
Nov 1930 Lutie No. 5 Mine Explosion, Lutie, Oklahoma — The explosion sealed only one entry, known as number 10 1-2.  About 17 men were said to be in this entry.  Workmen reached entry 10 1-2 about two hours after the explosion and brought one man to the surface alive.  Two other miners, L. B. Boyd and Lon Swindle were brought out of mine alive but later died in Hartshorne Hospital.  Bodies of the other men were brought up slowly and taken to a morgue.
Apr 1930 Carbonado Mine Explosion, Carbonado, Washington — 16 miners were rescued from behind a barricade several hours after an explosion in the Carbonado mine in Carbonado, Washington.  Source document.  PDF Format
Mar 1930 New Peerless Mine Explosion, Helper, Utah — Eight men escaped alive after the blast.  A. L. Ross and L. S. King were burned about the face and hands and badly gassed.  They owe their lives to Vic Bain and Tony Canrinker, who placed the injured men in a mine car and signaled to have it drawn from the mine, but the apparatus was damaged by the explosion and failed to function.  Bain and Canrinker then carried Ross and King toward the entrance of the mine until they encountered fresh air.  Others rescued were B. W. Hall, Ole Swenson, Roy Story and Frank Hensley.
Mar 1930 Wolf Run Mine Fire, Amsterdam, Ohio — Owing their lives to the desperate work of the Steubenville Fire Department and mine rescue squads, 87 miners were brought out of the mine after an undisclosed period.  About a dozen of them were unconscious when carried to the surface.  Two rescuers, Sidney Wales and Arnold Horton, collapsed from exhaustion after trampling for miles searching for workmen.  Two other miners died in the accident.
Feb 1930 Standard Coal Company, Standard Mine Explosion — Five were rescued by crews from nearby mining communities.  The five, taken out after an undisclosed period, had bratticed themselves from the deadly gas fumes, far back in the workings and had left notes directing their rescuers where to find them.
Jan 1930 Lillybrook No. 1 Mine Explosion, Lillybrook, West Virginia — After an undisclosed period, the bodies of eight men, six of whom were Negroes, were recovered.  R. L. Meadows, one of the injured men, was found lying with the dead.  He was considered by physicians to have a chance for recovery.
Dec 1929 East No. 5 Mine Explosion, Stotesbury, West Virginia — 12 miners were rescued from behind a barricade three hours after an explosion in the East No. 5 mine in West Virginia.  Two miners were killed in the incident.  Source document.  PDF Format
Dec 1929 Old Town Mine Explosion, McAlester, Oklahoma — Two miners found their exit blocked after the explosion.  At this point, one of these men, Frank Gonzales, saw a third miner, Arnold Kissinger, collapse.  Mr. Gonzales and the second miner, Joe Ponsella, next dragged Mr. Kissinger into a room where there wasn't much smoke and worked with him for about three hours.  "After a while, said Gonzales, when no one came to help us, we believed we would die.  I said my prayers but I was not scared."  Rescue workers reached the three men five hours after the explosion.
Jun 1929 Three miners became ensnared in a cave-in at the 750-foot level of the South Eureka Mine, Sutter Creek, California.  George Carevich escaped unaided and reported the accident.  After several hours, Thomas Rodovich, who was entombed with Mike Matlick, was taken out alive but badly lacerated.  While no further news about Matlick could be found, it was agreed by company officials that his chances of survival were slim.  Source documentExternal Link
Mar 1929 Kinloch Mine Explosion, Parnassus, Pennsylvania — Lawrence Allshouse, aged 28, was found alive and carried from the pit.  Still alive after lying in an injured condition for twenty-seven hours, Allshouse was removed to a hospital where it was said he probably would die.  He was semi-conscious.
Aug 1928 Irvona No. 3 Mine Explosion, Coalport, Pennsylvania — A gas and dust explosion occurred in this mine.  There were 102 men working on the shaft, but some left the mine and only 14 were in the affected section when the explosion occurred.  Eight men were killed by violence, five were overcome by afterdamp and one man, Marina Coccia, who was overcome, was rescued and resuscitated after an undisclosed period.  The explosion was probably caused by an open-type mining machine, another of the long list of electrical ignitions in closed light mines.
Jul 1928 Locust Springs Colliery Inundation — A dam burst without warning and flooded the shaft in the Locust Gap Colliery.  Hearing the rush of the water, forty-nine men barely had time to reach a travelway, crawl into safety holes and make their way to the No. 1 level where they were rescued after an undisclosed period.  Only one of the men, James Carey, of Girardville, required medical attention.  He suffered from shock.
May 1928 Frank Bucsha was found alive and said to be in good condition after he was found 55 hours following the Mather Mine explosion in Mather, Pennsylvania on May 19, 1928.  195 miners were killed in the blast of the mine owned by Pickands-Mather and Company.  Another miner, John Wade, was rescued from the same mine after 147 hours.  Mine officials said he must have been wandering around in the mine and was missed by the rescuers.  Source documentExternal Link
Feb 1928 Mama No. 3 Mine Explosion, Jenny Lind, Arkansas — Immediately after the early morning explosion in the Mama No. 3 mine, every miner in the district and volunteers were hurriedly formed into rescue parties.  Shortly before noon, an entrance was blasted into the tomb where the miners were trapped and 105 men were rescued.  About 35 of these were injured in the explosion and others were suffering from the effects of gas.
Feb 1928 One miner was found alive after an explosion at the Kinlock underground coal mine of the Valley Camp Coal Company in Parnassus, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh.  The rescued miner was trapped for nearly 1 day.  12 miners were killed in this accident.  (Parnassus was later renamed New Kensington).
Jan 1928 Eight miners were brought out of the Peabody Coal Company Mine No. 18 alive and uninjured.  They were: Bill Reed, Alex Hamlin, Tony Strauss, Charles Peebles, Will Allen, Ruel Parks, Charles Mitchell and James Benn.  Reed crawled out of an air shaft while Hamlin and Strauss were in another part of the mine and built a protecting wall to prevent the deadly gas from reaching them.  W. E. Wade, another rescued miner was suffering from the effects of gas.
Aug 1927 West Kentucky No. 7 Mine Explosion, Clay, Kentucky — Sixteen of the miners who were preparing to come to the surface at the time of the explosion were rescued after an undisclosed period.  They were 10 white men and six negroes.  None of them was seriously injured.  The explosion wrecked the cages used to lift the miners and coal from the pit and those saved had to be carried through a mine hole used to circulate air.
May 1927 Delagua No. 3 Mine Explosion, Delagua, Colorado — One hundred and thirty two men were in the Delagua No. 3 mine at the time of the blast and all with the exception of the dead and one injured man reached the surface safely through air shafts.  John Walker, 62, was seriously injured and was brought out of the mine four hours after the explosion.
Apr 1927 Federal No. 3 Mine Explosion, Everettville, West Virginia — Nine men were cut off in the south main section until one came out through the smoke and returned with a party wearing self-rescuers.  The eight men who had barricaded themselves in a room were supplied with self-rescuers and walked out after an undisclosed period.
Feb 1927 Joseph Schultz, a miner at the Henry Clay Colliery near Shamokin, Pennsylvania was entombed 4½ hours in a blind heading after a pillar crumbled when disturbed by a shot.  He was penned behind hundreds of tons of coal and rock in a space about 3 feet wide and 6 feet long.  Rescuers found him exhausted.   Source documentExternal Link
Nov 1926 Mound Mine Explosion — An explosion killed 5 of the 18 men in the mine.  Two died of burns and 3 from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Two injured men were rescued several hours later and 11 escaped uninjured.  Gas accumulated by the wrecking of a door, was ignited by the arcing of a trolley wheel of a locomotive.  Coal dust was ignited, but the explosion was stopped by rock dust and water on the entries.
Nov 1926 Six miners were trapped by water in the Tomhicken Mine of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company in Pennsylvania on November 16, 1926.  One man died, but five men were rescued 8 days later.  Source documentExternal Link
Sep 1926 Tahona No. 29 Mine Explosion, Tahona, Oklahoma — After about 3 hours, George Adams saved himself and three workmen, including Sam Cox.  Cox was burned and was bleeding about the body.  Adams dragged him through the debris to the surface and then returned for the two other men.  At another location, Lee Carter was almost overcome by gas fumes when a rescue party carried him to safety.
