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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

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

United States United States
1926 thru 1915
Rescue events are listed in descending chronological order
Related documents are available below
DEC 1926 Locust Run Mine Cave-in, Centralia, Pennsylvania — Caught underneath a fall of top at the Locust Run mine, William Shemanski suffered fractures to both legs, a number of broken ribs and possible internal injuries.  Following an undisclosed period, he was taken to the Fountain Springs Hospital where he was listed in very critical condition.  Source document PDF Format
Mine No. 2 Explosion, Francisco, Indiana — One man was killed and a score injured in an explosion which wrecked the shaft of the Francisco, Indiana Mine No. 2, shortly after fifty-two men had been lowered to work.  The shaft was badly wrecked, but not completely blocked and rescue work was started at once.  At 10 a.m. forty men had been brought to the surface and twenty of them were taken to hospitals.  Many were walking home uninjured.  Some were painfully burned.  Two hours after the explosion, two dazed workers crawled to safety through a man-way, but they could tell but little of what had occurred.  Source document PDF Format
Premature Explosives Detonation, Little Squaw, Alaska — Carrying a scribbled note from two miners crippled by an explosion, one of them blinded, a Malamute dog crossed a 3,000-foot pass in the Brooks Mountain range at night with the mercury at 40 degrees below zero, to his master’s cabin.  Oscar Ottersoniz, Little Squaw miner, was awakened by his dog, whining and scratching at the door.  A note on the husky’s neck read: "Come.  Both seriously injured.  Explosion."  One week earlier, Ottersoniz lent the dog to J. S. Shaw and C. Dunlap, who were mining on Tobin creek, beyond the pass.  Two men, hurrying over the pass with a sled and a team of dogs, found Shaw and Dunlap shot full of copper by the explosion of a box of detonators.  Dunlap was blinded.  Word was sent to Fairbanks, Alaska, to rush an airplane to take the patients to a hospital.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1926 Mound Mine Explosion — An explosion killed 5 of the 18 men in the mine.  Two died of burns and 3 from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Two injured men were rescued several hours later and 11 escaped uninjured.  Gas accumulated by the wrecking of a door, was ignited by the arcing of a trolley wheel of a locomotive.  Coal dust was ignited, but the explosion was stopped by rock dust and water on the entries.
Six miners were trapped by water in the Tomhicken Mine of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company in Pennsylvania on November 16, 1926.  One man died, but five men were rescued 8 days later.  Source document External Link
Morea Colliery Mudslide, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Two men entombed when a mud swamp gave way blocking the entrance to the Morea Colliery were brought to the surface uninjured.  The men who were trapped were rescued after 13 hours of feverish work by squad of 50 men assembled by officials of the Madeira, Hill and Company, owners of the mine.  Source document PDF Format
Gardner Mine Fall of Person, Brazil, Indiana — Buck Carter, a coal miner, was injured seriously when he fell down the shaft of the Gardner mine.  He was suffering from a fractured skull and injuries to his back besides severe lacerations.  The mud and water at the bottom of the shaft broke the force of the fall.  He was taken to the Community Hospital at Brazil.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1926 Tahona No. 29 Mine Explosion, Tahona, Oklahoma — After about 3 hours, George Adams saved himself and three workmen, including Sam Cox.  Cox was burned and was bleeding about the body.  Adams dragged him through the debris to the surface and then returned for the two other men.  At another location, Lee Carter was almost overcome by gas fumes when a rescue party carried him to safety.
G. Pabst Iron Mine Rescue, Ironwood, Michigan — 43 miners were rescued after nearly — 6 days — of imprisonment more than 700 feet underground in the G. Pabst iron mine near Ironwood, Michigan.  The hero of the disaster was Captain Thomas Trewartha, their 67-year-old mine boss who displayed courage and kept the men cheerful throughout their ordeal.  On June 23, 1927, Thomas Trewartha was given the Joseph A. Holmes medal for heroism at the banquet of the Lake Superior Mining section of the National Safety council.  Source document 1 PDF Format  Source document 2 PDF Format 
AUG 1926 Five miners were trapped for six days and seven nights by a cave-in at the Hudson Zinc and Spar Mine near Salem, Kentucky.  Rescuers worked through much difficulty to free the men who were mostly affected by the cold and their thirst.  The 5 rescued miners included Randolph Cobb, Roy James, George Catillo, U. B. Wilson, and Harry Watson.  Underground prayer meetings had caused conversion of last man, read the New York Times headline on August 12, 1926.  All were ready to die.  "If we are dead when you find us, we are saved," was written on their cloth caps.  Source document External Link
Clymer No. 1 Mine Explosion, Clymer, Pennsylvania — Four miners were rescued by the first group of rescuers that entered the shaft after an undisclosed period.  They were working at the foot of the shaft and were dragged to safety before the gases ended their lives.  All were said to be suffering broken bones and internal injuries.  Several minutes later four other men were found and brought out.  They were still warm and first aid was given.  After two hours' work and all means known to medical science had been exhausted, they were pronounced dead.
