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Identified More Than 1,100 Rescues
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Incidents of Rescuer Death
Rescuer Deaths

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Mine Disaster Calendar

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Successful Mine Rescues
Miners and others rescued after being trapped underground

United States United States
1957 thru 1939
Rescue events are listed in descending chronological order
Related documents are available below
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 document External 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.
International Salt Mine Hoist Accident, Detroit, Michigan — A safety saving device was credited with saving the lives of six men who fell 200 feet down a mine shaft when a hoist cable snapped.  The device was a set of clamps installed in the 1,200-foot shaft of the International Salt Company mine in the downriver area near the Ford Rouge plant.  A cage carrying the men back to the surface plunged downward again when a cable snapped.  The safety clamps stopped the fall at the 900-foot level but it took five hours to complete the rescue.  None of the workers were injured, despite their harrowing experience.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External Link
Abandoned Spring Hill Mine Rescue, Helena, Montana — Three teenage boys trapped in the abandoned Spring Hill mine shaft near Helena, Montana for more than 4 hours were rescued.  The trio, Louis and George Taylor and John McIntosh, all about 15 years of age, suffered only superficial cuts and bruises on their hands and arms from the sharp rocks while being pulled out of the shaft.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1957 Donegan Mine Cave-in, Richwood, West Virginia — William C. Richmond was rescued after being trapped for 74 hours in the mine operated by the Donegan Coal & Coke Company about 18 miles from Richwood.  This was Mr. Richmond’s eighth shift as a coal miner.  Richmond was without food, water, or light until rescuers found him.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1957 Buttonwood Colliery Explosion and Fire, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Two miners, trapped while working 1,500 feet underground at the Buttonwood Colliery of the Glen Alden Corp., were rescued after a perilous 12-hour wait.  Walter Olshefski, 41, and Earl Hill, 33, were examined by a company physician and reported in good condition.  The miners were working at the bottom of an anthracite vein when an explosion and fire broke out.  A rescue party penetrated an auxiliary shaft to the 200-foot level and heard the trapped men about 800 feet further down in the mine.  The rescuers then dropped bucket seats down, and the two miners were hauled to safety.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External Link
FEB 1957 ACA Fluorspar Mine Cave-in, Rosiclare, Illinois — Two miners were rescued unhurt after being trapped 90 minutes behind a wall of ore and waste which spilled into a mine tunnel when a timber support snapped.  John Reed and Grant Ralph, both about 40, were freed from a working tunnel of the Aluminum Company of America Fluorspar Mine. Reed was pinned in rock up to his knees.  A timber support for an ore bin snapped, allowing several tons of the broken rock to fall into the tunnel at the 300-foot level.  125 men were working on various levels in the mine.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1956 Uranium Mine Asphyxiation, Orangeville, Pennsylvania — Andrew Haladay, 32, from Bloomsburg was saved after an undisclosed period from possible asphyxiation by firemen and an ambulance crew who administered emergency respiration treatment to the man after he was overcome by fumes from a gasoline engine in a uranium mine near Orangeville.  His brother summoned help and Andrew was brought to the surface.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1956 Allegheny Coal and Coke Mine Lost Persons, Tarentum, Pennsylvania — Two teenaged boys, Joseph Pitkavich, 16, and Paul Crawford, 15, who wandered for nearly — 24 hours — in a vast coal mine were rescued after they entered the Allegheny Coal and Coke Co. mine and became separated from four other hookey-playing companions from Har-Brack High School.  The search for the two boys began after they failed to return to the mine entrance where their four companions waited.  Parents and neighbors kept an all-night vigil while rescuers made a foot-by-foot search of 10 miles of winding tunnels.  Joseph and Paul were found by Lloyd Nicewonger and Dominic Bonino sitting about 2,000 feet from the mine entrance.  They said they did not realize they were lost until they had wandered through the mine for nearly two hours.  "When we kept coming back to the same place, we knew we were lost," Joseph said.  Joseph said his experience taught him "never to go in a mine again or play hookey."   Paul admitted he had enough adventure for a while.  "I'm never going in a mine again," he said.  Source document PDF Format

Almost four months later, on August 29, 1956, Joseph Pitkavich was killed in an auto accident in which he was a passenger.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External 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 document External Link
DEC 1955 Glen Burn Mine Cave-in, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania — Two miners were trapped for almost — eight hours — in the Glen Burn mine at Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania when rock and coal in an old breast "ran away." Both men were trapped behind the loose rock and coal because the slide prevented them from reaching the gangway. They both walked from the workings uninjured.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1955 Union Pacific Coal Mine Cave-in, Rock Springs, Wyoming — Rescuers dug frantically today in their attempt to reach the last of three men trapped by a cave-in at a Union Pacific coal mine near Rock Springs.  One of the other two miners, Louis Julius, 38, was rescued apparently in good shape, but his companion, John Nesoit, 41, a mine foreman, was crushed to death a few yards away.  Julius owed his escape to his machine under which the rescuers found him huddled after seven hours of frantic digging.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1955 Abandoned Clay Mine Rescue, East Liverpool, Ohio — Three young men were rescued after being lost in an abandoned clay mine for 15 hours.  A searching party of about 50 persons was formed after the trio failed to return home.  They were found unharmed 5 hours after the search began.  Those rescued included: Ed Unger, 16; Lemoyne Simms, 19; and James Simms, 23.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1955 Pioneer Mine Cave-in, Ely, Minnesota — A cave-in occurred in one of the deepest underground iron mines in the world entombing Albert Marolt, 41, and Tokvo Hill, 55.  The miners were rescued from the Oliver Mining Company’s Pioneer Mine after being trapped for 20 hours.  Also missing in the mine was Joe Glinsek.  Workers said there was virtually no chance he was still alive.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1955 Unnamed Mine Fall of Person, Kellogg, Idaho — Horace Beebe, 40, was buried under 20 feet of ore and muck for 1½ hours after falling 70 feet down a chute into the material.  Thinking they were searching for a dead man, rescuers elected to dump the ore into rail cars instead of digging down from the top.  With one car filled, Beebe shot from the car feet first.  He was black all over but conscious, by all accounts he should have been dead.  When they arrived at the hospital Beebe got up from the basket rescuers were carrying him in and started walking down the hall, telling all he was going to take a shower.  Horace and his brother Gerald were operating the mine under a lease from the Sidney Mining Company.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Cloverdale, California — Floyd Whittaker was recovering at his home in traction after he was seriously injured when he fell down a shaft at a mine on the Geyser Road.  He suffered a fractured cervical spine, multiple fractures of the right thumb and contusions and abrasions of the body.  He was brought to a local facility and given treatment and then taken to his home and his back put in traction.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1955 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Thomas Margelavage, 44, was buried in a bootleg mine up to his neck in a pile of coal for six hours before rescuers could set him free.  The Mine Inspector said a wall of coal collapsed and buried Margelavage.  He was set free only 20 hours after the body of another miner had been recovered from a nearby mine.  Margelavage was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was treated for cuts, bruises and shock.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1955 Banner Mine Storage Bin Collapse, Tucson, Arizona — Arnulfo Borbon, 22, a pick man at the Banner mine, was buried up to his chin in a loose ore bin yesterday morning.  Fast-working crews freed him in three hours.  He was uninjured.  Borbon was standing at the apex of an inverted cone-shaped mass of quarter-inch rock in a bin 20 feet high and 15 feet in diameter.  He was knocking rock loose above him for the slide through the bottom of the bin, at his feet, and onto a conveyor belt underneath the bin.  An unusually large mass of the ore suddenly slipped down on Borbon’s feet, pinning him at the bin bottom before he could step back to a safety area.  A resultant slide buried the miner up to his hips, then, later, up to his chin.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External 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 document External Link
JUN 1954 Blue Mountain Mine Cave-in, Cumbola, Pennsylvania — Charles Kopinetz, 31, was rescued after being trapped for three hours in the mine operated by the Blue Mountain Coal Company near Cumbola, Pennsylvania.  He was taken to the Pottsville Hospital where his condition was described as fairly good as he received treatment for injuries to his back and legs.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Raven Run, Pennsylvania — Two entombed miners were rescue after being trapped for more than 15 hours in a cave-in at an independent Anthracite mine at Raven Run.  The plight of the two men was not discovered until Friday night, when the 16-year-old son of one of the victims went to the mine to learn why his father did not return home.  The youth climbed down the slope of the mine and discovered the walls had collapsed.  He returned to the surface and spread the alarm.  Both men were taken to Locust Mountain Hospital in Shenandoah and treated for shock and exposure.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1954 Abandoned Anthracite Mine Fall of Person, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — An 8-year-old boy was rescued from an abandoned coal hole at Shamokin through the combined efforts of a police officer and volunteers.  Little Denny May fell 75 feet into the hole and had to spend an hour there before he was brought to the surface.  Denny was playing in the vicinity of his home with some other children when he fell into the mine located on North Mountain, just north of Shamokin.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1953 LNC Mines Cave-in, Coaldale, Pennsylvania — John Teno, 42, was caught and partly covered by a rush of material in the LNC mines in Coaldale.  He was rescued after an undisclosed period by his buddies and was transferred to the Coaldale State Hospital.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1953 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Goodsprings, Nevada — This story comes from Boulder City and relates to a father who rescued his son from a deep mine shaft near Goodsprings in Clark County.  On a Sunday, about two weeks earlier, the family — Jake Dielemans and his wife and their two sons, Dick, age 13, Bobby, age five — went out with a group of local people interested in prospecting.  They were perusing the area around Goodsprings.  Jake and the other men were out checking rocks and formations when suddenly Jake looked around back toward where he had parked his car and saw the legs of his son Bobby shooting downward.  At the same time, he heard a deafening scream from the lad.  All hands went running and found that Bobby had fallen down a deep, dark, and treacherous looking mine shaft.  They could see nothing and were frantic.  They judged the hole at least 70 feet deep. They thought they detected a faint cry from the bottom of the pit.  Then everyone went to work.  One man raced to his vehicle, pulled out a couple of ropes and tied them together. Someone had to be dropped to the bottom of the pit. Jake insisted on doing it.  But the rope was not strong enough to hold the hefty 200-pound man.  It was Dick, the older brother, who cried to be allowed to go down after his brother.  The little fellow — who last year was an All-American Pony Bowl footballer — again showed he was an All-American boy.  The men tied the rope around him, gave him another loop for his brother, and lowered him into the pit.  Jake, the father, meantime had scrambled down the hole about 15 feet and hung onto a ledge and guided the rope.  Little Dick reached bottom, tied the halter onto his brother, and the men above hauled the two lads up. The rest is now a big sigh of relief. The lad was rushed to the Boulder Hospital.  No bones were broken, thanks to a bed of blow sand at the bottom of the pit, and the lad was just a bit shaken.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Lime Mine Fall of Person, Rosendale, New York — Jack Rustemeyer, 13, was rescued after an undisclosed period by Binnewater firemen after he plunged 50 feet to a ledge in an old lime mine in the Maple Hill section of Rosendale.  He was taken to Kingston City hospital and attended for shock and multiple bruises and abrasions and later taken to his home.  The boy and three companions were walking near the edge of the mine when the ground gave way.  Three boys managed to run to safety.  The Rustemeyer boy dropped into the mine.  He landed on a ledge 50 feet below the surface.  The other boys ran to the Rustemeyer home and told Mrs. Rustemeyer her son had fallen into the mine.  She summoned Binnewater firemen, who lowered a rope to the injured boy.  He tied the rope around his waist and firemen pulled him to safety.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1953 Lehigh Coal & Navigation Mine Cave-in, Coaldale, Pennsylvania — Steve Oblas, 26, was set free after a 9-hour entrapment in the mine at Coaldale, Pennsylvania operated by the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company.  Thirty miners participated in the rescue.  Source document PDF Format