Aug 1926 Five miners were trapped for six days and seven nights by a cave-in at the Hudson Zinc and Spar Mine near Salem, Kentucky.  Rescuers worked through much difficulty to free the men who were mostly affected by the cold and their thirst.  The 5 rescued miners included Randolph Cobb, Roy James, George Catillo, U. B. Wilson, and Harry Watson.  Underground prayer meetings had caused conversion of last man, read the New York Times headline on August 12, 1926.  All were ready to die.  "If we are dead when you find us, we are saved," was written on their cloth caps.  Source documentExternal Link
Aug 1926 Clymer No. 1 Mine Explosion, Clymer, Pennsylvania — Four miners were rescued by the first group of rescuers that entered the shaft after an undisclosed period.  They were working at the foot of the shaft and were dragged to safety before the gases ended their lives.  All were said to be suffering broken bones and internal injuries.  Several minutes later four other men were found and brought out.  They were still warm and first aid was given.  After two hours' work and all means known to medical science had been exhausted, they were pronounced dead.
Mar 1926 In Eccles, West Virginia, ten miners were imprisoned in the Crab Orchard No. 5 mine for 26 hours following an explosion there.  The men credited their rescue to the experience and coolness of P. J. Davis, night foreman and the leader of the little band.  He had the men build a wall of lumber, stones and soft mud, which experts said, would have successfully repelled the foul air indefinitely.
Jan 1926 21 miners managed to escape death's clutches after being trapped for 24 hours in the mule stables following an explosion of the Jamison No. 8 mine in Farmington, West Virginia.  19 miners were killed in the disaster.
Jan 1926 Mossboro No. 1 Mine Explosion, Helena, Alabama — After an undisclosed period following the Mossboro No. 1 mine explosion, twelve men were brought out of the mine alive in one group to be followed by another squad of 13 workers.
Jan 1926 Eight negro miners were rescued after an undisclosed period from the No. 21 mine in Wilburton, Oklahoma.  And in a truly heroic effort, Julius Graham, one of the first 7 rescued negroes, rushed back in and saved his step-brother, Roy Gray.
Dec 1925 Overton No. 2 Mine Explosion, Acmar, Alabama — A Negro miner owed his escape to his mule.  Back somewhere in the pit when the gas was worst and conditions appeared darkest for the entombed men, out through the slope opening flashed a big fat mule.  Clinging to the mule's tail was the Negro who had become temporarily blinded by the blast and took this means of saving himself.  He said he knew the mule would "get out if there was any getting."
Dec 1925 Cardinal Mine Fire, Nederland, Colorado — 20 miners were rescued from behind a barricade sixteen hours after a fire in the Cardinal gold mine in Colorado.  One miner was killed in the incident.  Source document.  PDF Format
Feb 1925 City Mine Explosion, Sullivan, Indiana — Emery Davidson of Sullivan was the first injured man to be brought from the workings after an undisclosed period.  He had a badly crushed chest, suffered when slate and rock loosened from the roof of the mine by the blast fell on him.
Feb 1925 Low Ash Mine Rescue, Crown City, West Virginia — John Robinson was rescued in a semi-conscious condition after being lost for nine days in the Low Ash mine at Crown City, West Virginia.  Robinson had gone into the mine to repair a pump.  His carbide lamp fell into the water and being unfamiliar with the mine, he wandered aimlessly in the dark.  Source document.  PDF Format
Sep 1924 William Penn Colliery Rescue, Mount Carmel, PA — Anthony Stervis, 41, was found nearly frozen in an abandoned breast of the William Penn mine after he went missing for nearly a day.  From what could be learned, Stervis, who was a night shift employee at the mine, had attended a funeral the day before where he was said to have taken several drinks of hootch.  When found, he was completely naked and suffering from exposure.  An examining physician said he was suffering from the cold, had several minor cuts, and appeared to be in a semi-demented condition.  Source document.  PDF Format
Aug 1924 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Sugar Notch, Pennsylvania — Joseph P. Riley, 34, mine trackman, rescued Chester Stavinski, 12, from a mine cave-in, Sugar Notch, Pennsylvania, August 4, 1924.  While Chester and several other boys were gathering berries on a hillside, Chester fell into a narrow hole at the top of an old chamber of a mine.  The chamber had been abandoned for five years, and the top had caved in.  Nothing was known of its depth or condition.  Riley, having a rope tied around him, was lowered 200 feet to Chester, who lay at the bottom of the chamber.  He held Chester as men at the surface pulled them to the surface.  Chester died in a few hours as a result of injuries received when he fell.  Mr. Riley was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Mar 1924 Yukon No. 2 Mine Explosion, Yukon, West Virginia — After an undisclosed period following the explosion, six of the thirty-two men in No. 2 mine escaped death, and were rescued by fellow workmen from the No. 1 mine.
Feb 1924 Milford Mine Inundation, Crosby, Minnesota — Fourteen-year-old Frank Hrvatin was responsible for saving the lives of two men when a surface cave-in caused water to flood the Milford mine from nearby Foley Lake a few miles north of Crosby.  Frank reached the mine’s one vertical shaft and began to scurry up the ladder.  With water climbing fast, Frank wormed around an older miner, Harry Hosford.  But another exhausted miner, Matt Kangas, clogged their escape route.  Frank recalled the "superhuman strength" that took over and enabled him to squirm between Kangas’ legs and hoist the man rung-by-rung up to safety.  Then he reached back down and grabbed the wrist of Hosford, who was up to his waist in rising muck, hollering: "For God’s sakes, hurry!  The three miners were among only seven that got out.
Jan 1924 McClintock Mine Explosion, Johnston City, Illinois — Nine injured miners were removed by rescuers after an undisclosed period following an explosion in the McClintock mine which killed 33.  Eight of the injured were hospitalized.  Two were believed fatally hurt.
Dec 1923 Unnamed Clay Mine Cave-in, Brazil, Indiana — Reuben A. Brown, 50, mine driver, attempted to save Andrew J. Hamilton, 35, clay miner, from a mine cave-in, Brazil, Indiana, December 3, 1923.  Hamilton was caught under a fall of shale in a cross cut in a clay mine.  Brown, who was 14 feet from Hamilton, hurried to him but was unable to lift a large slab of shale that rested on his back.  Three other miners were attracted, and as Brown and two of them attempted to lift the slab off Hamilton, a second fall occurred.  Brown was struck and held fast against the wall, and one of the miners, J. Franklin Elson, was instantly killed.  Four other miners then arrived, and although bits of shale continued to drop, they freed Brown and Hamilton.  Hamilton sustained a broken arm and cuts and bruises.  Brown was severely lacerated and bruised and was disabled five weeks.  The following men were given the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery: Reuben A. Brown; J. Herbert Batchelor; Amos J. Stamper; R. Delane Tabor; Walter Penman; Robert F. Buchholz; John E. Martin; and J. Franklin Elson (posthumously).  Source documentExternal Link
Aug 1923 Frontier No. 1 Mine Explosion, Kemmerer, Wyoming — At 5 o'clock rescuers found a man lying in the main slope who was nearing death from inhalation of smoke and gas fumes.  He was revived by a pulmotor and brought to the surface, where he was taken to a hospital.  He was expected to recover.  A short time later, two men who had hidden in a remote corner of a room off the main slope were taken to the surface, apparently not suffering greatly from their entombment.  Another man, found further in along the main slope, showed signs of life when rescuers reached him, but when doctors attempted to revive him, it was found that he had died.
Mar 1923 Arista Mine Explosion, Arista, West Virginia — Lloyd Lypscomb, once given up for dead, was rescued early Saturday from the Weyanoke mine at Arista, and the feeble spark of life, all but extinguished by suffocating gases in which he lay for 15 hours was fanned back to a flame so strong that physicians attending the injured man said he was sure to recover.  Rescue of Lypscomb made the death toll of Friday's dust explosion to ten, all of whose bodies were brought up by rescue parties.  The remaining 17 workers, trapped when the walls of the mine crumbled, were saved by rescuers.  They were only slightly injured.  Source documentExternal Link
Mar 1923 Stanton Mine Rescue, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — On March 21, lost miner James Kowolski was found in the Stanton Mine at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  Despite being located by a bloodhound that was lowered into the mine, Kowolski’s 4 days of wandering came to an end when he was located by rescuers led by mine superintendent J. B. Pamblyn.  He was found 2,000 feet from his working place half naked and semi-conscious.  Kowolski’s troubles began on March 17 when he started to leave the mine early, complaining to his helper of not feeling well.  Source document.  PDF Format
Nov 1922 Anthracite Mine Cave, Branchdale, Schuylkill County, PA — Mrs. Loretta Kehler, 71, was found alive in a mine cave near the Otto Colliery after being missing for a week.  A party of men who had given chase to a rabbit heard her cries for help and rescued her.  Source document.  PDF Format
Nov 1922 Dolomite No. 3 Mine Explosion, Dolomite, Alabama — An unidentified foreman assembled thirty workers after the blast took place and ordered all to remain with him and work on fixing up brattices with stones and canvas to shut off the dreaded afterdamp gas that he felt sure was to follow the explosion.  When the fans started up again, the air cleared sufficiently to indicate that it was safe to tear down the temporary wall and the foreman led his men out.  One miner, who objected to remaining with the rest of the men was found only a few feet away from the temporary brattice.  He had become a victim of the gas.