JUL 1926 Peach Orchard Mine Roof Fall, Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania — Seven miners were killed and eight others injured, some seriously, in a roof fall at the Peach Orchard mine of the Glen Alden Coal Company.  Four bodies had been recovered.  After an undisclosed period, eight others were rescued and taken to hospitals.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1926 Alpha Portland Cement Asphyxiation, Ironton, Ohio — The last of eighty miners overcome by gas in the mine of the Alpha Portland Cement company were rescued alive by 11:45 a.m., five hours after they had entered the mine.  Officials are unable to account for the accumulation of gas.  On reaching the workings this morning the men began to lose consciousness.  Those nearest the shaft left the mine and reported the condition and a rescue crew was hurriedly organized.  Source document PDF Format
Kaiser Bunkers Landslide, Black Butte, California — Voyle Richardson, 21, was unscathed except for shock, after he was buried for seven hours beneath twenty-five feet of rock.  A quick wit, nimble muscles and a waiting steel bucket saved the young man’s life.  When he saw tons of rock and debris hurtling from the mountainside, he leaped beneath the large container, which tipped and sheltered its occupant as the slide thundered over.  Richardson was employed at the Kaiser bunkers at Black Butte.  He was engaged in splicing a cable to one of the buckets in the deep, narrow cut.  When the slide started he realized that he was trapped and took the desperate choice of crouching under the bucket rather than to make the futile attempt of flight in the path of the slide.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1926 Mount Lookout Mine Fire, Wyoming, Pennsylvania — Between 60 and 70 miners trapped behind a fire in the Mount Lookout mine were all safely rescued and accounted for after an undisclosed period.  The hero of the rescue was the mine foreman, Thomas Heslop, who led the miners back through the gangway where they erected lattice work lifting themselves to an airshaft where they remained until the flames were extinguished.  Source document PDF Format
Animal Attack Rescue, Tacoma, Washington — If hero medals were given to animals, Henry B. Spencer of Tacoma would have applied for one for "Rex," his nine months old bird dog.  He credited his life to the dog which proved his bravery in a hand-to-hand fight with a mother cougar and her three cubs.  Mr. Spencer, who was mining in the Olympic mountains was suddenly confronted with the animals.  He was unarmed and the beasts showed fight.  Spencer threw rocks at the mother cougar, but in doing so he lost his balance and fell.  Before the enraged cougar could spring, "Rex" appeared and attacked one of the cubs.  This distracted the mother who turned on the dog.  Spencer was able to retreat.  The dog came through with only minor injuries.  Source document PDF Format
United Verde Mine Cave-in, Jerome, Arizona — After he was caught in a slip of the muck at the 2,150-foot level of the United Verde Mine, William Scarlett, 31, mining engineer, was rescued alive after an undisclosed period, only to die from shock later.  Scarlett was buried in ore when he was carried down into the raise but talked with his rescuers up until the hour they took him out, apparently little injured.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Mine Asphyxiation, Dunbar, Pennsylvania — Attilio Pallygus saved Thomas J., Martin L., and Martin F. O'Hara from suffocation in an abandoned entry of a mine at Dunbar, Pennsylvania, May 6, 1926.  While Martin F. O'Hara, 61, coal operator, and his two sons were working in an abandoned entry of a mine, Martin L., 21, hoisting engineer, was overcome by gas.  Thomas, 22, hoisting engineer, left the mine to get help.  Responding to assist, Attilio Pallygus, 27, automobile repairer, who had had no experience in mines, and Thomas went 250 feet into the mine and found Thomas J., Martin L., and Martin F. O'Hara overcome.

As Pallygus and Thomas tried to lift Martin L., Thomas was affected by gas and fell to his knees.  Pallygus helped him 100 feet to the main entry in which the air was good.  They returned and again tried to lift Martin L., but Thomas fell, and Pallygus dragged him to the good air again.  Then Pallygus alone returned to Martin L. and dragged him 50 feet, went to the main entry again for a moment, and returned and dragged Martin L. to the main entry.  Another man helped him carry Martin L. out of the mine.  Pallygus returned alone and dragged Martin F. a few feet. He then went out for aid, but no one would help him.  He returned to Martin F. and made two futile efforts to move him.  He then went to the entrance of the mine and called for help, and an experienced miner and his son volunteered and helped him carry Martin F. out of the mine. Martin L. and Martin F. were revived.  Thomas had been only dazed.  Pallygus had been in and out of the gaseous area a total of 30 minutes but was affected only by weakness.  Attilio Pallygus was awarded the Carnegie Hero Medal for his bravery.  Source document External Link  
APR 1926 Grizzly Mine Cave-in, Oroville, California — Thomas B. McDermott was rescued after being entombed for 72 hours in the Grizzly mine near Oroville, California.  He was the lone survivor of the cave-in.  Two others, Billy Cope and Horse McBride, did not last to be rescued.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1926 In Eccles, West Virginia, ten miners were imprisoned in the Crab Orchard No. 5 mine for 26 hours following an explosion there.  The men credited their rescue to the experience and coolness of P. J. Davis, night foreman and the leader of the little band.  He had the men build a wall of lumber, stones and soft mud, which experts said, would have successfully repelled the foul air indefinitely.