Scrub Oak Mine Cave-in, Dover, New Jersey — Emergency crews rescued a miner who was trapped six hours by a cave-in at an iron ore mine.  The miner, 51-year-old John Fortner was brought to the surface and taken to Dover General Hospital.  Another miner, Robert Allen, 47, was hurt in the cave-in last night, but managed to scramble out of the path of the falling muck, which consists of bits of iron ore.  He was treated for minor cuts and released.  During the rescue operation, the crews were able to keep a running conversation with Mr. Fortner.  When they reached him, he was found pinned by the ore.  Police said the cave-in at the Scrub Oak Mine of the Alan Wood Steel Company apparently was caused by previous blasting.  The rescue workers dug a pathway to Mr. Fortner and found him on the fifth slope of the lower level, about 1,800 feet below the ground.  Source document PDF Format
Monarch Mine Fire, Harlan, Kentucky — Fifteen miners were rescued without injury after an undisclosed period at the Monarch Mine of the Blue Diamond Coal Company.  The State Department of Mines and Minerals said it understood a locomotive reel cable caught fire and the motorman was unable to shut off the power.  Source document PDF Format
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
Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Lordsburg, Nevada — A 15-year-old high school boy was recovering from several broken bones and assorted bruises after miraculously surviving a fall down a 330-foot mine shaft.  Ray Harrington received a broken collarbone, broken arm and broken leg when he tumbled down the abandoned Nevada mine shaft.  Rescuers attributed his survival to the fact that the shaft had a jog in it about midway down.  This, they say, may have broken his fall.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1952 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — 50-year-old Sylvester Prosper was rescued after an undisclosed period after being trapped by a coal fall and buried up to the neck.  It was some hours before anybody even knew there was anything wrong.  One of the first rescuers to arrive was a priest, the Rev. John Shellum of a church in Pottsville.  The priest crawled all the way to where Sylvester was trapped and gave him the last rites of the Roman Catholic church.  Then the priest stripped off his robes, got a shovel, and went to work helping the others get the miner out.  Hospital authorities said Sylvester had contusions and bruises, and was suffering from shock.  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
Bull Gulch Lead and Zinc Mine Cave-in, Jefferson City, Montana — An eight-year-old boy’s yell and 150-yard sprint for help saved two miners from possible death and made his father "the proudest man in Montana."  A cave-in at the Bull Gulch lead and zinc mine completely covered Robert Steinbacher, 34, this Father’s Day.  Mine owner Henry Madison, about 70, was held fast by rocks, gravel and dirt that stopped cascading when the slide reached his chin.  Young Charles O’Reilly of Helena was the only other witness to the near tragedy.  He yelled to his father, Henry, who was prospecting about 100 yards above the mine, pointed to cave-in and raced to the nearest telephone which was at the Steinbacher's home about 450 feet from the mine.  Henry O’Reilly ran to the mine with a pick and shovel and seeing Madison able to breathe began digging where he thought Steinbacher was buried.  In about 10 minutes he had freed Steinbacher's head enough so that he could breathe more easily.  O'Reilly's son, meanwhile, urged Mrs. Steinbacher to call an ambulance and round up some volunteers.  In another 20 minutes the men were free and on stretchers.  Steinbacher and Madison apparently suffered only shock and bruises.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1952 Abandoned Shale Mine Fall of Person, Royal Gorge, Colorado — Donna Zarnowski, 17, of Burns, Kansas, tumbled 100 feet and became trapped in a mine shaft by a quarter-ton boulder during a senior class visit to scenic attractions which included the abandoned shale mine shaft near Royal Gorge.  A boulder at the mine entrance on which Donna was leaning gave way and she tumbled down the 60-degree entrance shaft after it.  She came to rest 100 feet down the shaft and the boulder rolled back and pinned her against a slate pillar.  A doctor was lowered into the pit to give her a hypodermic while a wrecking truck and firemen were enroute.  A Catholic priest was also let down by rope at her request.  Two hours later the boulder was moved by a winch and cable.  Firemen strapped the girl to a stretcher, and she was hauled to the mine entrance.  She was transported to Canon City hospital where she was reported in serious condition from injuries suffered.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1952 Repplier Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Caught under many tons of coal while working in the Repplier colliery, Steve Matusiak, 59, of New Philadelphia, near Pottsville, was dug out by fellow workmen after an undisclosed period.  He was rushed to a Pottsville hospital where he was treated for chest injuries.  Source document PDF Format
Well Rockslide Rescue, Salida, Colorado — Charles Dennis, a 33-year-old metal miner was trapped for 12 hours after a rock slide crashed down on him at the bottom of a 15-foot well.  The slide completely covered the man but he was able to breathe because of air spaces in the rock jumble.  Rescue operations were carried on most of the night by floodlight, and broke through to the trapped man.  Source document PDF Format
Pine Creek Canyon Snowslide, Bishop, California — A weekend of wild weather in California had a fortunate ending in the rescue of 33 persons whose mining camp high in the Sierra Nevada was crushed under giant snow slides.  The 33 rescued Sunday night were workers and their families at the U. S. Vanadium Corporation’s tungsten mill — the world's largest — 9,000 feet high in Pine Creek Canyon, 20 northwest of Bishop.  A huge slide poured down from crags above.  One end of the mill was caved in.  Four homes were partially destroyed.  The home of mill superintendent Tom Holmes was crushed and buried.  Mrs. Holmes was knocked out of the house, over an auto, under a fence and against a tree 60 feet away.  Her 15-month-old son was buried under 13 feet of snow and debris.  Workers dug for two hours.  They finally found him nestled between two pet Dachshunds—unharmed.  Besides the dogs, he was protected by his play pen and a heavy chair.  Two other workers were buried for 10 hours before being freed.  The 33 took refuge in the mill’s basement, where the rescue party found them.  None was seriously injured.  They were there for more than a day, praying and watching smaller slides bounce down the canyon walls.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1952 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Springfield, Missouri — Don M. Searle, 18, suffered serious injuries when he fell into an abandoned mine shaft on Pierson Creek, five miles east of Springfield, Missouri.  Searle was searching for traces of uranium in the old mine with three companions.  He was being lowered into the shaft with a windlass and rope when the rope broke, dropping him about 50 feet.  Ropes were used to bring him to the surface about 30 minutes after he tumbled into the shaft.  He suffered a leg fracture, back injury and cuts.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External Link
NOV 1951 Blue Flame Mine Rescue, Plano, Iowa — Eugene Welch, 40, trapped 125 feet underground, was released by his fellow workers afternoon a few hours after a doctor was critically injured in a plunge down the mine shaft.  Welch underwent amputation of his right leg below the knee following his rescue by fellow miners.  Dr. C. L. Richey, 44, was in "very critical condition" from multiple fractures suffered when the cable broke on a cage in which he was being lowered into the mine to aid Welch.  Welch’s leg was drawn into the cutting chain on a coal-cutting machine while he was working in the Blue Flame coal mine a mile south of Plano.  The men were working in a space 28 inches high when Welch’s trouser leg caught in the endless chain which is used to cut into the vein of coal.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Mystic Coal Mine Tragedy, Mystic, Iowa — Dr. Granvil L. Richey, 44, who was injured seriously November 6 at Centerville, lowa, while attempting to descend into a mine shaft to administer aid to a stricken miner, was reportedly in an improved condition at St. Mary’s hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, after undergoing a series of operations as a result of his injuries.  Dr. Richey suffered a broken nose, jaw, left leg, right heel and ankle, when a cable broke while he was descending into the shaft to aid the miner, plunging the elevator and its occupant 125 feet to the bottom of the shaft.  The Centerville physician, a graduate of Columbus high school and Indiana university medical school, was the medical director at St. Joseph’s hospital in Centerville, where he was taken immediately after the accident occurred.  The miner the Doctor was going down to aid was Eugene Welch.  He was caught in a cutting machine. His leg required amputation in hospital 3 hours after the accident.  Note: No mention of the name or owner of the mine where this accident occurred could be found in multiple news articles other than to say it was a coal mine located near Mystic, which is northwest of Centerville, Iowa in Appanoose County.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1951 Vesta No. 5 Mine Roof Fall, Vestaburg, Pennsylvania — Though he was almost completely buried from a fall of slate in the Vesta No. 5 mine of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation, Harry Layhew, 28, only suffered a back injury.  Fellow workmen dug him out of the slate after an undisclosed period and transferred him to the Brownsville hospital.  He was admitted there after treatment but his condition was not listed as serious.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External Link
FEB 1951 East Mammoth Mine Cave-in, Coaldale, Pennsylvania — Entombed by a mine cave-in for five hours, Peter Gusick, contract miner, was rescued by fellow workers.  Gusick was caught underground when a chute collapsed on the second level of the East Mammoth gangway at the Coaldale Colliery.  The miner said he went for tools to repair his chute when he heard the tumbling earth and jumped aside to avoid being hit by falling coal and timbering.  The only means of communication Gusick had with digging crews was an air pipe driven down through the debris.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1951 Unnamed Surface Mine Rescue, St. Marys, Pennsylvania — Six-year-old William Van Slander liked to toddle along after his 34-year-old father and watch him rip coal from the earth with a giant bulldozer.  Yesterday Van Slander, Sr. wasn’t satisfied with the way his huge machine was working.  He got off his seat and kicked at a slowly moving cog.  The cog caught in his overalls and started grinding his left leg to pieces.  Frantically, the father shouted at his son to pull the lever which would stop the machine.  There were several levers, but Billy got the right one just as his father lost consciousness.  The boy then ran three miles to neighbors for aid.  Van Slander was taken to a hospital, where his leg was amputated below the knee.  The doctors, who credited Billy with saving his dad's life, said the miner's condition is satisfactory.  Source document PDF Format
Pandora Mine Fire, Sullivan, Indiana — Sixteen men trapped for almost three hours behind a fire in the Pandora Mine were reported safe.  Two men were brought to the Mary Sherman Hospital suffering from effects of the smoke.  Both David Solomon, 66, and Wayne Mannel, 18, were reported at the hospital to be in good condition.  Mannel was in the mine when the fire started and was able to get out without being trapped.  He went immediately back in to help in the rescue work and to fight the fire.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External Link
Old Smuggler Mine Fire, Silver Plume, Colorado — Six miners who escaped death in a mine fire in the Old Smuggler Mine gave credit for their rescue to a 4-man party that built a firedoor to keep the flames from spreading.  The six men were trapped for four hours.  The fire broke out yesterday in the hoist house and spread to the dry timbers of the shaft.  Some 30 men jumped to the task of rescuing the men and four of them went below through a supplementary tunnel that joined the main shaft about 75 feet below the surface.  They constructed the firewall there, containing the fire with steel plates and heavy timbers.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1950 Auchincloss No. 2 Mine Cave-in, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania — Walter Legins, 39, coal mine shaftman, helped to rescue Stephen C. Grozio, 49, coal mine shaftman, from a cave-in in a mine, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, November 20, 1950.  At night while Grozio and two other men were at work on a platform in a mine-shaft 1,160 feet below ground-level, a cave-in occurred above them.  Grozio jumped quickly onto a cage partly protected by a metal canopy in an adjoining section of the shaft, as a huge mass of debris struck the platform and demolished it.  The other two men fell with the debris from 250 feet above the bottom of the shaft.  The cage was wrenched from its guides but remained suspended 150 feet below a landing.  The rumble of falling debris was heard at the surface, but the extent of the cave-in could not be determined.  A group comprising two foremen, Legins, and three other men entered the mine at another shaft and reached the landing.  Visibility into the damaged shaft was negligible, but all noted that a section of the shaft opposite the landing had fallen away.  Crozio's head-lamp was dimly sighted.  In response to calls, Grozio apprised the others of conditions and told them his hands were numbed.  Only Legins volunteered to descend to Crozio.  Although aware that another cave-in might be imminent, Legins with a rope tied to him entered the shaft and was lowered to the cage, where he removed the rope.  Using a metal bar, he broke away an obstruction in the shaft above the cage.  Calling repeatedly to the landing with directions for the raising and lowering of the cage, Legins and Crozio after 20 minutes engaged the guide and were drawn to the landing.  Legins and Grozio were taken to the surface.  After extensive digging operations, the bodies of the other two men were recovered; and the shaft was closed permanently.  Crozio was chilled, and he and Legins were nervous.  Both recovered.  Walter Legins was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.    Source document 1 External Link  Source document 2 PDF Format