Nov 1922 Reilly No. 1 Mine Explosion, Spangler, Pennsylvania — 33 miners were taken out alive after an undisclosed period, but three succumbed to their injuries.  Of the remaining 30 rescued, all were at the Spangler Hospital and the attending physicians, who were doing everything in their power for them, said all would recover.
Nov 1922 Anthracite No. 4 Mine Explosion, Cerrillos, New Mexico — 14 injured miners were rushed to the surface by the volunteer rescue crew and were taken to a doctor's, a dentist's offices and a nearby home, which were hurriedly turned into hospitals.  Women of Madrid worked as nurses with the aid of doctors and other volunteers.  First aid was administered here, then the injured were placed in a box car and taken to Albuquerque, where they were placed in hospitals.  The injured were burned and in some cases their arms or legs broken.
Sep 1922 Seven miners were imprisoned for an undisclosed period following the Lake Creek Mine Explosion in Johnston City, Illinois, but were taken from the shaft by rescue teams hastily called.  The seven men had taken refuge in another entry and by doing this prevented the gas from killing them.
Aug 1921 Seven miners were rescued after an undisclosed period following an explosion in the Harco Coal Company mine near Harrisburg, Illinois.  The men were suffering from the effects of blackdamp and taken to local hospitals.
Nov 1919 Gold Hunter Mine Cave-in, Mullan, Idaho — Emil Sayko and Peter Grant were rescued 14 days following a cave-in at the Gold Hunter mine near Mullan, Idaho.  When they were finally reached, Grant and Sayko were wrapped in blankets and their eyes were bandaged to protect them from the unaccustomed light.  They were described as "looking fine," although "a trifle weak."  In the same incident, Jacob Delmarh and James Collins were rescued from a secondary cave-in after being trapped for 15½ hours.  Source document.  PDF Format
May 1919 After almost 10 hours of tunneling, Andrew Coshosky, trapped under a fall of slate in the Old Colony Mine, Ligonier, Pennsylvania, was rescued and expected to recover.  Covered to a depth of 30 feet, the only way to reach him was to drive a tunnel under the fallen mass of rock.  Source documentExternal Link
Jun 1918 Short Mountain Colliery Cave-in, Lykens, Pennsylvania — Five men were standing timber, when without warning the ground caved, catching all five.  One man was able shortly to free himself and went for assistance.  Soon a rescue party arrived.  In a short time, the party got a man out; with medical assistance his life was saved.  The next three men were alive when removed but died soon after; the last man was dead when taken from under the fall.
Feb 1918 Amasa-Porter Mine Inundation, Crystal Falls, Michigan — Following an inundation of water in the Amasa-Porter Mine at Crystal Falls, Michigan, one miner was found unconscious by rescuers after an undisclosed period and brought to the surface.  Three others managed to escape unaided.
Jan 1918 Barnum Mine Cave-in, Pittston, Pennsylvania — At 7:40 a.m., a cave-in occurred covering approximately five acres.  Two men were killed and 15 injured.  Five of the men were rescued 10 hours after the accident.
Dec 1917 Acme Mine Explosives Detonation, Fleming, Kentucky — Four men entered the mine on a Sunday to blast some holes; after the holes were loaded and lighted, they started to leave the mine, but when they were about 500 feet from the point of blasting, all the holes went off at about the same time.  A rush of wind down the entry caught the men and extinguished their carbide lights.

Two men jumped into a room and the other two stayed on the entry.  The rush of wind was followed by a gust of flame.  The two men that stayed in the entry were badly burned but were able to make their way out of the mine, where they were found by a rescue party.

The rescue party found the other two men, both badly burned, in the room into which they had gone.  Their lights had been put out by the explosion and they had become so badly confused that they were unable to find their way out.  All four men had entered the mine without the consent of the mine officials.
Aug 1917 Thanks to the heroism of Frank Mattson, two miners who were overcome by smoke in the Lincoln mine fire at Virginia, Minnesota were rescued after an undisclosed period.  Mattson was lowered into the mine without a mask where he found Oscar Pakkala and Joe Reinshe.  Mattson found the victims near the flames and carried both of them to the surface.  All three were revived by a pulmotor.
Aug 1917 West Kentucky No. 7 Mine Explosion, Clay, Kentucky — Forty six had been brought to the surface alive from the West Kentucky Coal Company's No. 7 mine explosion after 3½ hours.  Of the rescued, 24 were uninjured.  The remainder were suffering from burns, none of which were said to be serious.
Jul 1917 Rock Salt Mine Explosion, Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York — 21 hours after the explosion of gas, one man was found alive at the bottom of the shaft by a Bureau of Mines rescue party.  His leg had been caught and he was trapped by some timber.  He was freed and taken to the surface.  The party started to recover the body of the other man and brought it to the surface about two hours later.
Jun 1917 Twenty-five of 29 miners imprisoned on the 2400-foot level of the Speculator Mine of the North Butte Mining Company were brought to the surface after being trapped for 36 hours.  They owed their lives to crew member, Manus Duggan, a 20-year-old nipper boy, who didn't make it out himself.  According to Nyrja Johnson, the first man to the surface, Duggan directed all the work in their effort to barricade themselves from the gases.  He had the men strip naked and use their clothes to block out the toxic gas.  Duggan became lost when he went ahead of the crew to test for gases.  163 miners were killed in this disaster.  See moreExternal Link  Source documentExternal Link
May 1917 Abandoned Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Pittston, Pennsylvania — Two boys, Sylvester W. McKeon, age 12 and Robert E. Fear, age 13, were rescued after they descended the slope of a hole that had caved in the ground and entered the chamber of an old mine to gather coal.  They were caught by a fall of earth overhanging the entrance to the chamber.  Sylvester was buried to his hips, and Robert was buried to his chest.  Cracks at the top of the hole and the dropping of clay earth overhanging the chamber indicated another cave-in was imminent.  Their rescuers were Michael J. Franklin, Edward F. Norton, and Patrick J. Gallagher, both track layers.  After an undisclosed period, the men first extracted Sylvester followed by Robert.  The three men were awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Dec 1916 Oliphant-Johnson No. 1 Mine Explosion, Bruceville, Indiana — 42 miners were rescued from behind two barricades 2¾ hours after an explosion in the Oliphant-Johnson No. 1 Mine at Bruceville, Indiana.  There were 25 miners in one group and 17 in another.  Two miners were killed in this incident.  Source document.  PDF Format
Dec 1916 Fidelity No. 9 Mine Explosion, Stone City, Kansas — Eleven miners were rescued from the Fidelity No. 9 mine after an undisclosed period.  Overcome by the toxic gases, these men had to be resuscitated by pulmotor.  Some of those rescued were badly burned.
Nov 1916 Bessie Mine Explosion, Palos, Alabama — About 15 hours after the explosion, a trained apparatus crew of 5 men found 3 men at a break in the air line.  The party was then about 1,000 feet from fresh air, and the men were able to proceed to safety with the aid of the apparatus crew.  Thirty men were killed by the explosion, 5 escaped unassisted, and 3 were rescued as noted.  Source documentExternal Link
Sep 1916 Jacob Dixon and William Gammell became enclosed by a rush of coal in the Good Spring Colliery of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company near Tremont, Pennsylvania.  After five hours, Dixon succeeded in getting into a blind heading where he was rescued.  They were engaged in the hazardous work of "robbing pillars."  No further news could be found regarding the rescue of William Gammell.  His survival was unlikely.  Source documentExternal Link
Jul 1916 On July 25, 1916, Garrett Morgan made national news for using his gas mask to rescue 32 men trapped during an explosion in an underground tunnel 250 feet beneath Lake Erie.  Morgan and a team of volunteers donned the new "gas masks" and went to the rescue.

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

Two years later, a refined model of his early gas mask won a gold medal at the International Exposition of Sanitation and Safety, and another gold medal from the International Association of Fire Chiefs.   See moreExternal Link  Source documentExternal Link
Mar 1916 King Mine Explosion, Kimball, West Virginia — Following the explosion, rescuers worked throughout the morning to free a large number of miners.  Masses of coal and slate and cut off their escape.  At 2 p.m., it was stated that all the men who had entered the mine had been accounted for.