JAN 1926 21 miners managed to escape death's clutches after being trapped for 24 hours in the mule stables following an explosion of the Jamison No. 8 mine in Farmington, West Virginia.  19 miners were killed in the disaster.
Mossboro No. 1 Mine Explosion, Helena, Alabama — After an undisclosed period following the Mossboro No. 1 mine explosion, twelve men were brought out of the mine alive in one group to be followed by another squad of 13 workers.
Eight negro miners were rescued after an undisclosed period from the No. 21 mine in Wilburton, Oklahoma.  And in a truly heroic effort, Julius Graham, one of the first 7 rescued negroes, rushed back in and saved his step-brother, Roy Gray.
Bear Canyon Coal Company Mine Explosion, Trinidad, Colorado — Between 25 and 30 men were trapped in the Bear Canyon Coal Company’s mine in Bear canyon near Trinidad following a gas explosion.  All the men were taken out of the mine after an undisclosed period, according to word from the state mine inspector.  Ten of the miners received serious burns, two whose recovery was uncertain.  The condition of three others was considered extremely serious.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1925 Overton No. 2 Mine Explosion, Acmar, Alabama — A Negro miner owed his escape to his mule.  Back somewhere in the pit when the gas was worst and conditions appeared darkest for the entombed men, out through the slope opening flashed a big fat mule.  Clinging to the mule's tail was the Negro who had become temporarily blinded by the blast and took this means of saving himself.  He said he knew the mule would "get out if there was any getting."
Cardinal Mine Fire, Nederland, Colorado — 20 miners were rescued from behind a barricade sixteen hours after a fire in the Cardinal gold mine in Colorado.  One miner was killed in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1925 Trenton Coal Mine Cave-in, Trenton, Missouri — Seven miners dug their way to freedom after having been entombed for eleven hours more than 200 feet underground by a cave-in of the shaft of the Trenton Coal Mine.  They were none the worse for their experiences.  They had taken food into the mine with them and there was ample air supply.  Rescue workers, who had dug feverishly at the fallen earth and rock shutting the men in, heard the click of shovels on the other side of the barrier.  Soon the entombed miners tunneled through to the open passage.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1925 Tilden Mine Cave-in, Bessemer, Michigan — After being buried under a slide of earth and rock for nearly ten hours, Suvie Guianni, 34, was rescued from the Tilden mine.  He became trapped while attempting to reach Adolph Stencer, who had been crushed to death in an earlier slide.  Guianni was engaged in removing the fallen earth from Stencer’s body when the second slide occurred.  Everyone but Guianni jumped in time to escape.  Source document PDF Format
Grant Mine Cave-in, Yreka, California — After being trapped for — six hours — by a cave-in at the Grant mine, Simeon Barrendon, 65, was rescued unhurt when miners and citizens dug a passageway through a cone-shaped pile of quartz rock that had imprisoned him.  Barrendon crawled through the small opening to safety and was greeted by the rescue party and his wife who waited at the shaft throughout the ordeal.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1925 Baltic Mine Cave-in, Grass Valley, California — Robert Hill was rescued after being imprisoned for 57 hours in the black hole of the Baltic mine.  Had he been a few feet closer to the mouth of the tunnel, he would have been crushed in the cave-in which imprisoned him.  For 24 hours he did not hear a sound and had no means of knowing whether rescue work was under way.  He felt confident, however, that he would be rescued.  After his rescue, Hill was in good physical condition, but was pale and worn from his experience.  Source document PDF Format
M & S Mining Cave-in, Joplin, Missouri — Harry Long, 34, entombed by a fall of rock and dirt for 5 hours in the M & S Mining Company shaft was rescued.  Aside from a cut on his head, he was none the worse for his experience.  A mass of timbers falling over a mining tub formed a protecting barrier for Long, keeping the heavy rocks from crushing him.  A timber struck him across the head, knocking him unconscious.  It was forty-five minutes before he regained consciousness and it was then that his shouts reached the ears of his brother, William Long.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1925 Eagle Hill Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — After being buried several hours, Norman Lavenberg, a miner at Eagle Hill colliery, was rescued alive.  Lavenberg was imprisoned when a big mass of coal blocked him off from his fellow miners.  Miners worked frantically to rescue him before he became a victim of mine gas and when rescued he was taken to the Pottsville Hospital without any apparent serious injuries.  He was suffering from shock.  Source document PDF Format
Hecla Mine Fire, Burke, Idaho — Fourteen men, trapped by fire in the lower working of the Hecla silver-lead mine at Burke, seven miles from Wallace, put into commission a pump within the mine, fought the flames for more than twelve hours and came out alive and well.  They had been imprisoned in the Star workings of the Hecla, about two miles from the shaft.  Mine rescue crews had poured water down the shaft of the mine upon the blaze that had broken out in the pump station of the 2,000-foot level.  The fourteen men, turned back by smoke and fumes when they sought the shaft after discovering the fire, had gone into the Star tunnel and obtained a pump.  Then it was simply a matter of pumping water on the fire and waiting for the smoke to clear.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1925 Peabody Mine Asphyxiation, Riverton, Illinois — Seventeen miners were rescued after an undisclosed period following the detonation of a windy shot in the Peabody mine near Riverton, Illinois.  The miners were overcome by the bad air following the explosion.  The shotfirer was also overcome and injured in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1925 City Mine Explosion, Sullivan, Indiana — Emery Davidson of Sullivan was the first injured man to be brought from the workings after an undisclosed period.  He had a badly crushed chest, suffered when slate and rock loosened from the roof of the mine by the blast fell on him.