JUN 1950 Copper Canyon Mine Fire, Copper Canyon, Nevada — Fourteen miners trapped for three hours by flames in a mine shaft were rescued.  Mining Engineer Tom Cahill of the Copper Canyon Company said that fire of unknown origin broke out at the top of the main shaft at 8:30 a.m.  Contact with the underground crew 700 feet below the ground level was immediately cut off when telephone wires in the main shaft burned.  When news of the trapped men was first transmitted to nearby cities, rescue crews of miners were flown from adjoining areas to the scene.  Supt. Robert Raring ventured down a parallel shaft abandoned as a working operation and used as an emergency escape route.  By noon, the last of the 14 miners had climbed ladders in the old shaft and emerged safely on the ground level.  None of the men had been overcome by smoke.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1950 Biscontini Mine Cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Edmund F. Gorka, 28, was rescued after spending 15 hours trapped by a fall of coal and dirt in a mine operated by the Biscontini Coal Company near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  Prior to him being set free, rescuers hammered a steel tube through tons of debris to get fresh air to him.  His co-worker, Thomas Dembski, 21, had narrowly missed being trapped with him and managed to get free and sound the alarm. Source document PDF Format
MAR 1950 Independent Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Following a cave-in at an independent Anthracite mine near Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Robert Schoffstall, 42, was reached by rescue workers after remaining entombed seven hours.  He suffered a possible fractured skull, abrasions of the right temple and a fractured left leg.  Frank Bosack, Jr., 23, the other trapped miner, crawled out of the mine on Sharp Mountain, after diggers drove through sixty tons of rock, crushed timber and debris in ten hours.  Also trapped with the two men and rescued from the mine was "Pete" the mule.  The mule assisted greatly in his rescue.  He kicked and pawed his way through fallen rock and coal while rescue workers drove from the outside toward the entombed animal.  After the opening was made the mule squeezed through and crawled out of the underground operation on his own power, a distance of about 1,000 feet.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1950 Fire Chief Coal Co. Mine No. 2 Cave-in, Whitesburg, Kentucky — Worley Dickinson, 59, was rescued after being trapped by a cave-in for more than 24 hours.  Dickinson and Dewey Rose, 49, were caught in a heavy rock fall in the Fire Chief Coal Company Mine No 2 near Whitesburg, Kentucky.  Rose died instantly on Feb. 14 when the accident happened.  Dickinson said he was imprisoned in a space about the size of a No. 3 washtub.  He had been protected by a wagon where he had been standing when the roof let go.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External Link
United Salt Mine Fire, Hockley, Texas — Eight miners were set free from the fire in the United Salt Company mine after an undisclosed period.  The miners had been lowered into the mine only minutes before the fire broke out.  Electric wiring was burned which temporarily idled the mine’s hoist.  The trapped miners were uninjured in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1949 Maple Hill Colliery Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — Rescuers brought out 15 weary coal miners early today who had spent eight hours trapped behind a rock fall 900 feet underground.  The trapped men dug continuously during their captivity to help rescue crews working from the other side clear away the tons of rock, coal and dirt which blocked their path to freedom.  Physicians who examined each of the men as they came to the surface said that they suffered no ill effects.  They were sent home to rest.  The men had been trapped in the No. 6 slope of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company’s Maple Hill colliery when a runaway mine car jumped the track and knocked out timbers supporting the sides and roof of the tunnel.  The crashing timbers and a warning rumble alerted the men, but the sides and roof of the tunnel collapsed with a roar before they could flee.  The rock fall occurred only two hours after the men started working yesterday afternoon.  All 15 had enough food in their lunch boxes.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1949 Abandoned Well Rescue, Austin, Texas — A 3-year-old boy fell 14 feet down a narrow shaft of an abandoned well and was rescued alive three hours later.  Bobby Gow, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Gow of Austin, toppled into the 10-inch shaft while playing.  A 12-year-old playmate saw him fall and spread the alarm.  His rescue came after three steam shovels, compressed air hammers and volunteer pick and shovel workers tore away the earth from the 20-foot hole.  Except for the happier ending.  The incident was reminiscent of the tragedy of Kathy Fiscus, age 3, who died last April after a 98-foot fall down an abandoned well pipe at San Marino, California.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1949 Peabody Mine No. 59 Fire, Springfield, Illinois — An underground fire sent dense smoke through Peabody Mine No. 59 north of Springfield forcing between 250 and 300 men to use emergency escape shafts.  All the men reached safe areas and were evacuated three at a time.  Most of them had been brought to the surface three hours after the fire broke out.  The fire broke out 1½ hours before the regular day shift was to end.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1949 Sizemore Truck Mine Cave-in, Toler, Kentucky — Rescuers brought out alive four men who were buried under a slate fall at the Sizemore Truck Mine.  The last of the victims was brought to the surface four hours after the fall occurred.  He was taken to a hospital with possible fractures of both legs.  One of the other three received treatment at the Williamson Hospital for shock, cuts and bruises.  The other two did not require hospitalization.  The accident occurred about 200 feet from the entry of the mine, which had been reopened recently.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1949 Spruce Mine Landslide, Eveleth, Minnesota — Two miners were rescued after being trapped more than ten hours by an earth slide in the Spruce mine at Eveleth, Minnesota.  Sakri Makinen and Ed Kinszater were both brought up from the 200-foot level unhurt.  Source document PDF Format
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.
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Sagon, Pennsylvania — A 62-year-old miner entombed in a standing position for 9½ hours after a cave-in of coal and earth was smoking a cigarette as weary rescue workers hoisted him from the 30-foot hole.  Alexander Pachekailo was trapped with his son, Joseph, 22, in an anthracite shaft at Sagon, near Shamokin.  The son had dug himself out after an hour.  At Shamokin Hospital, Pachekailo was treated for shock and exposure.  He had no other injuries.  Rescuers were forced to work singly in the four-foot square shaft of the independent mine.  The debris had to be removed a bucket at a time before the trapped miner could be raised to the surface.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1949 Loyalhanna Coal Company Mine Cave-in, Cairnbrook, Pennsylvania — A coal miner rescued from beneath 25 tons of rock where he lay trapped for 14 hours died eight hours after fellow workers brought him to the surface.  William Wallace, 27, lay beneath the crushing weight with only his head exposed as a rescue team labored to remove piece by piece the rocks which trapped him in a narrow entry of the mine of the Loyalhanna Coal Company.  As other miners worked to release him.  Wallace pleaded deliriously for his friends to "get this weight off me."  He was taken to Windber hospital shortly after midnight, and doctors said he suffered extreme shock and other undetermined injuries.  Wallace and his brother-in-law, Walter Gromack, were loading their second coal car of the day when the roof collapsed.  Gromack had stepped away from the working place to adjust his lamp and wasn’t hit.  Wallace apparently had the presence of mind to dive beneath the car, but the weight of the fall crushed the car and pinned him beneath the frame, with only his head in the open.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1948 Kritzer Tungsten Mine Snow Storm, Dinkey Creek, California — A quick and full recovery was predicted for Claude Kritzer, whose left foot was amputated in an attempt to save his life.  Kritzer, 34, with his brother, Martin, 38, were marooned in the snow-covered Sierras for nine days this month.  The attending physician said the foot, which was gangrenous, was amputated above the ankle because there was no other choice.  The two brothers were rescued from the mountains on December 21.  They had planned to drive a tractor from their tungsten mine above Dinkey Creek but were caught in a snowstorm.  Martin Kritzer, still in the hospital, was reported recovering from exposure and frostbite.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1948 John George Lease Mill Entrapment, Wardner, Idaho — George A. Scheurich was rescued after being buried for four hours under seven feet of muck in a chute at the John George lease mill in Wardner.  Fellow millmen and Bunker Hill employees rescued him by tearing out the sides of the ore chute.  Scheurich was alone when the accident occurred and it is believed he was walking on top of the muck when it started to roll.  He was uninjured, but suffered from cold and cramp and was being kept in the hospital for observation.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1948 Dresser Mine Explosion, Terre Haute, Indiana — Thirty-five coal miners were trapped by an explosion in the Dresser coal mine last night, but all were rescued.  Mine officials said two men with second degree burns were taken to the Union hospital at Terre Haute. None of the other men were injured.  The explosion occurred at 6:10 p.m., and mine officials said all of the men were out at 7 p.m.  Source document PDF Format
Golden Rod Mine No. 9 Cave-in, Picher, Oklahoma — Burford Storm, 28, was trapped for six hours in a cave-in at the Golden Rod Mine No. 9.  He and his helper, John Carmack, were loading boulders at a level 235 feet below the surface when dirt, ore rock and boulders gave way beneath then.  The debris slid down about 30 feet to the bottom of the mine, carrying Storm with it.  He was pinned between levels, but was not covered by the debris.  Carmack gained a higher level as the cave-in started and was helped out of the mine immediately.  Some 25 miners worked to free Storm, finally succeeding six hours after the cave-in.  Neither was seriously hurt.  Source document PDF Format
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.
MAR 1948 Big Cottonwood Canyon Avalanche, Salt Lake, Utah — Survivor of a terrible experience, trapped by a huge avalanche he could not see, but only hear, Roy Newman, blind miner, was discovered in the area of the snowslide which thundered down into Big Cottonwood canyon.  Searchers for Mr. Newman and three skiers who were unaccounted for after the snow mass blocked the canyon road and stream, found the miner hiding in one of the mine shafts which honeycomb the area.  He was shaken, but unhurt.  Fears for Mr. Newman’s safety had risen when state troopers slogged through heavy snow and found his cabin intact, but vacant.  A friend of the blind man, who assisted in the search, suggested Mr. Newman might be in one of the mine shafts or tunnels, and a search of these revealed the missing man.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Mine Cave-in, Telluride, Colorado — Robert Pressley, 35, was trapped head down by a slide of muck for 14 hours.  He suffered a crushed foot and shock and is expected to recover.  Pressley was pinned in a small ore chute throughout the night while fellow miners retimbered the chute to prevent a new slide of ore from coming down on him.  He was rescued after the timbering operation was completed and taken to a hospital here.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1947 Well Cave-in Rescue, Warner, New Hampshire — Norman Wood, 23-year-old war veteran, was rescued from an 18-foot well after being buried up to his waist for 22 hours by a cave-in.  Trapped while working in the well, Woods was pinned at the bottom of the pit and held prisoner for all the day and night before.  When finally rescued by 300 volunteer workers, Woods was taken 18 miles to the Margaret Pillsbury hospital in Concord, where he was determined to be in fair condition.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1947 John McNulty Mine Slide, Owensboro, Kentucky — Two men were trapped in a slide at the John McNulty coal mine, formerly the old Lee Rudy mine, five miles west of Owensboro.  William Hays, 33, and Tom Gray, 61, the two men trapped in the mine, were at work cleaning a path toward the new shaft when the main shaft curb gave way.  They were the only men in the mine at the time of the accident.  An alarm was sounded and a rescue squad was organized and succeeded in getting the two men back to safety within the space of an hour.  A motorized winch was dispatched to the mine and the men removed through the new shaft on an improvised swing chair.  Neither man suffered any ill effects from their ordeal.  Later, the rescue squad was successful in bringing the mine pony to safety.  Source document PDF Format
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.