Mar 1916 Sesser No. 1 Mine Fire, Sesser, Illinois — 95 miners were rescued from behind a barricade two hours after a fire in the Sesser mine in Illinois.  There were no fatalities in this incident.  Source document.  PDF Format
Feb 1916 Davis No. 42 Mine Explosion, Kempton, Maryland — Those not directly in range of the blast hurried to the main entries and started for the foot of the shaft in which the cages were still operating.  There they were met by rescue parties from the surface and quickly hoisted.  Other rescuers made their way into the mine and located other miners who had been unable to reach the main lines of communication.  These men were brought out after an undisclosed period.
Dec 1915 A rock slide choked the main gangway in the Newcastle Mine of the Pacific Coast Coal Company near Seattle, Washington, trapping Thomas Zathias for nine hours.  Rescuers expected to find his crushed body when they broke through the 60 feet of debris, but instead, they found him calmly sitting on his dinner bucket, awaiting deliverance.  Source documentExternal Link
Nov 1915 Boomer No. 2 Mine Explosion, Boomer, West Virginia — 27 miners were rescued from behind a barricade seven hours after an explosion in the Boomer No. 2 mine in Boomer, West Virginia.  Source document.  PDF Format
Nov 1915 Northwestern Mine Explosion, Ravensdale, Washington — A rescue party under the superintendent at once commenced recovery and repair of the auxiliary slope and rescued 4 men; 3 were unconscious and were given artificial respiration, but 1 died.
Oct 1915 Continental Colliery Cave-in, Centralia, PA — On October 4, John Tomaschefski was rescued after 187 hours, imprisoned by a cave-in at the colliery which occurred on September 26.  A 2-inch diamond drill hole was drilled 50 feet to provide food, water and dry clothing.  It took 85 hours to drill this hole.  Following this, the rescuers drove, by pick mining, a 4-foot by 4-foot passageway to reach and rescue the trapped miner.  It required 4 days to accomplish this.   Source documentExternal Link
Sep 1915 Rahn Colliery Explosion, Coaldale, PA — On September 27, an explosion caused a rush of water and coal which cut off and entombed 11 men.  Two of the men were rescued 12 hours after the disaster, but the others were not reached until October 3, after an imprisonment of 6 days and 5 hours.  Three hundred men working 3 shifts per day drove the tunnel to reach the trapped miners.   Source documentExternal Link
Aug 1915 Orenda Mine Explosion, Boswell, Pennsylvania — After an undisclosed period, a foreman and others rescued 10 miners who were overcome by afterdamp following a local explosion in the Orenda Mine near Boswell, Pennsylvania.  Two of the rescued men were among the 19 that perished in the disaster.
Jun 1915 Rush of mud and water into the Longacre-Chapman Zinc Mine, Neck City, Missouri — Six men were imprisoned.  Four were rescued alive after 120 hours of difficult work by company men, volunteers, State mine Inspectors, and Bureau of Mines men.  Two men found were dead on the fourteenth day following the accident.  Source documentExternal Link
Apr 1915 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — After they had gone missing for a week, two small boys were located by searchers in a long-abandoned mine.  The boys were in a small 5-foot drop that had several inches of water in it.  Albert Tomlinson, age 10, was found barely alive and hungry.  His companion, William Hale, age 5, was dead, believed to have starved to death.  The Hale boy was partly submerged in water and his head was held in the lap of Tomlinson.  Source document.  PDF Format
Mar 1915 On March 2, 1915, an explosion occurred at the Layland No. 3 Mine in Layland, West Virginia.  The explosion occurred at 8:30 a.m., resulting in the deaths of 114 men inside the mine and 1 outside.  Fifty-four men afterward escaped alive from the mine.  Seven came out from 2 to 5 hours after the explosion; 5 more escaped unassisted at 8 a.m. on March 6 (4 days later), and 42 others were rescued an hour later.  Of those killed, 44 died from suffocation.  The store porter passing the drift mouth at a distance of 100 feet at the time of the explosion was hurled against a post and killed.
Feb 1915 Explosion at Carlisle Mine, Carlisle, West Virginia — Twenty-one men were killed and four were rescued soon after the explosion by parties led by company officials.  One of the rescued men, suffering from burns, was sent to a hospital.  Source documentExternal Link
Nov 1914 Cave-in at Sibley Iron Mine, Ely, Minnesota — Six men were entombed.  One man was rescued after 112 hours by parties led by company officials.  Source documentExternal Link
Nov 1914 Fall of Top Rock at West Brookside Mine, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Two men were imprisoned for four days, when they were rescued by a party led by company officials.  Source documentExternal Link
Nov 1914 Bonar Mine Explosives Detonation, East Bernstadt, Kentucky — Five men were standing timber, when without warning the ground caved, catching all five.  One man was able shortly to free himself and went for assistance.  Soon a rescue party arrived.  In a short time, the party got a man out; with medical assistance his life was saved.  The next three men were alive when removed but died soon after; the last man was dead when taken from under the fall.
Oct 1914 Royalton North No. 1 Mine Explosion — An accumulation of gas was ignited by open light.  Doors to an old room were left open and gas accumulated.  One man was rescued from the affected area 10 hours after the explosion had occurred.
Oct 1914 Explosion in Mulga Mine, Mulga, Alabama — Sixteen men were killed and 12 were rescued by parties led by company officials.  Source documentExternal Link
Oct 1914 Explosion at Patterson No. 2 Mine, Elizabeth, Pennsylvania — Following the explosion, the superintendent and the pump man were overcome by afterdamp.  A rescue party in the charge of the mine foreman carried the unconscious men to fresh air.  The superintendent soon recovered, but the pump man could not be revived.  Breathing apparatus was not used.  Source documentExternal Link
Sep 1914 Rockwood Mine Explosion, Rockwood, Tennessee — The explosion killed one miner, and another miner was overcome while trying to escape.  An apparatus crew of four company men several hours later advanced 1,000 feet, rescued this miner, and carried him to fresh air, where he quickly revived.
Sep 1914 Cave-in at Centennial Gold Mine, Eureka, Utah — Twelve men were imprisoned.  One man was rescued by company men, who, in seven hours, drove a drift 15 feet in country rock without shooting.  Source documentExternal Link
Jul 1914 Banovich Silver Mine, near Tonopah, Nevada — Two men overcome by powder smoke at the bottom of a 95-foot shaft were brought out by two Bureau of Mines men from car 5.  The rescuers descended the shaft, tied ropes under the armpits of the unconscious miners, and had them hoisted to the surface, where oxygen and artificial respiration were used for two hours.  One miner fully recovered, but no sign of life appeared in the other miner.  Source documentExternal Link
Apr 1914 Eccles Mine Explosions, Eccles, West Virginia — A rescue party was rushed to the scene of the disaster from Beckley, which is only two miles away, but after removing two men from the debris of No. 6 their activities were checked by the deadening fumes of coal gas.  Later the party was more successful in bringing forty more men to the surface.  Two of the men, P. M. Ellison and N. Jones, were seriously injured.

Supt. Donaldson, an experienced miner, with an expert rescue crew, was lowered down the shaft of No. 6 mine.  For a time the steadily growing crowd of frightened women and children waited in suspense, but soon the signal came to hoist away and the cage responded.  It bore two men badly hurt, a few of the rescue party, and two bodies.
Feb 1914 Cannon Mine Inundation — Andrew Churnick, 50, was killed by an inrush of water and gravel in No. 11 chute on the water level in the Gem seam.  His body was recovered 4 days later near the first crosscut in the No. 12 chute.  His partner, Mike Bobchurnick, was rescued after being imprisoned for 7 days near the 6th crosscut in the same chute.
Jan 1914 Cave-in at Black Diamond Mine, Luzerne, Pennsylvania — Four miners were rescued after seven hours by parties led by company officials.  Source documentExternal Link
Oct 1913 Stag Canon No. 2 Mine Explosion — Nine miners, found unconscious near the bottom of the airshaft, were rescued by an apparatus crew after about 5 hours.  They were revived by the use of pulmotors.  At 6:15 p.m., the first miner to be rescued alive within 12 hours was taken from the main entry.  He was found unconscious, two miles within the mine.  Source documentExternal Link
Oct 1913 Seven Mexican miners, trapped for 6 days in the Vogel and Lawrence Lignite mine at Rockdale, Texas were found unconscious, and barely alive.  The men were imprisoned by a cave-in following a cloud burst which flooded the mine.  Laying near the men was their mule, still alive.  Source documentExternal Link
Oct 1913 Trapped in an abandoned chamber of the Continental Mine operated by the Lehigh Valley Coal Company in Centralia, Pennsylvania, Thomas Toshesky was finally freed by rescuers after 8 days.  He was in good condition and spirits, refusing a stretcher and making it out of the mine under his own power.  Source documentExternal Link
May 1913 Imperial Mine Explosion, Belle Valley, Ohio — After an undisclosed period, rescuers found Roy Yeager about 300 feet from the scene of the explosion.  Yeager, who was alive, was unable to rise on account of a broken leg, and he probably owes his life to the broken leg.  Lying on the floor, he did not inhale the fumes of the afterdamp.  The rescue party carried him to a mine car and started toward the entrance.