Low Ash Mine Rescue, Crown City, West Virginia — John Robinson was rescued in a semi-conscious condition after being lost for nine days in the Low Ash mine at Crown City, West Virginia.  Robinson had gone into the mine to repair a pump.  His carbide lamp fell into the water and being unfamiliar with the mine, he wandered aimlessly in the dark.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Mine Shaft Fall of Person, Galena, Kansas — Jesse Toller, 8 years old, was saved from a watery grave when he was rescued following an undisclosed period after plunging fifty feet into an abandoned shaft containing twenty-five feet of water.  Aside from being badly frightened and ducked twice in the icy cold water, the second time when he fell from a rope while being hoisted from the shaft, the child suffered no ill effects from his perilous experience.  The boy fell into the shaft while on his way home from school, at noon.  Several other school children were with him when the accident occurred, and they notified several men nearby.  They shouted into the shaft and when the youth replied a looped rope was lowered.  The boy could not swim but was clinging to the walls of the shaft.  He was instructed by his rescuers to place the loop under his arms.  This he did and was hoisted about fifteen feet when he slipped out of the loop and again plunged into the water.  Percy Watson, who was in the rescue party, volunteered to go into the shaft after the boy.  He was lowered and found the child clinging to the loop of the rope.  The boy was tied securely and pulled out.  An ambulance from the Clark Undertaking Company took him to his home where an examination failed to reveal any injuries.  Source document PDF Format
Mountain Copper Company Mine Cave-in, Flat Creek, California — Pablo Ortiz and John Nelson were both heroes in the rescue of Fred Ekstrom from a cave-in at the bottom of the shaft in a Flat Creek mine on February 28.  Nelson had to leave his partner, Ekstrom, who was imprisoned up to his neck in a mass of rock and sand and go to Matheson for help.  Ten men responded, but of the ten, Pablo Ortiz was the only one who would venture down the shaft with Nelson.  Ortiz remained with Nelson for — five hours — at the bottom of the shaft until Ekstrom was set free.  Ekstrom recovered from the shock of his ordeal.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1925 Abandoned Mine Cave-in, Mount Washington, Pennsylvania — Tony Bertullo,14, was rescued from an abandoned mine in Mount Washington after having been imprisoned for twenty hours by a cave-in.  The boy was exploring the mine Saturday when a portion of the roof fell, confining him in a space about five feet square.  He was rescued by his father and a neighbor after an all-night search had led them to the abandoned mine.  With the exception of being hungry, the boy showed no ill effects.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1924 Thomaston Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Although he was rescued alive after being entombed under a fall of coal, Edward Haughney died half an hour after he had been released by fellow-miners.  It was believed the reaction after the terrible strain caused Haughney’s death as much as any injuries.  All precautions failed to save Haughney.  Richard Pippsett, a miner entombed with Haughney, was rescued after an undisclosed period with slight injuries.  The accident occurred at Thomaston colliery.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1924 Hart Coal Corp. Mine Explosion, Madisonville, Kentucky — Six miners who were imprisoned by an explosion in the Hart Coal corporation mine near Madisonville, Kentucky were rescued after an undisclosed period.  Witnesses declared the force of the blast threw a pillar of flame 100 feet into the air from the mouth of the shaft.  The tipple was partly wrecked and the cage jammed in the shaft.  This caused an accumulation of debris in the shaft and hampered efforts of rescuers to reach the men imprisoned underground.  The explosion prostrated high tension electric lines which crossed the mouth of the shaft, adding to the difficulty of rescue workers and throwing this place in darkness for an hour.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1924 William Penn Colliery Rescue, Mount Carmel, PA — Anthony Stervis, 41, was found nearly frozen in an abandoned breast of the William Penn mine after he went missing for nearly a day.  From what could be learned, Stervis, who was a night shift employee at the mine, had attended a funeral the day before where he was said to have taken several drinks of hootch.  When found, he was completely naked and suffering from exposure.  An examining physician said he was suffering from the cold, had several minor cuts, and appeared to be in a semi-demented condition.