JUN 1947 Independent Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — George Sleva, 26, was rescued after being entombed 14 hours by a rock fall in a small independent coal mine.  Sleva was taken to the Pottsville Hospital, where he was taken and treated for shock and minor bruises.  His condition was described as good.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1947 Schooley Mine Explosion, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — The Schooley mine explosion killed nine anthracite diggers, and injured nine others as they worked 350 feet underground.  The explosion, so terrific that it splintered supporting timbers and crumpled mine chamber walls, came soon after the day work crew reported at the shaft of the Knox Coal company.  Dust and smoke rose from the pithead, as rescue forces rushed into the operation near Wilkes-Barre.  Two bodies were removed immediately.  Injured were speeded to nearby Pittston hospital where doctors said some had been burned, others overcome by fumes.  Source document PDF Format
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.
JAN 1947 Gemini Mine Cave-in, Eureka, Utah — Two silver miners were freed by crews who shoveled through 100 tons of dirt for almost eight hours after a slide of waste matter trapped the pair.  Fifteen fellow miners used a bucket machine and shovels to reach Bryan Sorenson and Benny Allison, trapped in a mine pocket at the 1300-foot level of the Gemini mine.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1946 Franklin Colliery 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 document 1 External Link  Source document 2 PDF Format
Globe Copper Mine Earth Slide, Globe, Arizona — John York, 52, trapped by an earth slide in the copper mine at Globe, Arizona was rescued after a 24-hour entrapment.  Hopes to rescue another miner trapped, John Orekar, age 44, diminished when the faint tapping sounds he was making ceased after more than 70 hours.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1946 Abandoned Pennsylvania Coal Co. Mine Rescue, Pittston, Pennsylvania — A Pittston coal miner was rescued from an abandoned mine shaft after being entombed for several hours.  Benjamin Desko, 58, was locked in the shaft when the exit was filled in by a bulldozer operator, who was unaware that he was in the shaft.  Desko was reported missing by his wife when he failed to return home.  She went to the shaft where her husband said he would be working and discovered the entrance blocked.  The alarm was sounded and workers of the Pennsylvania Coal Company made the rescue.  When examined at the Pittston Hospital, Desko was found to be none the worst for his experience.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1946 Elcomb Mine Fire, Harlan, Kentucky — William Viles, 49, was rescued after he was trapped for five hours in the Elcomb Coal Company mine by a fire ignited by friction from a conveyor cable.  He was taken to the Harlan hospital and treated for shock.  Source document PDF Format
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.
FEB 1946 Tamaqua Colliery Cave-in, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — "I was hoping you guys would get here soon" was the greeting that Rolland Matalcavage gave to his rescuers when they reached him.  Matalcavage was trapped for an undisclosed period by a rush of coal in a chute on the third level workings of the Tamaqua Colliery of the Lehigh Navigation Coal Company.  Workers heard the rush and rescue work proceeded.  After a time, rescuers came upon several overhanging sections of rock, beneath which Matalcavage had crawled for protection.  The workman was unharmed.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Anthracite Mine Lost Persons, East Scranton, Pennsylvania — After spending a night, lost in an underground gangway in an abandoned Anthracite mine, three Scranton youths were rescued.  Rescued were: Joseph Buydos, 16; George E. Lowe, 17; and Edward Liptock, 16.  The boys entered the workings of the abandoned East Scranton mine shortly after school closed Monday.  Exploring the passages, they became lost in the many tunnels and decided to wait until rescue came.  When found the next day, after an undisclosed period, despite their long imprisonment in the damp and cold tunnels, the boys were unaffected physically, but were tired and hungry.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1946 Havaco No. 9 Mine Explosion, Welch, West Virginia — James Williams, seriously burned about the hands and face, was rescued from the No. 9 mine of the New River & Pocahontas Consolidated Coal Company at Welch, West Virginia.  The explosion there trapped 150 miners for several hours and killed 15.  Source document PDF Format
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.
AUG 1945 Abandoned Mine Landslide, Beechwood, Maryland — The cows came home safe and sound — all four of them — after being trapped by a landslide for three days in an old coal mine without food or water.  Shifts of men worked by lantern and carbon lamp hauling out wheelbarrow loads of rock and attempting to erect roof supports against recurrent rock fall.  All were in good condition, their owners said.  The last cow to be rescued, found about 150 feet from the entrance, was temporarily light-blinded, but was expected to be all right.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1945 Sunnyside No. 1 Mine Explosion, Sunnyside, Utah — Seven injured miners were brought to the surface within two hours following the explosion.  These men were rushed to the hospital at Dragerton, less than a mile from Sunnyside, where Dr. F. V. Columbo, resident surgeon, assumed charge.  Included in those injured and rescued were Martin M. Dean, Tony D. Trujillo, James A. Coleman, Guadalupe Sandoval, Tony J. Leger, Edward H. Edwards, and John B. Gulierez.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1944 Maryland Fuel Mine Cave-in, Lonaconing, Maryland — William Reiber, 49, of Douglas street, was rescued from the Maryland Fuel mine after being pinioned for two hours by a cave-in of timber supports.  Reiber suffered a fractured right leg and was admitted to Memorial Hospital.  The mine was owned by the Jenkins Coal Company.  Source document PDF Format
Boothton Mine No. 2 Cave-in, Birmingham, Alabama — Three coal miners, trapped — more than 2 days — in the No. 2 mine of the Boothton Coal Mining Company were rescued unharmed, it was revealed by D. A Thomas, company president.  The trio, Lewis Lawley, Ellis Boothe, and Leslie Patton were entombed 8,000 feet from the mine entrance.  Rescue squads who reached them passed food through holes in the barrier.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Mine Shaft Fall of Person, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — John Stebila, 16, was a patient in serious condition at Shamokin Hospital, the result of an accident which befell him as he was assisting in fighting a forest fire.  The youth was a member of a fire-fighting group which was summoned to battle a blaze near the mining community.  According to companions who took him to Shamokin Hospital, he fell a distance of more than 250 feet to the bottom of an abandoned mine shaft.  Rescue workers worked for some time before they were able to bring the injured boy to the surface, and he was then taken to Shamokin Hospital.  Doctors at the hospital said the accident victim sustained compound fractures of the hip, lacerations of the scalp, pelvic injuries, and a possible skull fracture.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1944 Ridgeway Darby Mine Fire, Harlan Kentucky — Eighteen miners trapped for nearly 20 hours were rescued from the flames in the Ridgeway Darby Coal Company Mine in Harlan, Kentucky.  Only one man, C. C. Wills, had to be carried from the mine.  Wills had been overcome by fumes but his condition was not serious.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1944 U. S. Coal & Coke No. 31 Mine Inundation, Lynch, Kentucky — There was a dramatic rescue at Lynch, Kentucky, when 18 miners at the U. S. Coal & Coke Company No. 31 mine were saved after being trapped for more than six hours by high water.  The flooding occurred when approximately 100,000,000 gallons of water, which had been impounded in the Roda No. 4 mine of the Stonega Coke and Coal Company, broke through into the First Right section of the No. 31 mine after a mountain bump occurred, crushing the barrier pillar between the two mines.  The trapped miners were led to safety by company official, Ben Mills.  Mills entered the pit through round-about channels and led them out through an air course.  They were forced to walk through water almost neck-deep to reach freedom.  None of the miners were injured or otherwise hurt by their experience.  The U. S. Coal & Coke Company was a subsidiary of U. S. Steel.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1944 Anthracite Mine Hole Fall of Ground, West Scranton, Pennsylvania — Edward Pall, age 7, from West Scranton, appeared little the worse at his home following his rescue from a mine cave hole which held him prisoner for nearly two hours.  The boy was on his way to school and walking along a path through a field near his home when the earth gave way and swallowed him to his shoulders.  Nearly two hours later, his father, Charles Pall, on his way to work heard the boy's cries and saw his head sticking out of the ground.  After digging frantically, Pall rescued his son and carried him home.  Examination of the youngster showed he was unhurt but suffering somewhat from shock.  Police said the cave was four feet deep.  Source document PDF Format
Mine Subsidence Fall of Ground, Pittston, Pennsylvania — Seven-year-old Robert Adrian was swallowed up by the earth in a mine subsidence today, only 300 feet from the spot where Jule Ann Fulmer, age 2, was killed in a similar cave-in a month earlier.  But Robert lived to tell about it.  Walking home from a barber shop, Robert plunged 10 feet into the earth when the paving opened beneath him, but he was buried only to his waist.  The terror-stricken youngster scrambled to safety before passersby reached him.  Almost simultaneously, another cave-in occurred nearby, but no one was near the spot.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1944 Stambaugh Mine Cave-in, Uniontown, Pennsylvania — Oran Kennedy, 36, was rescued after 2 hours from beneath tons of rock which crashed from the ceiling of the Stambaugh mine of the Bortz Coal Company.  Tons of roof slate fell in the shaft in which Kennedy was working.  A pit wagon broke the fall near the miner, however, and provided breathing space between the huge lumps of slate.  Rescuers, constantly menaced by additional falls, went forward with their efforts until they reached Kennedy, who escaped with a fractured pelvis.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1943 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — Anthony Onushak, 35, was rescued from a bootleg mine operation near Mahanoy City, after he was entombed more than five hours.  Onushak was working alone at the bottom of a 400-foot slope when the workings closed as the result of a heavy fall on the slope.  Fellow independent miners organized a rescue force and found the miner buried to his hips, but not badly injured.  He refused medical attention after his rescue, and at his request was taken to his home.  Source document PDF Format
Glen Alden No. 9 Mine Cave-in, Sugar Notch, Pennsylvania — Trapped by a cave at the No. 9 Tunnel of the Glen Alden Coal Company at Sugar Notch, a miner and laborer were rescued by a crew which had dug persistently for more than 10 hours to reach them.  The men trapped were Frank Adamovitch, and his laborer, Benjamin Miller.  Adamovitch’s other laborer, Frank Verostek, away at the time of the cave, spread the alarm which brought mine executives and rescue crews to the scene.  Adamovitch and Miller were taken to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, where it was found Miller escaped almost uninjured, but that Adamovitch’s injuries were more serious.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1943 American Rolling Mill No. 3 Mine Explosion, Nellis, West Virginia — Nine men lost their lives and two others were hurt after a gas explosion wrecked a section of the No. 3 mine of American Rolling Mill Company.  Only eleven men were in the mine at the time of the blast, the first in seventeen years, said Superintendent A. E. Oakley.  Two were brought out alive after an undisclosed period and sent to hospitals at Charleston, twenty-five miles away.  The blast occurred in a mechanical loading section two and a half miles underground.  The rescued men were William Barker and Lawrence Vincent.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Three bootleg miners were recuperating at their homes after a nerve-shattering experience, in which they were entombed 34 hours in a coal hole before being rescued.  They received bruises and lacerations when trapped in a collapsed bootleg mine shaft but suffered mostly from exposure.  When the rescuers broke through the barrier, they formed rope slings to haul the entombed men from the mine.  They were wrapped in heated blankets and taken to Shamokin Hospital where they were treated and kept under observation for 24 hours, before being allowed to return home.  The three miners rescued were Nicholas Logush, Theodore Horoschak and Jacob Merena.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1943 Collinsville Mine Lost Person, Collinsville, Illinois — Lost for more than 27 hours 200 feet underground in the tunnels of a Bunker Hill Coal Company mine, John Millett, 62, was rescued, but not before he apparently gave up hope.  With chalk on a piece of slate he had scribbled the words, "You're five minutes too late."  Millett, a veteran mine examiner, was found unconscious several hundred feet from the central shaft by two Collinsville miners.  Millett said he wrote the message in despair after one searching crew passed without seeing him where he lay helpless.  He was transported to the hospital where he was treated for shock and exposure.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Lost Persons, Kulpmont, Pennsylvania — Two men imprisoned by darkness deep in a bootleg coal hole were rescued near Kulpmont, 12 hours after their lanterns went out and they were helpless to move in fear that they might plunge to their death.  The miners, Adam Psanko, 34, and Charles McNevich, 33, were under treatment at Shamokin State Hospital for exposure.  While enroute to the location of their work one of them dropped his lamp and it rolled into a yawning pit.  With only one lamp remaining, they decided to return to the surface.  Suddenly a gust of air blew the flame of it out and left them in pitch darkness.  It was midnight before members of their families became alarmed because they did not return home, and a searching party was formed.  When found, the pair hadn’t moved a foot from the spot where the lantern went out.  Physicians at the hospital said both men were in satisfactory condition and would be discharged after a thorough check.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External Link
Primrose Colliery Explosion, Primrose, Pennsylvania — After an undisclosed period following the explosion, nine injured men were removed from the mine and taken to a hospital in nearby Pottsville.  Most of them were suffering from burns, bruises and shock.  Only one of these, James Connelly, was believed to be in serious condition.