Apr 1913 Sixty-seven miners escaped from the Cincinnati Mine following the explosion that claimed 98 lives on April 23, 1913, including one apparatus wearing rescuer.  Two miners were rescued after 60 hours.  See moreExternal Link  Source documentExternal Link
Dec 1912 Copper Mountain Avalanche, Cordova, Alaska — Nine miners were killed when a snow slide on Copper Mountain carried away seven buildings of the Great Northern Development Company.  Two miners, John McCarthy and a Japanese named Kee, were rescued after an undisclosed period.  McCarthy was seriously injured about the body and Kee's legs were broken.  Source documentExternal Link
Aug 1912 Abernant Mine Explosion, Abernant, Alabama — The day after the explosion, an exploring party found a man in the 14th right aircourse, still alive.  He was brought to the surface, but in such a condition that he never regained consciousness.  Another miner, after repeated efforts to penetrate the afterdamp, took refuge at the face of 14th right aircourse and came out unassisted after about 3 hours.
Jun 1912 Hastings Mine Explosion, Hastings, Colorado — Rescuers who entered the Hastings mine early on June 19 returned soon afterward with a Greek, who was badly burned.
May 1912 Norrie Mine, Oliver Iron Mining Company, Ironwood, Michigan — A party of 10 miners and 3 trammers on the night shift was walking home from the boundary of the property above the twentieth level of the mine.  Hearing ground dropping, they retreated to what they thought was a safe place, the main drift, which was securely timbered and had 35 to 40 feet of solid ore above it.  The cave, however, did not occur at the place where the men had been working, but in the very place of refuse to which they had retreated, crushing in the drift timbers over a length of about 80 feet.  Six men were rescued alive after about 24 hours, but one died about a week later.  In all, 7 miners were killed.  See moreExternal Link
Mar 1912 San Bois No. 2 Mine Explosion, McCurtain, Oklahoma — Twenty-six men were rescued on Thursday following an undisclosed period after undergoing frightful experiences.
Feb 1912 With 140 rescuers tearing at the rock and earth blocking the shaft of the Bunker Hill Mine at Sutter Creek, California, freedom came at noon on February 8 for sixty-two miners trapped for 23 hours.  Wives and daughters of the trapped men held torches through the nights while rescuers assailed the jam.  Source documentExternal Link
Dec 1911 Five miners were found alive after 58 hours following an explosion in the Cross Mountain mine at Briceville, Tennessee.  Discovery of Andrew Johnson was made when a dead miner was found in a sitting position in one of the interior chambers.  Johnson and the other men were suffering from blackdamp.  Source documentExternal Link
Nov 1911 Bottom Creek Mine Explosion, Vivian, West Virginia — By heroic work the rescuers reached the scene of the disaster after an undisclosed period and found engineer Alexander Williams and 3 other men who were brought out alive.  All were injured.  Hoping to reach others of the entombed men the rescuers pushed the work with all haste.  One after another they found the victims and by midnight all but two had been brought out of the mine.  The dead included 4 other engineers.
Oct 1911 The fourteen miners entombed in the Shakespeare Placer gold mine cave-in at Dome Creek, Alaska were freed after 84 hours.  The Keystone drill hole was enlarged by thawing until it was large enough to permit the body of a man to pass.  Then the imprisoned miners were pulled up one after another 174 feet to the surface.

Those rescued included Edward Carlson, John Smith, Oscar Burg, Peter Peterson, Frank Albani, Robert Forasino, George Sakoff, Taze Gabeso, Antone Mareno, Kabof Sakkoboff, Nik Moreff, Zip Moreff, Michael Morzof, and George Zakaloff.  This accident occurred on September 28, 1911.
Source documentExternal Link  See more External Link about this disaster and early erroneous reporting.
Aug 1911 Rescuers worked for three days to free Joseph Clary, 32, from the White Oak Mine near Villa Heights, Missouri, where a cave-in had occurred on July 30.  Once a drill hole was large enough, a fried chicken dinner, water and whiskey were lowered to Clary along with a telephone from which he conversed with his family and rescuers.
Mar 1911 Elba Mine Cave-in, Gilbert, Minnesota — Captain Benny and two miners were entombed 250 feet down in the Elba mine.  After an undisclosed period described only as "hours", Captain Benny was rescued alive and taken to his home.  His condition was reported as extremely critical.  William J. Stone, an Englishman, and Joseph Bovich, an Austrian, are the men who lost their lives.  Source document.
Jan 1911 Carbon Hill No. 1 Mine Explosion, Carbon Hill, Virginia — 6 men who were injured in the explosion at the Gayton Mine at Carbon Hill, Virginia were returned to the surface after an undisclosed period.  It is not clear whether all of these men survived their injuries.  A total of seven miners died as result of the explosion.
Dec 1910 Greeno Mine Explosion, Tacoma, Virginia — Four miners were either rescued or otherwise made their way to the surface after more than twelve hours following the explosion in the Greeno mine which killed eight.  The four included John Swede, James Rosenburg, John Ritsky, and G. E. Lehman.  Rosenburg was badly burned on his head, face and hands.  The others were reported to be in good condition.  Note: corrected name spellings are taken from the final accident investigation report.
Nov 1910 Jumbo Mine Explosion, Jumbo, Oklahoma — After an undisclosed period, just one miner was rescued from the shaft explosion of the Jumbo Mine, operated by the Choctaw Asphalt Company of St. Louis.  Five miners descending in cars were blown to atoms and eight others were entombed and asphyxiated by the deadly fumes.
Nov 1910 Victor American No. 3 Mine Fire, Delagua, Colorado — 18 miners were rescued from behind barricades 5 days and 21 hours following a fire in the Victor American No. 3 mine in Delagua, Colorado.  79 miners were killed in the disaster.  Source document.  PDF Format
Nov 1910 Fifty men who were working in the section of the Shoal Creek No. 1 Mine where the explosion occurred were rescued after an undisclosed period according to the mine management.  Six miners died in the incident.
Apr 1910 Nazareth Limestone Quarry Explosion, Nazareth, Pennsylvania — A large force of men made every effort to reach the victims, but it was some time before the first man was found.  He was still breathing, but unconscious and that he might die at any moment.  All the victims were Hungarians and Italians and were known about the quarry only by numbers.
Apr 1910 Amsterdam No. 2 Mine Explosion, Amsterdam, Ohio — Seven bruised and burned men were rescued alive after an undisclosed period from the pit of the Youghiogheny and Ohio Coal Company's mine at Amsterdam where a terrific explosion snuffed out the lives of fifteen other miners.
Feb 1910 Ernest No. 2 Mine Explosion, Ernest, Pennsylvania — Andy Kragear was overcome by the gas arising from the explosion.  A rescue party using an oxygen helmet rescued and brought him to the surface about 8 hours after the explosion.  Shortly afterward he gained consciousness and was able to tell where he boarded.  He was the only man in the mine in the vicinity of the explosion that escaped.
Jan 1910 Primero Mine Explosion, Primero, Colorado — After an undisclosed period following an explosion in the Primero Mine, one man, Dio Nardine, was rescued.  He was found badly injured beneath a mass of earth and timbers.  Source documentExternal Link
Dec 1909 Mine A Explosion and Fire, Herrin, Illinois — James Guinney, Superintendent of the mine, and Robert Hueston, manager, headed the first relay of rescuers within five minutes of the explosion.  Despite the blackdamp, they penetrated the workings.  After sending to the surface three unconscious persons they found the first of the deceased miners.  Afterdamp then forced them to retreat.
Dec 1909 Bolen Darnell Mine Explosion, McAlester, Oklahoma — Superintendent John Brown was rescued alive after being trapped for twenty-eight hours in the Bolen Darnell Company mine.  Brown risked his life attempting to save Angelo Ascinar, a shot firer who was entombed following an explosion in the mine.  It was speculated that Brown would have died within another hour.  Source document.  PDF Format
Nov 1909 There were tales of unbelievable suffering and endurance following the Cherry Mine Fire.  One group of miners, 500 feet underground, had built a wall of mud, rocks, and timbers to block off the poisonous gases.  They were in total darkness with only a pool of water leaking from a coal seam to drink.  After 8 days of confinement, they could bear it no longer.  They tore down the barricade and began crawling through the tunnels.  Finally, they heard the sounds of a search party.  Twenty-one men still alive from this group were rescued.  259 miners were killed in the disaster.