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1924 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Sugar Notch, Pennsylvania — Joseph P. Riley, 34, mine trackman, rescued Chester Stavinski, 12, from a mine cave-in, Sugar Notch, Pennsylvania, August 4, 1924.  While Chester and several other boys were gathering berries on a hillside, Chester fell into a narrow hole at the top of an old chamber of a mine.  The chamber had been abandoned for five years, and the top had caved in.  Nothing was known of its depth or condition.  Riley, having a rope tied around him, was lowered 200 feet to Chester, who lay at the bottom of the chamber.  He held Chester as men at the surface pulled them to the surface.  Chester died in a few hours as a result of injuries received when he fell.  Mr. Riley was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his bravery.    Source document External Link
Rekley Colliery Cave-in, Hazleton, Pennsylvania — Adolph Minnick and Lester Miller, miners in the Buck Mountain section of the Rekley Colliery of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company, were closed in by a fall of roof.  They were rescued unharmed two hours later by fellow workers.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1924 Black Iron Mine Cave-in, Gilman, Colorado — Five miners entombed for 3 days in the Black Iron Mine of the Empire Zinc Mining Company were rescued when a drift was driven through virgin granite to the slope in which the men were confined.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1924 Black Diamond Mine Cave-in, Seattle, Washington — Stanley Cooney, 24, was rescued alive after being trapped for more than a day in the Black Diamond mine near Seattle, Washington. Two other miners died in the accident. The body of Robert Pouchette was recovered and the search for O. C. Wise was called off.  Source document PDF Format
Anthracite Mine Fall of Person Rescue, Centralia, Pennsylvania — John Lavelle had a narrow escape from death while returning to his home from the Germantown colliery shop where he was employed as a laborer, when he fell into a treacherous mine breach and was rendered unconscious for a considerable length of time.  The unfortunate miner was homeward bound before daybreak after working on the night shift and was walking along the path from Germantown to Centralia when he veered from the path and walked into the mine hole.  He was found several hours later by miners who had occasion to pass that way.  He was found to be badly bruised and lacerated and suffered greatly from shock due to his frightful experience.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1924 Yukon No. 2 Mine Explosion, Yukon, West Virginia — After an undisclosed period following the explosion, six of the thirty-two men in No. 2 mine escaped death, and were rescued by fellow workmen from the No. 1 mine.
Buck Mountain Mine Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — Stephen Roca, 22, and his two mules were rescued after their 15-hour entombment in the Buck Mountain mine of the Lehigh Valley mining company.  Source document PDF Format
Alden Coal Company Mine Cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Daniel Wallace was rescued after enduring an entombment of eleven hours by a fall of rock in the Glen Alden Coal Company mine where three men were killed on March 11.  Rescue squads, working in relays, took out hundreds of cars of rock and coal to reach Wallace.  While his injuries were minor, he was suffering greatly from shock.  Source document PDF Format
Henshaw Mine No. 1 Explosion, Henshaw, West Virginia — Rescue workers dug through debris to the three men entombed in Henshaw Mine No. 1, of the Bingahom Valley Coal Company at Henshaw, and found Joseph Madill, 62, dead, and rescued Joseph Madill, Jr., 21, and John Cosier, 30.  The men were trapped by a gas explosion for an undisclosed period when they went into the mine to start pumps working.  Young Madill and Cosier were exhausted when found.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1924 Milford Mine Inundation, Crosby, Minnesota — Fourteen-year-old Frank Hrvatin was responsible for saving the lives of two men when a surface cave-in caused water to flood the Milford mine from nearby Foley Lake a few miles north of Crosby.  Frank reached the mine’s one vertical shaft and began to scurry up the ladder.  With water climbing fast, Frank wormed around an older miner, Harry Hosford.  But another exhausted miner, Matt Kangas, clogged their escape route.  Frank recalled the "superhuman strength" that took over and enabled him to squirm between Kangas’ legs and hoist the man rung-by-rung up to safety.  Then he reached back down and grabbed the wrist of Hosford, who was up to his waist in rising muck, hollering: "For God’s sakes, hurry!  The three miners were among only seven that got out.