JUL 1943 Federal Colliery Inundation, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania — Six miners were rescued from the flooded Federal Colliery of the Ollett Coal Company after being trapped for 48 hours.  The rescue was largely successful due to the ingenuity of John Comp from the Red Cross   Make-shift surf boards were fashioned by Comp and used by the trapped miners with his assistance.  The rescued miners were Henry Rheinstadler, Caesar Rua, Frank Albertini, Peter Carroll, John Bonassi, and Albert Long.  Source document PDF Format
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 Jermyn-Green Coal Co. No. 6 Colliery 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 document 1 External Link  Source document 2 PDF Format
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.
JAN 1943 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Byrnesville, Pennsylvania — Edward Stutscavage, 22, owed his life to the unceasing efforts of a rescue crew and, particularly to two men who played heroic parts in rescuing him from a coal hole at Byrnesville after he had been covered for several hours.  Rescued from beneath a mass of earth, coal, and rock in a workings 150 and 175 feet underground, Stutscavage was taken to Ashland State Hospital where his condition was reported good and where X-rays were taken to determine the extent of an injury to his right shoulder.  Stutscavage and a brother-in-law, Manuel Androde, 38, were putting up a set of timbers in their independent mine when a rush which they later said came without warning and "like a load of sand" and trapped them.  Androde was covered only up to his knees, but Stutscavage was knocked down and almost completely covered.  Hastening to the surface, Androde dispatched the hoister for help.  Soon, miners came, and the rescue work was started.  They had to proceed cautiously and slowly, however, because of the ever-present danger of a recurrent rush and the opening through which Androde had escaped permitted only one man to enter at a time.  The story was told how one of the rescuers, Tony Bish, a Centralia man about 35 or 36, reached Stutscavage and, at the risk of his own life, arched his back over the young man to save him from being covered by a second rush.  He remained in that position, holding up the weight of the new slide until other miners came.  It was Androde, working tirelessly through the afternoon and evening despite his own weakened condition from the ordeal he had experienced, finally succeeded in uncovering Stutscavage.  So tightly was he wedged be neath the debris, rescuers considered it a miracle that he escaped with his life.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1942 Consolidation Coal Mine No. 32 Cave-in, Shinnston, West Virginia — A slate fall at the number 32 mine of the Consolidation Coal Company trapped five miners for 11 hours.  The rescue crew needed to dig thru 90 feet of slate and earth.  The men, George Horsey, Henry Mullinaex, Louis Mazza, Walter Watson and Carl Debarr were not injured although exhausted by the ordeal.  Faint tappings on the shaft walls encouraged the rescuers all day until a hole was drilled into the chamber where they were trapped and the trapped miners took turns talking to the rescue squads.  Source document PDF Format
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.
SEP 1942 Edy Creek Colliery Cave-in, Olyphant, Pennsylvania — Peter Partonova, 24, was rescued from behind a 50-foot wall of rock 700 feet below the earth’s surface.  He was confined there for 15 hours.  Partonova was working in a chamber a mile and a half from the base of the Edy Creek Colliery shaft when the rock roof collapsed.  Partonova shouted directions to a rescue squad of 25 men all through the night.  He was without food, but had water and lights, which were dimming as he was released.  He was transported to the Mid-Valley Hospital where he was being treated for shock.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1942 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Raven Run, Pennsylvania — John Mischishin, 47, Frackville, was trapped and entombed in a bootleg mine slope at Raven Run for 23 hours.  The miner was working at the bottom of a 53-foot slope when the timbers collapsed.  When the break came the timbers formed a partial canopy over the worker to protect him from crumbling rock, coal and earth.  When the collapse occurred, the trapped miner was buried to the hips, while a piece of rock knocked off his miner’s cap and lamp.  He hugged the side of the canopy formed by collapsed timbers until the rescuers removed tons of debris before they were able to extricate the entombed man.  Upon his release, physicians at Ashland State Hospital said Mischishin suffered hip and back injuries and was in a severe state of shock, but they anticipated his recovery.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1942 Bankston Creek Colliery Cave-in, Harrisburg, Illinois — When Denny Moore, shotfirer at the Bankston Creek Collieries company mine failed to show up at the wash house at the end of the shift, fellow workmen started a search and found him buried under six feet of dirt.  Moore’s groans led the searchers to the spot where loose earth had caved in when he stepped upon it.  He was taken to a hospital for treatment for shock and an injured back.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Renton Mine Cave-in, Renton, Washington — Two miners were rescued from a coal mine gallery 350 feet underground where they had been trapped for 56 hours by a cave-in.  Hungry, but evidently unhurt, the miners, Archie Skiver, 40, and Robert Stonack, 20, were freed through a tunnel dug around the slide.  They came through the tunnel unassisted but were taken to a hospital for observation.  The only food they had was what rescue workers had been able to send down a 60-foot two-inch pipe driven to a point near the men.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1942 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Louis Bogetti, 32, was rescued from a 350-foot bootleg coal mine in which he lay trapped and partially buried for 38 hours.  Bogetti said that when the fall occurred, he dove beneath a chute for protection, but was unable to pull in his legs before they were pinned.  He said he lay face down until rescued, unable to move.  Bogetti was transported to the State hospital where doctors said he suffered nothing worse than bruises of the legs and a shoulder.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1942 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Asphyxiation, Tremont, Pennsylvania — Theodore Bonawitz of Tremont risked death by carbon monoxide gas to save the life of a young man who was overcome in a bootleg coal hole.  The rescued youth was Harold Nelson of Reinerton.  Bonawitz and his wife were driving in their truck on Route 209 west of Tremont, going toward Joliett, when they saw a man staggering along the highway.  Recognizing him as Raymond Wise of Reinerton and knowing him to be a sober man and a devout church worker, Bonawitz knew something must have happened to him.  Ted stopped his truck and Mr. Wise cried, "Get my buddy out of the coal hole."  Without stopping to consider the risk to himself, Bonawitz rushed to the opening and descended 135 feet into the gas filled coal hole without the protection of a mask or the aid of a light.  When he stumbled over the body of the victim of the carbon monoxide fumes, he managed to hoist him over his shoulder and began staggering his way up the slope.  Weakened himself by the inhalation of the fumes, Ted soon collapsed under the weight of Nelson’s body, but he struggled on, dragging the inert form after him until he came to a point within 25 feet of the surface. Unable to pull Nelson any further he groped his way to the surface where he lost consciousness.  Water revived him in a short time.  While Ted was engaged in his heroic efforts to save Nelson, his wife stood on the highway flagging cars to get help for her husband.  After Bonawitz regained his consciousness, he was aided by some of the passersby in bringing Nelson up the last 25 feet to the surface.  In the meantime, a highway patrolman had been stopped and told of the accident, and he rushed to Tremont for a doctor.  He and Dr. Simonis arrived at the scene just as the victim was brought out of the coal hole, still alive but badly affected by the carbon monoxide.  The doctor administered an injection and Nelson began to revive.  Mr. Wise, who was able to get out of the coal hole before he was completely overcome, had completely recovered from the effects of the gas and was back at work, but Nelson was still ill from the fumes he inhaled.  He was expected to recover.  Nelson and Wise were pumping water from the coal hole, water that flooded the workings following the heavy rains of the previous week.  They had a gasoline engine installed in the hole to pump out the water and a leak in the exhaust pipe caused the carbon monoxide fumes which almost cost the two men their lives.  Mr. Bonawitz was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Medal for his bravery.  Source document 1 PDF Format  Source document 2 External Link  
APR 1942 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — Charles King, 48, one of two miners rescued from a bootleg mine after being trapped 12 hours following a cave-in, died from injuries at the Coaldale Hospital.  His death resulted from internal injuries, a broken arm and shock. His partner, Raymond Herring, 40, sustained only minor injuries.  Both had been pinned from the waist down by coal and debris 125 feet below the surface and had watched helplessly as rescuers dug toward them.  Three other men were working in the tunnel of the old Dunkelberger colliery working when a set of supporting timbers collapsed, causing the cave-in.  They escaped and spread an alarm.  The working was abandoned about 50 years ago.  Ten miners from the Lehigh Navigation Coal Company and an equal number of volunteers worked throughout most of the night to save the men.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External Link

Timothy by Rupert Holmes
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FEB 1942 Unnamed Mine Cave-in, Mecur, Utah — Three miners were rescued after 49 hours of imprisonment behind a mud slide that blocked the mouth of the tunnel where they had been working.  The men, Mark and Max Jorgenson and William Peterson blinked at the sunlight as they emerged and told of "just waiting" while their rescuers drilled thru a rock wall to reach them.  Source document PDF Format
Morris Gold Mine Mud Slide, Oroville, California — Three miners trapped by a rock and mud slide for — 15 hours — were rescued unhurt from the Morris ravine drift gold mine.  Rescue workers drove pipes through 90 feet of debris to give the trapped men air and then dug them out.  Source document PDF Format
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.
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Asphyxiation, Forestville, Pennsylvania — Joseph and John Hudock were recovering in the Pottsville Hospital after they barely escaped asphyxiation from black damp while working in a bootleg coal hole near Forestville.  They were rescued after an undisclosed period and revived by their father and other miners.  Source document PDF Format
Griffith Mine Cave-in, Canon City, Colorado — Three miners trapped by a rock and coal cave-in in the Griffith coal mine were rescued uninjured after 3 hours.  The cave-in occurred 2,000 feet in the mine and filled the entrance tunnel for 200 feet.  The rescued miners were Sam Bowman, 46; George Costantino, 42; and Joe Fazzino, 31.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1941 Davis Coal and Coke Mine No. 25, Thomas, West Virginia — A localized explosion occurred in this mine.  Three men were killed by asphyxiation and burns and one man who was rescued from the explosion area was resuscitated.  The ignition was caused by opening a non-permissible flame safety lamp by a fire boss in the presence of an explosive mixture of methane and air near the face of the working place.  Source document PDF Format
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.