Black Diamonds by Ray Tutaj, Jr.
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Read and listen to the Cherry Mine Disaster Narration by Ray Tutaj, Jr. here.
Jun 1909 Lackawanna No. 4 Mine Explosion, Wehrum, Pennsylvania — Twelve miners were unconscious when rescued on the 23rd but were revived through the use of oxygen.  They were placed in the temporary hospital, a machine shop, and at 3 p.m. were sent to Spangler on a special train provided by Trainmaster Henry Taylor, of Cresson.
Dec 1908 Lick Branch Mine Explosion, Switchback, West Virginia — At 11 o'clock p.m., 8 hours after the explosion, eighteen of the entombed men had been taken out of the colliery alive.  They had been stifled by smoke and were not seriously injured enough to make their removal to a hospital necessary.
Dec 1908 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Brockwayville, Pennsylvania — William P. Harris, 30, boss mine driver, assisted in an attempt to rescue Michele Rubino, 28, miner, and helped to rescue Francis P. De Santis, 28, miner, from a mine cave-in, Brockwayville, Pennsylvania, December 12, 1908.  De Santis and two others were trying to rescue Rubino, who had been caught by a fall of rock, when a second fall occurred, catching DeSantis’s trouser leg and pinning him to the floor.  While other falls impended, Harris crawled close enough to hand De Santis a knife, with which he freed himself.  Rubino, along with his two companions, Guiseppe Petruccelli, and Vincenzo Stefanelli, when released, were found to be dead.  Mr. De Santis survived.  For their demonstrated bravery in the rescue operation, Messrs. Harris, Petruccelli (posthumously), and Stefanelli (posthumously) were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award.  Source documentExternal Link
Aug 1908 A fall of top rock occurred following an explosion in the Knickerbocker Colliery near Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.  Two miners died, but John Kuza, William Suso and Charles Cowley were rescued.  The three men were seriously injured.
Jul 1908 Willamstown Colliery Explosion, Williamstown, Pennsylvania — Ten miners were removed from the mine after an undisclosed period badly burned and torn by the force of the explosion.  It was feared that several of them would die.  One of the injured men was taken to the morgue and it was not until an identification of the bodies was made that it was found that he was living.  The exact number of miners rescued is not known.  Seven miners perished in the disaster.
May 1908 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Salineville, Ohio — Francis C. Skinner, 32, stationary engineer, died attempting to rescue Wesley J. Wright, 48, and John W. Rowe, 36, in a mine, Salineville, Ohio, May 27, 1908.  Wright and Rowe were disabled by an explosion, and Skinner, with others, was lowered 180 feet down a shaft, where the carriage stuck, ropes being used to get to the bottom 20 feet farther.  Having been released from debris, Wright was being carried to the shaft when a piece of timber fell, striking Skinner on the head and killing him instantly.  Francis C. Skinner was posthumously bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award.  Source documentExternal Link
Feb 1908 All but one of 28 men and boys who were entrapped in the Mid-Valley Colliery near Shamokin, Pennsylvania were rescued after 1 day.  Frank Orloskie, fell down a chute after the accident and was killed.  Source documentExternal Link
Dec 1907 Monongah Mine Explosion, Monongah, West Virginia — In his book, Davitt McAteer tells about Monongah survivor Peter Urban.  Urban, a Polish immigrant, was found by rescuers sitting on the body of his injured brother, Stanislaus, trying to protect him.

"Peter and Stanislaus had run to escape the explosion, but Stanislaus fell and Peter stopped to try and help him up," McAteer writes.

"He was unable to move Stanislaus, and they remained there for five and a half hours.  Underground, the rescuers attempted to remove Stanislaus, but just then, he expired.  Stanislaus, a father of four, would be brought out days later."

On Oct. 9, 1926, almost 19 years later, Peter Urban was killed by a fall of coal in the same Monongah Mine.  Source document.  PDF Format
Nov 1907 A cave-in deep inside the Draper Mine at Gilberton, Pennsylvania, followed by an inrush of culm and water from the surface trapped Michael McCabe for 87 hours before rescuers managed to free him.  He was released from his prison barely alive.  Source documentExternal Link
Aug 1907 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Inkerman, Pennsylvania — Thomas Huntley, 40; John Merrick, 50; and Patrick F. Walsh, 29, helped to rescue John R. Eustice, 52, timberman, from a mine cave-in, Inkerman, Pennsylvania, August 22, 1907.  Eustice and four others had been caught by the caving of the roof.  While the roof was working, the walls squeezing, and small stuff falling at intervals, Huntley, with the assistance of the others, dug Eustice from under the coal and debris where he lay injured and carried him to safety.  Eustice recovered.  All four rescuers were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.  Source documentExternal Link
Aug 1907 Butler Colliery Rescue, Pittston, Pennsylvania — Lost miner Paul Swanbeck was found on August 19th, just in time to avoid the postponement of his daughter’s wedding.  Swanbeck had been missing for 48 hours in the Butler Colliery at Pittston, Pennsylvania.  He had wandered into some remote workings, lost his light, and been sickened by foul air.  He was semi-conscious when found.  Safe and sound after his ordeal and lying on the sofa at home, he was able to witness the wedding.  Source document.  PDF Format
Apr 1907 Seven miners were rescued after 100 hours in the flooded Mine No. 38 of the Berwind-White Operations at Foustwell, Pennsylvania.  Their rescue was made possible by the bravery of Stiney Rodon and Charles Ream who located the men by swimming 50 feet through a water-filled heading.  Earlier, four others made a similar attempt, but were unsuccessful and returned half-drowned.  Mike Boyla, a mine contractor, took charge of the group of trapped men and led them to the highest point in the heading where they waited for rescuers.  Source documentExternal Link
Jan 1907 Penco Mine Explosion, Penco, West Virginia — Following the explosion, almost eighty men were still at the bottom of the shaft.  Almost suffocated, they huddled closely together and cried pitifully up the shaft for assistance.  Several rescuers took possession of the elevator car and quickly ran it down into the shaft.  There were accommodations for only about twenty of the men at a time, however, and the foreign miners, who were crazed from fright, fought like demons to board the car, greatly retarding the work of rescue.  On the last two trips a majority of the miners were unconscious and had to be carried from the car.
Dec 1906 Rescuers worked around the clock to release Lindsay B. Hicks from his tomb in the Edison Tunnel near Bakersfield, California.  Trapped there with five other miners on December 7, Hicks’ freedom finally came after his 15 day entrapment.  He was the only survivor.  On December 12, speaking through a pipe, Hicks told rescuers that he had survived on 40 cents of chewing tobacco.  Victory finally came for his rescuers on December 22nd at 11:25 p.m.  Source documentExternal Link
Nov 1906 San Toy No. 1 Mine Shaft Disaster, Corning, Ohio — Three men, who clung to the cage in which they were riding, were saved after an undisclosed period.  The men were ascending in the mule cage when the door, which had been left open, caught against the sides of the shaft.  Five were killed when they were thrown from the cage and fell 150 feet to the bottom of the shaft.
Oct 1906 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Stockdale, Pennsylvania — Arthur Smith and Albert W. Simpson helped to rescue George Spencer from a mine cave-in, Stockdale, Pennsylvania, October 9, 1906.  Spencer, 54, was caught by a fall of slate.  There was room for only one person to work at his release.  Smith, 28, driver, was first to go, and, while he was digging away the debris, another fall occurred but missed them by a narrow margin.  Fatigue compelled Smith to stop, and Simpson took up the work and after 15 minutes’ labor, Spencer was extricated.  Another fall seemed to be impending and did occur an hour later.  Arthur Smith and Albert Simpson were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award.  Source documentExternal Link
Mar 1906 Century No. 1 Mine Explosion, Century, West Virginia — Within one hour after the accident Superintendent James Ward had a relief gang in the mine.  The first trip out brought ten men, five dead and five badly burned.  During the second expedition, twenty injured men were making their way towards the bottom of the shaft and were brought to the surface by the rescuers.
Feb 1906 Parral Mine Explosion, Parral, West Virginia — After an undisclosed period following the explosion, rescuers removed twelve miners alive, but it was believed that most of them would die from their injuries.
Dec 1905 Horton Mine Fire, Horton, West Virginia — After an undisclosed period, two of the miners who were in the more remote sections of the mine were rescued.  These men, who were overcome by smoke, were revived after being brought out.