JAN 1924 McClintock Mine Explosion, Johnston City, Illinois — Nine injured miners were removed by rescuers after an undisclosed period following an explosion in the McClintock mine which killed 33.  Eight of the injured were hospitalized.  Two were believed fatally hurt.
Park Place Colliery Cave-in, Lehigh Valley Coal Company — Frank Kasian was released from his prison 30 hours after becoming trapped in Slope No. 7, Park Place Colliery of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company.  But the story doesn’t end there.  A second miner, John Koszeinik, was still unaccounted for.  Rescuers continued their vigil for seventeen days.  Koszeinik’s body was found five feet from reaching a chute that would have protected him from death.  Source document PDF Format
Calumet & Hecla Mine Cave-in, Calumet, Michigan — John Haun, underground foreman for the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company owed his life to the heroism of James Phillips, a miner, who permitted a mass of falling rock to slide upon his body so that he might protect Haun, who lay beneath him.  Haun was struck by a large block of loose ground and was pinned under the rock, with only his head, face upward, protruding.  While in that position, Phillips observed another area of loose rock slowly sliding down the slope toward Haun's head.  Realizing that the rock would crush and perhaps kill Haun, Phillips stood in such a position that his foreman would be protected and with his back arched, waited until the sliding rock struck him.  Haun's face was sheltered while Phillips received the brunt of the burden.  Workmen extricated the two a few minute later, Haun received severe injury to the spine, while Phillips back and hips were badly injured.  Source document PDF Format
Potts Colliery Cave-in, Ashland, Pennsylvania — Elias Lovell was rescued after — four hours — when he became trapped behind a fall of top in the Potts Colliery at Ashland.  Mr. Lovell was employed as a miner and was closed in while at work in the West Primrose.  He was found uninjured and practically none the worse for his experience.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1923 Unnamed Clay Mine Cave-in, Brazil, Indiana — Reuben A. Brown, 50, mine driver, attempted to save Andrew J. Hamilton, 35, clay miner, from a mine cave-in, Brazil, Indiana, December 3, 1923.  Hamilton was caught under a fall of shale in a cross cut in a clay mine.  Brown, who was 14 feet from Hamilton, hurried to him but was unable to lift a large slab of shale that rested on his back.  Three other miners were attracted, and as Brown and two of them attempted to lift the slab off Hamilton, a second fall occurred.  Brown was struck and held fast against the wall, and one of the miners, J. Franklin Elson, was instantly killed.  Four other miners then arrived, and although bits of shale continued to drop, they freed Brown and Hamilton.  Hamilton sustained a broken arm and cuts and bruises.  Brown was severely lacerated and bruised and was disabled five weeks.  The following men were given the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery: Reuben A. Brown; J. Herbert Batchelor; Amos J. Stamper; R. Delane Tabor; Walter Penman; Robert F. Buchholz; John E. Martin; and J. Franklin Elson (posthumously).    Source document External Link
OCT 1923 Glendower Colliery Inundation, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Two mules were trapped in the Buck Mountain Slope, South Dip, at the Glendower Colliery, but were rescued by the daring efforts of one of the employees who struggled for two hours in water up to his waist before he could bring the animals out to safety.  A huge volume of water had broken through and the old workings in various parts of the mines were flooded up to the timber.  Source document PDF Format
Decatur Mine Fall of Persons, Decatur, Illinois — Two men were dying and two others were suffering from serious injuries as the result of a fall of 100 feet in the shaft of the Decatur Coal Company mine.  The men were being lowered to the 600-foot level in a huge cage.  At the 500-foot level the cable broke, precipitating the cage and men.  One of the men suffered a broken back, another, injuries to the head and body, while the other two sustained broken legs and possible internal injuries.  It was not until seven hours after the accident that the cable was repaired and the injured were taken to the surface.  Source document PDF Format
Utah-Apex Mine Cave-in, Bingham, Utah — Joseph Norden, superintendent, and Joseph Ratalaza were rescued unhurt from the Utah-Apex metal mine after being entombed for 56 hours.  The bodies of two others were located in the rock pile near the place where Norden and Ratalaza were freed, but because of the immense pile of stone and timbers it was impossible to identify them.  One man was still unaccounted for.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1923 Turkey Run Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Joseph Bartinsavage, a contract miner at Turkey Run Colliery, had a narrow escape from being buried alive when he was closed in behind a heavy fall of coal and rock for almost six hours.  Fellow workmen, at the risk of their lives, owing to the top continually caving in, finally rescued him, only slightly injured.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1923 Frontier No. 1 Mine Explosion, Kemmerer, Wyoming — At 5 o'clock rescuers found a man lying in the main slope who was nearing death from inhalation of smoke and gas fumes.  He was revived by a pulmotor and brought to the surface, where he was taken to a hospital.  He was expected to recover.  A short time later, two men who had hidden in a remote corner of a room off the main slope were taken to the surface, apparently not suffering greatly from their entombment.  Another man, found further in along the main slope, showed signs of life when rescuers reached him, but when doctors attempted to revive him, it was found that he had died.