SEP 1941 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Brady, Pennsylvania — A crew of independent miners labored four hours before freeing Charles Madden, who was trapped in a bootleg coal mine near Brady, Pennsylvania.  The accident victim at first was thought to be seriously injured, but after being examined at Shamokin Hospital was allowed to return to his home.  He sustained bruises of the legs.  Fellow workmen said Madden was trapped by a fall of rock and that he was covered to the waist.  Working carefully, a rescue crew succeeding in extricating Madden without causing further falls.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1941 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — Trapped for eight hours in his coal hole near the highway between Mahanoy City and Delano, Peter Gerasinovich, 43, was rescued, but died five hours later at the Locust Mountain Hospital.  He suffered internal injuries when struck by part of the fall.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — Peter Benson, 47, was rescued alive after he was entombed for several hours in a bootleg mine operation near Mahanoy City.  The miner was at work at the face of the gangway when the workings closed in back of him.  Fellow miners formed a rescue party and it was first believed Benson was crushed to death under the fall.  After a time, workmen heard him tapping and still later engaged with them in conversation.  He hid himself in back of a ledge while rescuers continued the removal of coal, rock and earth.  The man was not injured.  Source document PDF Format
Kent No. 2 Mine Cave-in, McIntyre, Pennsylvania — A fall of rock in the Kent No. 2 mine of the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Company near McIntyre injured one miner and trapped three others for 5½ hours.  Edward Brink, 23, was caught by the outside edge of the fall just as the men were ready to quit work and leave the mine.  He was extricated after three hours of rescue work and was rushed to the hospital suffering from possible fractures of the left hip and right foot.  Two and one-half hours later, crews succeeded in clearing an opening to the other three miners trapped by the fall.  They were uninjured.  The three men were John T. Wysocki, 27; Gerald S. Swan, 54; and Fred Fogle, 30.  This was the first day of employment with the R. & P. Coal Company for Mr. Fogle.  All four men in the room were working as conveyor loaders.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1941 Ridgeway Darby Mine Fire, Harlan, Kentucky — Eighteen miners were rescued after being trapped by fire for 17 hours in a Ridgeway Darby Coal Company mine near Harlan, Kentucky.  The men were brought to the surface by rescue squads.  The men were shaken but none seriously injured.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1941 Oregon Gold Mine Cave-in, Boulder, Colorado — Buried by a cave-in at the Oregon gold mine after almost eight hours of frantic effort by fellow employees and volunteer rescue squads, Bernard Meyring, 60, was rescued and recovering at a hospital from exposure and minor injuries, but apparently no broken bones.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Asphyxiation, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania — Dominick Cardosa, 29, was rescued from a bootleg coal hole after he had been overcome by black damp.  Unconscious when admitted to the Ashland State Hospital, Cardosa, was reported greatly improved.  Source document PDF Format
Kent No. 2 Mine Explosion, McIntyre, Pennsylvania — Of 34 miners trapped in the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Company's Kent No. 2 mine at McIntyre, Pennsylvania, as the result of an explosion underground, 28 were rescued alive after an undisclosed period.  All of the bodies were recovered.  Of the 28 men brought out alive, 17 were burned badly enough to be taken to the hospital and several of these were reported in a critical condition.  The 34 men were working in Section Three of the mine, when the blast, described as a dust explosion, rocked the entire region.  Last New Year's Eve, five miners were entombed in the same mine for 18 hours but escaped when workmen tunneled through to them.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Onedia, Pennsylvania — James Houser, 26, of Onedia, was taken to the Hazleton State Hospital and treated for shock, exposure and contusions of the left leg suffered during a 10-hour entombment in a coal hole.  Caught when a cable broke, causing the buggy to pull out timber which closed a slope, Houser was rescued before 11 o'clock on June 13.  He was working with his brother Henry, and Oscar Logan and was just winding up his coal hole job when the accident occurred.  He was to begin a job at Audenried on the following Monday.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1941 Abandoned McKisick Mine Fall of Person, Jackson Hot Springs, Oregon — After being trapped at the bottom of an 85-foot shaft in an abandoned mine, 13-year-old Robert Porter was rescued after an undisclosed period and was none the worse for his experience.  Young Porter along with Warren Davis, 13, discovered a mine shaft of the old McKisick Mine and decided to give it the once over.  Robert was the first to start down the 65-foot ladder, with Warren following at a distance.  Near the bottom, the ladder broke off and dropped Robert the remainder of the distance.  With an unimpaired portion of ladder remaining, Davis climbed back out and ran for help.  State Policeman Phil Stansbury, City Policeman Parker Hess, and Fire Chief Clint Baughman answered the call.  They went to the scene and pulled young Porter from the shaft by means of a rope.  The youth was unhurt except for some minor scratches and bruises, but after their experience the boys decided to return to their homes and forego their night in the wilds.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Primrose, Pennsylvania — The bootleg mine industry claimed its twenty-second victim since the first of the year on the morning of May 23rd, when the body of Thomas Oplansky, 44, of Minersville, was recovered from a coal hole near Primrose.  Oplansky's companion, Stephen Keysock was freed from a mine a short time after a first fall which occurred when the two men were at work in a gangway, Keysock was taken to the Pottsville Hospital suffering from injuries of the right ankle and body bruises.  Shortly after Keysock was rescued from the mine, several other falls occurred, and it is believed these caused the death of his companion.  Rescuers had little hope of rescuing Oplansky alive after the second fall.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1941 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Centralia, Pennsylvania — Lawrence Burns, 45, was rescued after an undisclosed period from a mountain coal hole where he and a younger companion were trapped by a cave-in.  Hope for saving his companion, Joseph Loftus, 18, was virtually abandoned.  Burns was taken to a hospital suffering from severe shock.  The two were caught behind a wall of coal and debris while driving a horizontal shaft.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Asphyxiation, Branchdale, Pennsylvania — Albert Gudinas, 26, was rescued alive after an undisclosed period from a gas-filled coal hole at Branchdale by the heroic effort of his brother, Joseph.  The brothers were engaged in pumping water from their slope when Albert entered the mine to replenish the supply of gasoline in the engine operating the pump.  When the brother failed to reappear, Joseph entered the mine to find him unconscious, victim of carbon monoxide.  Summoning other miners, it was with difficulty they made their way into the gas-filled operation and conveyed the unconscious Albert Gudinas to the surface and eventually to the Pottsville Hospital.  Surgeons at the hospital administered oxygen and stimulation and after a time revived Gudinas.  Source document PDF Format
Kehoe-Berge Coal Mine Cave-in, Duryea, Pennsylvania — Shock was believed to have contributed to the death of Stephen Olenik, 45-year-old Duryea miner.  Olenik died at Pittston Hospital from injuries suffered April 30 when he was trapped for twelve hours in a cave-in at the Kehoe-Berge Coal Company mine.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Centralia, Pennsylvania — Trapped — 52 hours — in a coal hole 60 feet below the surface, 18-year-old Joseph Loftus dug his way out with his hands after rescue workers had given up hope of saving him and a priest stood by to administer last rites.  The youth, who had been unconscious for a time after a slide blocked the shaft opening and filled the 40-foot horizontal gangway in which he was working, pushed his head through an opening made by astonished rescuers and was dragged to the surface.  He had several bruises, and his fingers were scratched open to the bone.  Rescue workers estimated he had dug 20 feet in darkness.  Lawrence Burns, 45, trapped with Loftus in the gangway of their makeshift anthracite mine, was rescued earlier.  The cave-in occurred on Friday, April 4th.  Rescue crews started a new hole Saturday, behind where they expected to find the younger miner.  Late Sunday, two of the workers returned to the original hole.  After a few minutes of digging, the ground moved beneath them, and Loftus stuck his head out.  He thought it was still Friday.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1941 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Kulpmont, Pennsylvania — William Fisher, 37, was in Shamokin State Hospital with a probable fracture of the pelvis, sustained when covered by a fall of coal and rock in a bootleg mine north of Kulpmont.  According to the hospital report, Fisher was in shock when admitted but his condition was not believed to be critical.  Fisher was saved from suffocation when his brother, Arthur, with whom he was working, immediately summoned John Dulis and Robert Mummaw, and all three dug him out in less than a half hour.  Firemen from both companies at Kulpmont were on hand with pulmotors when Fisher was brought to the surface, but the pulmotors were not needed.  The bootleg mine where Fisher was covered was about 50 feet deep.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1941 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Coaldale, Pennsylvania — Pinned by the legs in a small chute off a gangway of a bootleg mine hole, William Kellet, 20, was released by fellow workers after an undisclosed period and removed to the Coaldale State Hospital.  He was reported in "fair" condition.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1941 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Heckscherville, Pennsylvania — John Ryan, 28-year-old free-lance miner, was the anthracite area’s latest bootleg mining fatality despite a dramatic rescue after being trapped for nearly 48 hours in a coal hole at nearby Heckscherville.  Ryan was brought to the surface alive late yesterday but died a short time after as he was being placed in an ambulance to be taken to Pottsville hospital.  Rescue crews worked in relays of 20 men when Ryan was trapped by a cave-in 80 feet below the surface.  Joseph Slane, 30, who was trapped with Ryan, was brought out alive.  He was discharged from Pottsville hospital after receiving treatment for minor injuries.  Vincent Burns, 35, a third man working in the hole, climbed to safety, and spread the alarm as the mine roof gave way.  Weary rescue workers reached Ryan after a second cave-in had dimmed hopes of finding him alive.  Spurred by his tappings, they sent a priest and a doctor into the mine after he told them weakly that he was "all right, but cold."  Last rites were administered before diggers were able to remove Ryan.  Ryan was found pinned between a coal car and the side of the mine by the physician and clergymen who risked another cave-in to reach him.  Despite first aid at the scene, Ryan died of exposure and internal injuries, physicians said.  Source document PDF Format
Pitha Mine Cave-in, Carbondale, Pennsylvania — Pinned by a rock fall, Peter Kobat, 55, was rescued by diggers who had worked in relays for five hours.  Doctors, who had administered stimulants to Kobat as he lay imprisoned up to his waist in fallen rock, said the miner would recover.  Source document PDF Format
Griffiths Mine Cave-in, Canon City, Colorado — Three coal miners trapped 2,000 feet underground by a cave-in were rescued unhurt.  Drillers bored through more than 20 feet of solid rock to reach the trapped trio.  The men, trapped in a tunnel of the Griffiths coal mine, four miles east of Canon City, were imprisoned less than three hours.  The three trapped miners were Sam Bowman, George Costatino and Joe Fazzino.  Source document PDF Format
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.