Dec 1905 Coxey Shaft Mine Rescue, Pittston, Pennsylvania — Joseph Davies, a miner, was found in the Coxey Shaft of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company almost starved to death having gone without food for eight days.  When found, he was slightly demented and could not account for his wanderings.  While lost he had nothing to eat and drank the sulfur water of the mine.  Source document.  PDF Format
Jul 1905 Fuller Mine Explosion, Searights, Pennsylvania — The rescuing party had a remarkable escape from death.  They had gone to the bottom of the shaft for the last body and had the body securely fastened to the bottom of the temporary rigged bucket when the concrete wall and timbering about the top of the shaft tumbled down a distance of 70 feet.  The timbers caught in such a manner over the top of the bucket as to save the men who were huddled in it from instant death.  They were buried, however, by hundreds of tons of concrete and scaffolding.  Enough crevices were left in the wreckage to supply them with air until they were rescued in half an hour.
Apr 1905 Cabin Creek Mine Explosion, Kayford, West Virginia — Nine men were still within the mine when the explosion occurred.  Of these four reached safety with the assistance of friends.  Three of the number were so seriously injured that they are not expected to live.  Those rescued were William Jacobs, George Eastman, Morrey Darby and William Robinson.  The last three men were seriously injured.
Sep 1904 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Kingston, Pennsylvania — William Watkins, 24, coal miner, rescued Brinley R. Davis, 22, mine car tender; Rees J. Williams, 19, driver, and Joseph Winchent, 45, coal miner, in a mine, Kingston, Pennsylvania, September 3, 1904.  Watkins successively took the men from the place of an explosion, where there was imminent danger of the roof falling, to a position of safety.  Mr. Watkins was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his efforts.  Source documentExternal Link
Jul 1904 Daniel Davis died attempting to save William Monroe from suffocation, Sherodsville, Ohio, July 11, 1904.  Davis, 23, coal miner, was overcome by black damp while walking into a mine to rescue Monroe, 38, who was helpless from the gas but was later rescued.  Source documentExternal Link
Jan 1904 Severely burned 16-year-old, Adolph Gunia, was brought to the surface still alive after an undisclosed period following the explosion in the Harwick mine in Cheswick, Pennsylvania.  He was the lone survivor of the mine blast which took 179 lives.
Nov 1903 Ferguson Mine Explosion, Dunbar, Pennsylvania — After an hour of frantic search, nine miners were picked up by the rescuing party in different positions of exhaustion.  As they reached the open air they fell prostrate in the arms of their wives and children, who had spent that long, weary hour at the pit's mouth fearing that they would never see their loved ones again.  Their faces were blackened, their hair scorched and clothing burned almost to shreds from the flames that followed the explosion.
Jun 1903 Hanna No. 1 Mine Explosion, Hanna, Wyoming — About 3 hours after the explosion, four men were taken out alive and a half hour later they were followed by forty-two others.  Many were unconscious and had to be carried from the workings.  Several were in a serious condition, but it was believed all would recover.
Nov 1902 Luke Fidler Mine Explosion, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Several miners working near the scene of the accident made a rush for the foot of the shaft and were overcome by the after damp following the explosion.  They were rescued after an undisclosed period by the relief party and sent at once to the gangway.
Sep 1902 Stafford Mine Explosion, Stafford, West Virginia — Six badly wounded miners were rescued after an undisclosed period and placed under the care of Mine Superintendent Stewart.  Several others were also hurt in the incident.  The most serious cases were sent to the hospital.
Sep 1902 Big Four Mine Explosion, Algoma, West Virginia — H. F. Frankenfeld, a mine boss, and Geo. Gaspie, a Hungarian miner, succeeded in crawling over fallen coal and slate after the explosion to the lights of the rescuing party and were taken out alive although burned and nearly suffocated by the gas and smoke inhaled.
Jul 1902 Rolling Mill Mine Explosion, Johnstown, Pennsylvania — Four men who were brought out alive the night of the Rolling Mill mine disaster were taken to the Memorial Hospital, controlled by the Cambria Steel and Iron Company.  Among these were John Rotalick, Henry Rodgers, Valentine Schalla, and William Robinson.  And the next day, at 2 o’clock p.m., rescuers sent out for medical assistance to treat three others found alive.  They were John Cook, Philip McCann and George Hologyak.
Dec 1901 McAlester No. 1 Hoisting Disaster, Hartshorne, Oklahoma — Two miners were rescued from the McAlester No. 1 mine after an undisclosed period.  The cage was ascending with eight men when it jumped its guidings about 100 feet from the bottom of the shaft.  6 of the 8 dropped to the shaft bottom to their death.  The other two, who held on to the cage, had to be drawn up to the surface with ropes.  Miraculously, these men were said to be only slightly injured.
Nov 1901 Four days after the start of the Pocahontas Baby mine fire in Pocahontas, Virginia, Fritz Moulter was found barely alive, entombed in a room on the east side.  Six physicians worked with him before he was restored to consciousness.
Oct 1901 Buttonwood Colliery Explosion, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Directly after the explosion occurred a number of brave rescuers, at the risk of their lives, entered the mine and brought out the bodies of the dead and nine injured miners.  The injured men were taken to the hospital as fast as they were brought to the surface.  With the exception of Inspector Daniel Davis, it was thought that all would recover.
Jun 1901 Port Royal No. 2 Mine Explosion and Fire, Port Royal, Pennsylvania — A temporary rescue party entered the shaft after an undisclosed period and started toward the spot where it was thought some of the entombed men may be found.  Lying at the bottom of the shaft were Lawrence Settler and John Stakes.  Unconscious and covered with dirt, the men quickly were taken to the top of the mine.
May 1901 Unnamed Coal Mine Fire, Salinesville, Ohio — Patrick Connelly was rescued from a burning mine at Salinesville where he had been confined since the night before.  Connelly had been in the mine tending to some pumps near the bottom of the shaft when all escape was cut off.  When rescuers were able to reach him, he was alive but almost exhausted.  Source document.  PDF Format
Jan 1901 Johnson Mine Rescue, Scranton, Pennsylvania — Discovered tottering along a main road in the Johnson Mine, John Zylankus’ six-day odyssey of being lost in the mine ended. Zylankus, 17, became disoriented when he attempted to take a shortcut to his working place in the mine.  His troubles were made more difficult after he lost his light.  After he was returned to his home, he was examined by a physician who declared the boy would recover all right with proper care.  Source document.  PDF Format
May 1900 Cumnock Mine Explosion, Cumnock, North Carolina — The accident was in what was known as the east heading.  Between forty and fifty men were in the mine at the time.  Five were brought out alive from the east heading after an undisclosed period, while none of the men in the other parts of the mine were injured.
Dec 1899 Carbon Hill No. 7 Mine Explosion, Carbonado, Washington — Two men were rescued more than 18 hours after the explosion.  They are Peter Merp, a Frenchman, and Michael Kulsh, a Pole.  Merp had been blindly groping around in the darkness most of the night on his hands and knees, seeking for some avenue of escape.
Oct 1897 October 30, 1897 — Joseph Yomaski, one of the men entombed in the Von Storch Mine of the Delaware and Hudson Company, was rescued at 10 o'clock Saturday night.  The bodies of the other men were afterwards found and brought to the surface.  In an interview, the Pole explained that when his companions began to suffer their death agonies, he at once urged them to follow him, but they refused.  He escaped to an old airway where he knew of a hand fan, over which he placed a box, and in that inserted his head.  He then kept the fan going for ten hours and kept himself alive until rescued.  See moreExternal Link
Sep 1897 Williamson County Mine Explosion, Johnston City, Illinois — Fifteen wounded miners, two of whom later died, were rescued from the smoke and flames after an undisclosed period.
Mar 1897 Kansas and Texas No. 44 Mine Explosion, Huntington, Arkansas — Immediately after the explosion, Mine Superintendent Vail directed the work the work of looking for those unable to walk up the slope.  One by one the more seriously injured were brought out and taken to their homes in hacks and wagons.  How many of the men are burned internally the doctors could not say, as their efforts were employed solely in dressing their wounds.
Dec 1895 Cumnock Mine Explosion, Cumnock, North Carolina — After pumping fresh air into the shafts following the Cumnock mine explosion, several miners were prevailed upon to venture down and investigate.  They found and brought out 24 men from shafts Nos. 2 and 3.  Five or six of them were badly wounded and some of them would probably die; others were slightly wounded.
Oct 1895 Dorrance Mine Explosion, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Five men, all badly burned, were brought to the surface at 8:00 p.m. following an explosion which occurred sometime in the late afternoon in the Dorrance mine.  Among the men rescued were: Robert Blanchard, William Miller, George Lafly, Joseph Murphy, and Michael Moss who later died.  When Blanchard was found he was being slowly roasted to death.  His partner, Miller, whose arms were broken, could render him no assistance.  These two men were not expected to live.