Co-operative Mining Company Cave-in, Silver City, New Mexico — Six of seven miners trapped for an undisclosed period in a cave-in at the Co-operative Mining Company were rescued.  The seventh man was killed in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1923 Northside Mine Cave-in, Bicknell, Indiana — Three miners and a Shetland pony were trapped by a cave-in at the Northside mine in Bicknell, Indiana.  On June 28, the three miners were rescued.  Because of the dangerous conditions, mine officials decided that the pony could not be rescued.  At the urging of the rescued miners, company officials consented to let the men continue with the rescue effort for the pony, and after — 10 days — of confinement, the pony was rescued.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1923 New Mine Cave-in, Bucknell, Indiana — Three miners were rescued 80 hours after a cave-n occurred at the New Mine at Bucknell, Indiana.  The 3 men were identified as Jim Bertillo, Joe Bernardi, and Frank Maberto.  The men were near the shaft when the hoist rope broke and the cage, full of coal, went crashing to the bottom, causing the cave-in.  More than 2,500 people waited at the shaft for their rescue.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1923 Hoosier Mine Lost Person, Globe, Arizona — Frank Chadwick, a prospector, was recuperating from his horrifying experience, when he was lost 24 hours in the bowels of the earth after his lamp went out while he was exploring the famous crystalline cavern of the Hoosier mine near Globe.  Searching parties brought him to the surface after he had spent a day and night aimlessly wandering in the cavernous depths.  He was suffering severely from nervous shock and cold and from lack of food and water.  Source document PDF Format
Susquehanna Collieries Roof Fall, Lykens, Pennsylvania — Trapped by a fall of rock in one of the shafts of the Susquehanna Collieries, two men were killed and another injured.  The dead: M. J. Keady and George Welker.  The injured man, Lewis Enders, 47, was taken to the Harrisburg Hospital.  The mine shaft was blocked by a fall of rock.  Keady, Welker and Enders were sent into the mine to inspect the fall and to devise means of clearing the debris away.  They had been down only a short time when the roof of the shaft caved in, and they were caught under the fall of rock and coal.  When they failed to return to the surface after several hours had passed, mine officials began to fear for the safety of the inspectors and a searching party was sent after them.  It then was discovered that the inspectors had been trapped and work or rescue was started.  The injured man was reached after the rescue party had been working eight hours.  An automobile was placed at the disposal of the mines, and Enders was hurried to the hospital. It was said that he would recover.  Enders suffered bruises about the head and body.  Because he was bringing up the rear of the inspection party, he was not caught under the heaviest part of the rockslide.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1923 Maple Hill Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Charles McCloskey was trapped for 5 hours after a fall of rock occurred at the Maple Hill Colliery at Pottsville, Pennsylvania.  He was uninjured with the exception of slight bruises of the legs.  Source document PDF Format
Cactus Mine Cave-in, Globe, Arizona — W. Castanado was rescued 24 hours after he became entombed in the Cactus Mine sixteen miles from Globe, Arizona. He was uninjured when reached by rescuers who had to dig through 30 feet of dirt in the tunnel to reach him.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1923 Arista Mine Explosion, Arista, West Virginia — Lloyd Lypscomb, once given up for dead, was rescued early Saturday from the Weyanoke mine at Arista, and the feeble spark of life, all but extinguished by suffocating gases in which he lay for 15 hours was fanned back to a flame so strong that physicians attending the injured man said he was sure to recover.  Rescue of Lypscomb made the death toll of Friday's dust explosion to ten, all of whose bodies were brought up by rescue parties.  The remaining 17 workers, trapped when the walls of the mine crumbled, were saved by rescuers.  They were only slightly injured.  Source document  External Link
Stanton Mine Rescue, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — On March 21, lost miner James Kowolski was found in the Stanton Mine at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  Despite being located by a bloodhound that was lowered into the mine, Kowolski’s 4 days of wandering came to an end when he was located by rescuers led by mine superintendent J. B. Pamblyn.  He was found 2,000 feet from his working place half naked and semi-conscious.  Kowolski’s troubles began on March 17 when he started to leave the mine early, complaining to his helper of not feeling well.  Source document PDF Format
Lehigh Coal and Navigation No. 1 Mine Cave-in, Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania — Thirteen miners, entombed behind a fall of rock and earth in the No. 1 drift of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company were rescued after an undisclosed period.  They were entombed there the day before when sixty feet of the gangway workings caved in.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1923 Oakdale No. 4 Mine Cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Rescuers worked for seven hours to reach the body or George Polinski, aged 26, a miner at Oakdale No. 4 shaft of Jeddo-Highland Coal Company.  When found, Polinski still alive.  Polinski’s chest was crushed, however, and he died twenty minutes later.  Source document PDF Format