Kent No. 2 Mine Cave-in, McIntyre, Pennsylvania — Five Indiana County miners looked back upon a New Year's they avowed was the happiest they have ever known.  After spending 18 hours at the very door of death, being imprisoned deep in the earth by a rock fall, they were rescued unharmed in time to spend New Year’s Eve with loved ones they never expected to see again.  The men were trapped in a heading three miles below the mouth of the Kent No. 2 Mine of the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company near McIntyre.  Thirteen companions escaped and summoned fellow miners to dig through a 700-foot collapsed section to reach them.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1940 Penn-Anthracite Collieries Company Cave-in, Scranton, Pennsylvania — Julius Yankowski was rescued after spending 49 hours trapped by a cave-in in a mine operated by the Penn-Anthracite Collieries Company near Scranton, Pennsylvania.  His companion, James Long, was found dead when reached by rescuers.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1940 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — Two hard-coal miners, rescued after being trapped 65 hours in a mountain coal hole, related from hospital beds how they calmly wound their watches and waited minute by minute for death they thought was certain.  The plight of William Goodman, 60, and William Burke, 28, finally became so desperate that a priest administered last rites through a one-inch pipe rescue workers had driven down to the imprisoned men, 90 feet below the earth’s surface.  What amounted to a miracle for the miners came when the rescue squad tunneled through to a cramped gallery where they had been trapped by a fall of debris that choked the mine entrance.  "I'm all right," was all Burke could say as he stumbled to a waiting ambulance.  Goodman was carried out on a stretcher.  Both were near collapse from cold, hunger and foul air.  Source document PDF Format
Golden Key Mine Asphyxiations, Mariposa, California — Four miners overcome by gas fumes were rescued from the Golden Key mine in the Whitlock mining district when a fifth member of the group managed to get to the surface to summon help.  A rescue crew of 20 men entered the workings and brought the four men to the surface after an undisclosed period.  The men overcome were Lyon C. Gray, president of the Western Mining Association; Joe Gray, manager of the Golden Key Mine; Paul Mills, Elwyn Lund and Pedro Cosmond.  Mills managed to get to the surface and get help.  Source document PDF Format
Fall of Ground Incident and Rescue, Scranton, Pennsylvania — Eleven-year-old Joseph Steindel rested comfortably at his home, seemingly none the worse from his brief entombment when the walls of an eighteen-foot crater near Cornell Park collapsed while he was digging coal.  The little victim was jerked from the brink of eternity by four South Scranton men who extricated the victim with their bare hands.  When Edward Nowrocki arrived after being attracted by the boy’s screams, he saw only a blackened hand extending above the rock and debris.  Nowrocki and the others joined in the rescue and digging with their hands, the skin of their fingers torn with each thrust, they piled rock, coal, and dirt to one side and in less than a minute little Joseph’s head was unearthed.  The youngster was unconscious but started to breathe freely by the time the rescuers had loosed his wedged body from the landslide.  The lad was rushed to State Hospital in a police radio car, where he was found to have incurred only minor body bruises and shock.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1940 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Branchdale, Pennsylvania — Two Pine Grove miners were rescued alive after being trapped 15 hours in a bootleg mine operation near Branchdale.  James Kimmerling, 50, and Rep Batz, 32, were found uninjured but suffering greatly from cold and shock after they had been trapped in cramped quarters following the fall of many tons of coal.  The two miners were working in a gangway 20 feet in from the bottom of a shaft when the bottom fell out of their working place when it was driven into old workings.  As the bottom dropped, the mine collapsed.  Kimmerling and Batz stepped to a narrow ledge and clung there while rescuers worked 15 long hours to remove debris, place timber and reopen the workings to reach the trapped who aided by directing activities of the rescuers.  Veteran miners who assisted in timbering the old workings and driving a new tunnel to reach the men marveled they escaped with their lives.  Source document PDF Format
Silver King's Alliance Mine Cave-in, Park City, Utah — Nine miners from Park City were rescued unhurt from a cave-in in the Silver King's Alliance shaft.  Everybody that was trapped was rescued alive, and all were unhurt.  Apparently, they suffered little discomfort, except the mental anguish of being trapped underground.  Sandwiches and coffee were lowered to them during the day through a narrow cut by rescuers.  The men were 21 hours underground.  The cave-in occurred when a waste chute collapsed between the 800 and 900-foot levels.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1940 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Heckscherville, Pennsylvania — Aloysius A. Brennan, 19, was rescued alive from a collapsed bootleg mine hole, and when he arrived at the surface following the rescue it was found he had escaped with a minor hip injury.  Brennan and a brother, Leo, 16, drove a 20-foot shaft into a vein on an abandoned stripping operation at Pine Knot Colliery.  The elder brother was working alone at the bottom of the shaft when the place collapsed.  Rescuers were summoned from other independent mines and after two hours the workers removed sufficient debris to release the young miner.  Source document PDF Format
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.
Primrose Coal Company Mine Cave-in, Minersville, Pennsylvania — Anthony Epscavage was rescued after an undisclosed period from a fall of rock and coal which struck him at the Primrose Coal Company.  He was released by fellow workers and removed to the Warne Hospital in the Community Ambulance.  He underwent an operation at the hospital for a dislocated right shoulder and left ankle, and his condition was reported as being fairly good.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1940 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, New Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Clement Petrovich, 22, was admitted to the Pottsville Hospital with injuries of the head and a possible fracture of the skull, received when he was caught under a fall of top coal in a bootleg coal hole near New Philadelphia.  Fellow miners rescued him after an undisclosed period and removed him to the hospital, where he is being treated for shock and the injuries.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Enoch Janaskie, 32, was transported to the Shamokin State Hospital suffering from back and pelvis injuries when struck by a rock while at work in a bootleg coal hole.  Fellow workers rescued him after an undisclosed period and removed him to the hospital.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Greenbury, Pennsylvania — Joseph Terway, 45, an independent miner injured when he was entombed for an undisclosed period in a coal hole near Greenbury was taken to the Good Samaritan Hospital for treatment.  He died two days later in the hospital of internal injuries and multiple fractures.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1940 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — Joseph Nolan, 47, was in a serious condition in Ashland Hospital with head, back and internal injuries suffered under a fall in a bootleg mine operation near his home.  Nolan was engaged in dressing down shattered coal in the working place when the top broke, almost completely burying the miner.  He was rescued by fellow workers after an undisclosed period and taken at once to the hospital.  Source document PDF Format
Walker Mine Explosion and Fire, Walker Mine, California — Ross Nicely, 45, was the last of three miners rescued from the burning Walker mine.  Two other men were brought to safety earlier.  Trapped for 7½ hours, Mr. Nicely emerged from the mine with a rescue crew consisting of seven Grass Valley miners and three company men.  The crew was the second to go into the shafts after the explosion and fire were discovered.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Fall of Person, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Webster Yoder, 36, of Shamokin suffered injuries of the head, back and left hand when he fell into a bootleg coal hole in the Bunker Hill section, near Shamokin.  Yoder was walking through the hills when he stepped into the breach.  His cries attracted the attention of nearby residents, and he was rescued with difficulty and removed to the Shamokin State Hospital, where his condition was listed as semi-serious.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1940 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Edward Forbes, 29, suffered multiple injuries after having been buried by a rock fall for more than two hours in a bootleg coal mine.  Forbes, who was buried about 50 feet from the mine entrance, was treated for shock, body contusions, possible rib fractures, and lacerations of the hands and feet.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Anthony Dziezyk, 24, was rescued alive from a perilous position in a collapsed bootleg mine working 300 feet below the surface of the Turkey Run Mountain, south of Shenandoah.  The youthful miner was working 300 feet down the slope when the rib pushed out, trapping him under debris and covering him to the waist.  Dziezyk was alone in the slope, engaged in loading a wagon when the rush occurred.  Yanking hard on the signal wire to apprise fellow workers on the surface that all was not well, the signal was misunderstood, and Joseph Michalkewicz, in charge of the engine ... an improvised automobile motor ... tried to hoist the wagon.  When he was unable to do so he realized something was wrong and descended half-way down the slope to learn from Dziezyk that he was trapped and threatened with death.  For nearly five hours rescuers worked cautiously as they held back the rock with timber until they were able to release the young miner, who was in constant pain and suffering greatly from shock.  After the timbers had been installed and rock lifted out of the slope to release young Dziezyk, he was placed in a wagon and hoisted to the surface.  An ambulance and physicians from Locust Mountain Hospital were in waiting, gave first aid and hurried the accident victim to the hospital, where examination revealed severe abdominal injuries, extensive contusions of both legs and the patient in severe state of shock.  The hospital indicated the youth was expected to recover.  Source document PDF Format
Mattie Gold Mine Cave-in, Idaho Springs, Colorado — Imprisoned 13 hours by a cave-in at the Mattie Gold Mine, Jack Ward, 25, was rescued uninjured.  Ward was made a prisoner in a six-foot-square hole when a 20-foot wall of rock and dirt crashed down from the tunnel’s celling while he and two others were replacing old timbering yesterday.  He was trapped about 600 feet from the entrance of the mine.  When the cave-in occurred Ward jumped one way and his fellow workers, Albert Harrison and Oscar Hyman, jumped the other.  They escaped imprisonment and gave the alarm.  A rescue crew of 20 men worked in relays, three at a time, to reach Ward in the narrow tunnel.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Powered Haulage Accident, Joliett, Pennsylvania — Paul Lengel, 34, was transported to the Pottsville Hospital suffering with internal injuries received in an accident in a bootleg coal hole at Joliett.  Lengel was squeezed between the frame and a dump cart, and a section of props fell on him.   He was rescued by fellow workers after an undisclosed period and removed to the hospital, where his condition was critical.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1940 Willow Grove No. 10 Mine Explosion, Neffs, Ohio — 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.
Maust Mine Cave-in, Stoystown, Pennsylvania — Five miners trapped for eight hours in a small domestic coal mine were freed uninjured by rescue crews who tunneled 30 feet through a rock fall to reach them.  The men, Orrin Dunmier and his son, Roy; and William McVicker and his two sons, Robert and Peter, were trapped by the rockfall in the Maust Mine, a small shaft operated by Dunmier and producing coal only for domestic purposes.  Source document PDF Format
Northwest Colliery Cave-in, Simpson, Pennsylvania — Two anthracite miners were recovering in a hospital from effects of a 17-hour imprisonment 30 feet underground as a result of a cave-in.  Steve Daynock, 58, and Michael Hurchick, 36, were brought to the surface in a dramatic rescue from a cave-in in a sub-leased Northwest Colliery mine.  John Palish, 42, working in the mine with Daynock and Hurchick, heard the warning rumble of the cave-in in time to scramble to safety.  His alarm brought scores of miners from nearby communities and set them to digging frantically at the 30-foot earth wall that entombed the pair in a subterranean pocket.  At 3:28 p.m., the life-and-death battle ended triumphantly at the brink of the 32-foot hole dug by a power shovel and hand labor.  Rescuers reached the trapped miners and lifted them up ladders to a wildly cheering reception from the throng of spectators.  They were taken to St. Joseph's hospital, Carbondale, and treated for exposure.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1940 Independent Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania — Frank Ostroski, 37, was rescued after being trapped for 49½ hours in a cave-in on the property of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company.  Frank’s brother Boley, 26, was rescued 14½ hours earlier and suffered a broken left leg, a fracture of the left arm, and also suffered from shock.  The independent mine where the brothers were trapped, located on Lehigh Valley Coal Company ground, is in the old Morris Ridge section of the abandoned Sayre Colliery workings.  The Ostroski brothers and Thomas Reiner, 21, Mt. Carmel, were in a heading about thirty-five feet from the slope when the accident occurred.  The men were engaged in shifting coal with scoop shovels in relays, when the sides of the heading caved in.  The falling material knocked the shovel from Reiner's hands, completely covered Boley and entombed Frank Ostroski.  Reiner, who barely escaped being caught by the falling material and unable to rescue his buddies single-handed, raced back to town for help.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Germantown, Pennsylvania —Leo Shuder, 21, was entombed by a collapse of a bootleg mine operation and was rescued alive — 5 hours — later.  Shuder was working with Charles Raulinaitis, 21, and Edward Davis, 21, both of Mount Carmel.  According to the two buddies, Shuder was working at the face of a gangway at the bottom of a combination shaft and slope when the top broke.  He was caught with a heavy piece of mine timber across his neck and back.  His cries for help attracted his companions’ attention.  During the removal of debris, the imprisoned man talked with his companions and said he was not badly hurt.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1940 Unnamed Gold Mine Rescue, Grants Pass, Oregon — Rescuers transported Ray Fountain, injured gold miner, to a hospital after crossing the swollen Illinois river via a 370-foot rope bridge.  Fountain, struck by a rolling boulder, suffered a broken leg and crushed ribs.  A miner named Carlson in the rescue party solved the crossing by twirling a weighted fish line across the raging stream.  