Aug 1894 Gilberton Colliery Explosion, Ashland, Pennsylvania — Eleven miners, plus another number whose names could not be learned, were brought to the surface following a methane explosion in the Gilberton Colliery at Ashland.  A roof fall occurred where pillar robbing was being performed which pushed the gas more than 1,000 yards to the gangway where it was ignited by naked lamps.  One miner was killed outright and another died while being carried to his home.
Mar 1892 Unnamed Anthracite Mine Roof Fall Fatality, Schuylkill County, PA — On March 10, when John Traynor, a fire boss in an unnamed Schuylkill County, failed to return from the mine, his wife pleaded with miners to go in and search for him.  A party was organized and 12 miners made a thorough search without finding any trace of him.  When the news was broken to the wife, she became strangely calm and after a few days she disappeared.  A search throughout the village failed to locate her and it was thought that her mind became unbalanced and that she wandered off into the mountains.  Her fate remained a mystery until March 14 when a party of surveyors were in the mine.  Off in the distance they heard a soft voice singing.  When they approached, they realized it was the missing Mrs. Traynor, sitting there in the dark with her dead husband’s head in her lap, swaying and singing a love song to him.  They gently lifted her up and she screamed a cry and fainted.  Both she and her husband were taken to their home.  Source document.  PDF Format
Feb 1891 13 miners died in Jeanesville, Pennsylvania after they were trapped by water in the Spring Mountain No. 1 Mine operated by J. C. Hayden and Company on February 4, 1891.  Four others were rescued 19 days later.  They were John Tomaskusky, Joe Mautchwitch, Bosso Franko, and John Berno.  Source documentExternal Link
Feb 1891 Following the firing of a blast, water rushed into the Susquehanna Colliery at Grand Tunnel, Pennsylvania trapping Michael Schilling, William Cragel, and John Riner.  Freedom from the flooded mine came for the trio when rescuers found them after 115 hours.  They had to wait out the 4 days perched on a piece of timber 3 inches wide.  When found, the men were almost completely exhausted and would require care to bring them through.  Source documentExternal Link
May 1890 Three badly injured miners: Anthony Froyne; fire boss John Allen; and Robert W. Roberts were rescued from the Jersey No. 8 mine of the Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company following a cave-in and explosion.  Their entrapment ranged from 9 to 14 hours.  Sadly, all three men died from their extensive injuries after their rescue.  Ironically, it was asserted that John Allen’s lamp caused the explosion.  Had he not done so, all could have been rescued alive, as there was a current of air going through the chamber where the men had taken refuge, after the cave-in had taken place.  See more.
Feb 1890 Nottingham Colliery Explosion, Plymouth, Pennsylvania — Fire Boss George Dunstan was the only man who could tell anything about the accident.  According to Dunstan, he was going from the sixth lift to the fifth.  When he got out in the passageway between the two lifts, he struck a body of gas.  His light ignited and he was thrown violently to the ground.  He managed to crawl to the gangway where he was rescued after an undisclosed period.
Nov 1888 At 5:30 p.m. on November 9, an explosion occurred in the Frontenac Shaft No. 2 of the Cherokee and Pittsburg Coal Company.  At 4 a.m. (10½ hours), five had been rescued, and at 1 p.m. (19½ hours), four more were brought out alive.
Aug 1886 Fair Lawn Colliery Explosion, Scranton, Pennsylvania — Following the explosion, a crew of men making repairs were sent to the east gangway where groans had been heard.  There they found 3 men still alive.  After an undisclosed period,  the first man to be brought to the surface was John Nofin.  He was badly burned about the face and arms.  John Kerrigan was alive when found and talked the strongest of all but he died before being brought to the surface.  The last was John Connor.  He had two large scalp wounds and a bad cut on the knee and another on the arm.  His face and hands were badly bruised.
Mar 1886 Uniondale Mine Explosion, Dunbar, Pennsylvania — After an undisclosed period, a rescue party led by Columbus Shay, of the Mahoning works, and James Henderson, of the Calvin mine managed to get past the flames and smoke to the injured miners.  They were lying in every direction buried under masses of debris.  Several of them were horribly burned.  Their sufferings were terrible.  Twelve of them were found almost in a dying condition and two others were dead -- mangled almost into an unrecognizable mass.  The names of those killed were John Williams and Joseph Cope.
Dec 1885 Nanticoke No. 1 Mine Inundation, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania — Of the dead, many were fathers and sons of families throughout Nanticoke.  One family lost three sons in the disaster, with the fourth being rescued "with difficulty," according to the Wilkes-Barre Record.
Oct 1885 Plymouth No. 2 Mine Explosion, Plymouth, Pennsylvania — As soon as possible after the explosion, a rescuing party was organized and the injured men were brought out of the mine, all terribly burned but, with one exception, still living.  The first man brought out by the relief party was Thomas Howard.  He was cut in the back and terribly burned about the head and face.  The others were brought up in the following order: Joseph Thomas; David Grimes; John Woods; Frank Spinnett; Edward T. Jones; John Lavinsky; Thomas Collins; Anthony Spinneta; John Zalinsky; Thomas McDermott; Frank Sanfraux; John Kerst; Sandy Lova; and John Cobley.  All these were found lying near the foot of the shaft in the main gangway.  None of them was able to stand up, and one or two were unconscious.
Mar 1881 Almy No. 2 Mine Explosion, Almy, Wyoming — After an undisclosed period following the Almy No. 2 mine explosion, two of the white miners were brought out in a crippled condition, and 15 Chinamen were rescued through the ventilating shaft, all of whom were more or less injured.
Nov 1878 Sullivan Mine Explosion, Sullivan, Indiana — As a result of an explosion in the Sullivan mine, eight men were killed by the shock or soon died of suffocation.  There were at the time 27 miners at work, of whom 15 were in the lower vein.  Seven of these were saved after a lapse of over an hour, but how they managed to survive in the dense fumes and damp was a mystery.  The 12 men on the upper vein were badly stunned but unhurt.  Joseph Handford, Tom Irwin and Jack Smith distinguished themselves for their bravery in periling their lives to save the living and the recovery of the dead.  The last named especially won the commendation of the whole community.
May 1877 Wadesville Colliery Mine Fire, Wadesville, Pennsylvania — Men working in other parts of the mine knew that something terrible had happened, and rushed to learn the fate of their comrades.  They found seven miners so terribly burned and bruised that one of them died in a short time.  James Libby was brought out alive, but died in a few hours.  He was fearfully burned.
May 1871 West Pittston Colliery Fire, West Pittston, Pennsylvania — The anticipation was palpable as rescuers worked through the night and into the next day.  At 12:30 a.m. (10 hours later) they brought Andrew Morgan to the surface in an unconscious state.  Learning that more miners had barricaded, they sent out for more men and tools.  Up to 22 hours after the fire was first discovered, around twenty more miners, not more than alive were brought out.  Only one or two recovered enough to give an account of themselves.  It is not known how many of those rescued survived.
Mar 1871 E. Bast and Company Breaker Boiler Explosion, Ashland, Pennsylvania — Following the boiler explosion at the E. Bast and Company Breaker, Mark Daniels was buried in the scalding, burning debris.  Through the almost superhuman efforts of six men, he was rescued from the terrible position in which he was suffering the most excruciating torture and slowly burning to death.  Sadly, he died a few hours later, after suffering such agonies as beggar description.
Dec 1869 December 18, 1869 — The East Sugar Loaf Colliery cave-in in Stockton, Pennsylvania claimed 10 lives on Dec. 18, 1869; only three bodies were ever recovered.  The cave-in occurred at 5 a.m. when two houses were swallowed into the ground.  A third home went into the subsidence and all but one person got out.  It was a young girl who was later rescued from a rooftop.  One outcome of the Stockton Mine cave-in was that houses were not built so close to mines after the incident.  See moreExternal Link
Apr 1869 KY-Yellow Jacket Gold Mine Fire, Gold Hill, Nevada — James Dunlevy was the sole survivor of nine miners on the level where the fire started.  He felt himself suffocating and he lay down on the floor of the level and put an overcoat over his head.  All his eight companions on the same level were imprisoned by the falling rocks.  Their bodies were never recovered.  It was hours after Dunlevy had been rescued in the cage before he regained consciousness.  Source documentExternal Link
Jan 1846 Following a massive roof fall in the Delaware-Hudson Mine, John Hosey clambered his way through the damaged mine and managed to get out after being confined in the mine for 48 hours.  He was not seriously injured, except that his hands were lacerated from working his way through the rocks and slate.