Fountain's partner, Fred Voight, pulled a rope over with the line and the makeshift bridge was fashioned.  Fountain had been isolated from medical attention for more than a day because the high water made it impossible for rescuers to cross the stream.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1939 Leggett's Creek Colliery Fall of Person, North Scranton, Pennsylvania — Albert Owens, 17, was recovering from injuries and exposure after a fall down a deep shaft at the Leggett's Creek Colliery of the Penn Anthracite Company near his North Scranton home.  He finally was rescued and brought to the surface after he had clung to bracing timbers that had broken his fall.  If he had lost his hold, police said, he would have plunged 700 feet to certain death.  Young Owens and his brother, Frank, 15, were playing near the mine entrance, when Albert dropped down the chasm.  The brother ran to a house a half-mile away and State Motor Police were notified.  Patrolman John Owens first attempted to rescue the youth but the rope was too short.  A ladder then was placed across the shaft and with a longer rope Nicholas Williams descended and was pulled up with young Owens.  Officials were informed there were no guard rails at the shaft.  The victim was removed to Scranton State Hospital with a broken right leg, possible internal injuries.  He suffered from exposure in the bitter cold in the mine shaft before his rescue.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Pine Hill, Pennsylvania — "I’ll be all right now," William Koons, 44, told bootleg miners as they rescued him from the bootleg coal hole on the Pine Hill Mountain in which he and his brother-in-law, Roy Kramer, 38, had been imprisoned. Kramer had been recovered dead 4½ hours earlier.  But Koons’ injuries and the shock of being buried alive — more than 24 hours — in a coal hole were too great and he died about 7 hours later in the Pottsville Hospital.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1939 Butterfield Canyon Mine Cave-in, Bingham, Utah — Keith Brown, 28, died in the Bingham hospital of a broken neck suffered in a mine cave-in.  The victim's brother, Burl Brown, 32, was in fairly good condition.  He suffered several broken ribs in the same accident.  Officials of the Combined Metals Reduction Company said the cave-in occurred in a slope of the company's Butterfield Canyon mine when timbering gave way while the two men were working.  Both men were almost completely buried under timbers and earth and were rescued with difficulty.  Burl Brown aided his rescue by crawling out of his hip-length rubber boots, but it was almost two more hours before his brother was extricated.  Source document PDF Format
Wilson Mine Fall of Person, Lake Lynn, Pennsylvania — Trapped in a large coal bin after he saved himself from probable serious injuries by catching a two-by-four beam, Millard Johnson, 27, held on for nearly half an hour before his screams attracted a trucker, Leslie Morgan, who rescued the man a few minutes before a heavy car of coal dumped into the bin.  Johnson was mending the track end at the Wilson mine, operated by J. L. Corbin of Lake Lynn, when he fell into the bin.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — Rescue workers found Edison Schlauch, 34, dead under tons of debris in a coal hole two miles northeast of Mahanoy City.  Two companions, Anthony Nackoviski, 21, and Peter Bogdanovicz, 31, both of Shenandoah, were rescued after an undisclosed period. Both suffered shock and exposure but otherwise were uninjured.  The Deputy Coroner said the cave-in buried Schlauch but that the two other men were caught near the roof of the hole in such a way that they were able to breathe.  Source document PDF Format
Alaska Colliery Cave-in, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania — Joseph Wydra, 34, and Robert Morgan, who were rescued after having been closed in several hours in the mines at the Alaska colliery were still feeling the effects of the dampness of their confine but otherwise were alright following their experience.  The fall which trapped them was a heavy fall and enclosed the two men in the pillar hole until they were finally rescued nearly 5 hours later.  The night foreman discovered the plight of the miners and immediately summoned other bosses and workmen to begin the work of breaking through the barrier of rock and debris.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1939 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Sheppton, Pennsylvania — Faust Bertie, 37, of Sheppton, was caught by a fall of coal and rock in an independent coal hole about 4 miles west of Sheppton, and was rescued a half hour later.  He was given first aid treatment and then directed to enter the State Hospital for observation.  His injuries were not regarded as serious.  Bertie’s plight was discovered by Adolph Ferrari, of Sheppton, who was walking by and heard the victim’s moans.  Help was immediately summoned and the rescue was affected by 4 more miners.  Source document PDF Format
Wanamie Colliery Cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Five mine workers caught behind a fall of roof yesterday in the Wanamie colliery, of the Glen Alden Coal Company, tapped an alarm by way of pipes and were rescued uninjured.  The fall cut off the gangway of a slope and the five men were trapped back of the fall.  The alarm signals given on water pipes were heard on the surface and within a short time a rescuing force started the work of clearing away the fall.  While the rescuers worked, they kept up conversation with the trapped men, who were rescued after having been imprisoned about four hours.  The trapped men were: Edward Makowski, assistant mine foreman; Stanley Symolzak, miner; his son, Edward, laborer; Edward McCloskev, miner; and Edward Wozniak.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Leon Landau, 38, was rescued alive after being entombed 10 hours in a narrow rock hole of the small mine he operated with Clarence Haertter.  Following his rescue. Landau was taken to Shamokin Hospital, where surgeons said his right side was partially paralyzed.  He was also suffering from shock.  Surgeons said the injured man's condition was ''fair,'' and that barring the unexpected, he had a good chance for recovery.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Rescue crews freed six miners two hours after they were trapped behind a rock fall deep in an anthracite mine.  None was seriously injured.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1939 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Good Springs, Pennsylvania — John Carl, 30, was rescued from the bottom of a 400-foot coal hole where he was trapped the night before by a rock fall.  He was not injured and went to his home after being hoisted to the surface by friends who worked throughout the night.  They found him huddled in the safety of a passageway that branched off from the bottom of the slope at a forty-five-degree angle.  The mishap occurred in an abandoned colliery a mile from Carl’s home town of Good Springs.  A companion, Homer Smith, 45, scrambled to safety and summoned aid.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Greenbury, Pennsylvania — Raymond Levashausky, 21, was rescued tonight from a "bootleg" coal hole six hours after it collapsed on him.  The trapped miner sustained life and avoided injury by clinging to a pocket in the side of the shaft.  A companion, working at the surface, brought aid.  The accident occurred at Greenbury, Pennsylvania, five miles from Pottsville.  Source document PDF Format
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.
JUN 1939 Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — A young, free-lance miner, freed from a makeshift coal hole after having been trapped for eleven hours, died in the hospital of shock and injuries.  Leonard Reidinger, 21, was in serious condition from the exposure when he was rescued from his underground prison.  Reidinger was trapped the day before by a fall of earth and timbers in the "slope mine" at nearby Klondike mountain.  Rescuers were able to free his head almost at once, but they worked gingerly throughout the day to extricate the remainder of his body.  The youth was working at the slope mine when the fall occurred.  His father and two brothers were busy at the coal hole with him and directed the rescue work.  Reidinger was pinned about fifty feet from the opening of the hole.  As rescue work progressed, he was given hypodermic injections and retained consciousness, directing the activities of his rescuers.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Andrew Engle, 52, was reported in fair condition at Locust Mountain Hospital after he and his 19-year-old son were rescued from a fall of rock and coal 100 feet below the surface in a bootleg coal hole near Shenandoah. The elder Engle, rescued after five hours’ entombment, was covered to the neck by the fall. His son, rescued after two hours, was unhurt.  Source document PDF Format
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 document External Link
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 document External Link
Star of Utah Tunnel Cave-in, Keetley, Utah — After being trapped for nine hours by a cave-in of the Star of Utah tunnel, eight men were rescued.  The Star of Utah tunnel, owned by the New Park Mining Company, was being used by the Park City Utah Mines Company as a means of egress to its workings.  It is a little more than eight miles southwest from Keetley and about three miles in an airline east from Park City.  It is reached by a high, winding road. None of the eight men trapped was injured, and a statement from the company said they suffered only the inconvenience of awaiting discovery.  Discovery of the cave-in was made by miners returning from their work in the Wasatch tunnel.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1939 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Coalburg, Alabama — This rescue involves a most unlikely pair that became lost in an abandoned mine in Coalburg, Alabama.  Cecil Morgan was apprehended and taken into custody when he was found operating a still a quarter of a mile underground.  Deputy Sheriff Jim McAdory had captured Morgan and while attempting to make their way to the surface, the pair became lost.  More than 100 officers and miners spread through the workings in search for the two men and found them resting on a mud bank after being confined for 18 hours in the mine, much of the time in total darkness.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Asphyxiation, Centralia, Pennsylvania — Manuel Alves, 28, was overcome by gas or blackdamp while working in a bootleg mine was in a critical condition when rescued by fellow miners.  Alves was taken to Ashland State Hospital, where surgeons administered oxygen and stimulation.  The miner was revived, and while his condition was critical, he was expected to recover.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1939 Crown King Mine Cave-in, Prescott, Arizona — Ben Whipple was rescued from his entombment of more than 11 hours from the 500-foot level of the Crown King mine.  He was in critical condition.  Whipple was buried by a cave-in in an old tunnel.  The rescue crew was composed of several men who escaped the cave-in by less than 10 feet.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Asphyxiation, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Three miners escaped unharmed but a fourth was critically injured as black damp swept their coal hole, east of Shamokin.  Howard E. Bingham, 48, was rescued from the mine after an undisclosed period by the three others after they had made good their escape.  He was removed to the Shamokin State Hospital where it was announced he was suffering from severe shock, and head injuries.  His condition was considered serious.  The four men were working at the bottom of the 300-foot shaft when the dreaded black damp swept in, overcoming Bingham immediately.  Alert to the imminent danger, the others hurriedly began ascending the shaft, John Lotys grabbed the fallen Bingham by the belt and dragged him along.  Risking his own life in a heroic attempt to save Bingham, Lotys managed to get the stricken miner about 60 feet up the shaft when, presumably affected by the black damp to a certain extent himself and exhausted from Bingham's weight he lost his hold on the belt and Bingham tumbled down the shaft.  It was discovered afterward that Bingham fell to within ten feet of the bottom or about 50 feet and that he was saved from a further fall by some timber at that point of the shaft.  Had he fallen the entire distance, he would have drowned.  Source document PDF Format
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.
South Comstock Silver Mine Cave-in, Virginia City, Nevada — George Peterson, 35, was rescued after being trapped for 12 hours when a cave-in occurred in the old South Comstock mine.  He was suffering only from shock and had to be carried out of the mine on a stretcher.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Newkirk, Pennsylvania — Joseph Franks was rescued from a bootleg coal hole after being trapped for approximately 10 hours.  He was taken to the Coaldale Hospital where he was treated for exposure.  Franks was entombed together with two companions, Edward and George Weidel, who were rescued a short time following the accident.  Rescue workers were impeded in their work by a heavy fall of snow but maintained a constant working crew despite the weather.  Source document PDF Format
Hazleton Shaft Colliery Cave-in, Hazleton, Pennsylvania — Two miners trapped for nearly — 19 hours — were rescued from the Hazleton Shaft Colliery of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.  To free the miners, rescuers cut a new 4x4 hole driven parallel to the rock hole.  Both miners were able to walk out of the place where they had been imprisoned and were taken to the State Hospital where they were reported to be in good condition.  Source document PDF Format
Bootleg Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Frank Mischurski, 34, was rescued from a makeshift coal hole in which he had been trapped for fourteen hours.  At Pottsville hospital, physicians said he suffered bruises and nervous breakdown.  Mischurski and a companion were in the coal hole when debris caved in upon them.  The companion leaped to safety, but Mischurski was pinned so he could not work his way out.  Other miners dug through to reach him.  Source document PDF Format
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Mine Accident Research Documents
Successful Mine Rescues  (MS Word format)    (PDF format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 1,000 successful rescues in the United States.  See more.  
Incidents of Rescuer Death  (MS Word format)    (PDF format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 125 incidents of rescuer death in the United States.  See more.  
Carnegie Hero Award Recipients  (MS Excel format)
Inspired by the bravery that Daniel A. Lyle and Selwyn M. Taylor External Link displayed at the Harwick Mine Disaster in 1904, Andrew Carnegie started the Carnegie Hero Fund External Link.  The file linked here includes awardees associated with mining along with additional resources which you may find interesting.
Children Killed in Mine Accidents (MS Excel format)
This is a compilation of more than 100 incidents involving the death of children in mines.  Source documentation links are provided.  See more.  
Women Killed in Mine Accidents (MS Excel format)
This is a compilation of more than 50 incidents involving the death of women in mines.  Source documentation links are provided.  See more.  
Loss of Life Among Wearers of Oxygen Breathing Apparatus
From 1911 to 1940, 26 men lost their lives while wearing oxygen breathing apparatus.
And many, many more . . .
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