Silver Creek Mine Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — After eight hours spent in a living grave, John Sharp and Michael Dugan, miners, were rescued uninjured.  They were entombed by a fall of top rock at the Silver Creek mine, with many yards of debris forming a solid barrier between them and liberty.  The men were engaged in tearing down pillars when the entire top fell in front of them.  At first, they were thankful for their escape from death, and did not realize the predicament they were in.  Source document PDF Format
Morning Mine Fire, Mullan, Idaho — An early report from the Morning Mine at Mullan, Idaho said the mine was afire and that two men were dead.  A later report from Wallace, Idaho, said that two men had been overcome by gas, but that they had been rescued after an undisclosed period.  The fire was discovered when the day shift went on duty, it was stated.  Source document PDF Format
Scotch Valley Mine Fall of Person, Hazleton, Pennsylvania — Andrew Witko, 41, was employed at the inside working of the Scotch Valley mine and in some manner fell 50 feet down the shaft.  His follow workers hurried to the bottom of the shaft expecting to find his mangled body, but he was on his feet and refused aid.  He returned to work the next day but in a few days’ time, he developed pneumonia and passed away at his home.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1922 Fox Mine Cave-in, Marshall, Colorado — Kenneth Baldwin, 30, was rescued 18 hours after he became trapped in the Fox coal mine at Marshall, Colorado.  He was brought out alive and uninjured.  A companion miner in the same stope with Baldwin barely escaped the slide and rushed thru the mine calling to other miners.  Fifty men started the work of rescue.  An hour after the cave-in, Baldwin’s companions were so certain that he was dead that they called the Coroner.  Note: The headline says 18 hours and the article says 9 hours.  It is unknown which is correct.  Source document PDF Format
Vulcan Colliery Cave-in, Hazleton, Pennsylvania — After having been closed in for several hours at the Vulcan colliery, Michael Grando was rescued alive.  He said he had sufficient mental torture to last the rest of his days.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1922 Anthracite Mine Cave, Branchdale, Schuylkill County, PA — Mrs. Loretta Kehler, 71, was found alive in a mine cave near the Otto Colliery after being missing for a week.  A party of men who had given chase to a rabbit heard her cries for help and rescued her.  Source document PDF Format
Dolomite No. 3 Mine Explosion, Dolomite, Alabama — An unidentified foreman assembled thirty workers after the blast took place and ordered all to remain with him and work on fixing up brattices with stones and canvas to shut off the dreaded afterdamp gas that he felt sure was to follow the explosion.  When the fans started up again, the air cleared sufficiently to indicate that it was safe to tear down the temporary wall and the foreman led his men out.  One miner, who objected to remaining with the rest of the men was found only a few feet away from the temporary brattice.  He had become a victim of the gas.
Reilly No. 1 Mine Explosion, Spangler, Pennsylvania — 33 miners were taken out alive after an undisclosed period, but three succumbed to their injuries.  Of the remaining 30 rescued, all were at the Spangler Hospital and the attending physicians, who were doing everything in their power for them, said all would recover.
Anthracite No. 4 Mine Explosion, Cerrillos, New Mexico — 14 injured miners were rushed to the surface by the volunteer rescue crew and were taken to a doctor's, a dentist's offices and a nearby home, which were hurriedly turned into hospitals.  Women of Madrid worked as nurses with the aid of doctors and other volunteers.  First aid was administered here, then the injured were placed in a box car and taken to Albuquerque, where they were placed in hospitals.  The injured were burned and in some cases their arms or legs broken.
Hamilton No. 6 Mine Explosives Detonation, Cherokee, Kansas — Thirteen men, trapped in the pit of the Hamilton Coal & Coke Company’s No. 6 mine explosion were all rescued alive after an undisclosed period.  Reports at first thought these men to be dead.  The explosion was caused by powder.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1922 After becoming lost in an abandoned coal mine for two days and a night at Pomeroy, Ohio, Jack Gobel was found by a searching party.  Gobel became lost after a dynamite explosion jarred him enough to put out the light on his miner’s cap.  The search party was formed after his wife notified mine officials.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1922 Seven miners were imprisoned for an undisclosed period following the Lake Creek Mine Explosion in Johnston City, Illinois, but were taken from the shaft by rescue teams hastily called.  The seven men had taken refuge in another entry and by doing this prevented the gas from killing them.
Issaquah Mine Cave-in, Seattle, Washington — After being buried alive for 10 hours in the Issaquah mine, Mike Pedlock was back at work none the worse for his experience.  While working in a coal chute, Pedlock was caught by an avalanche of coal that burled the entrance to the chute forty feet deep.  Although sure that he had been killed by the slide, his comrades worked unceasingly to rescue him.  About dark they broke through the wall and found Pedlock.  A crevice in the chute had admitted plenty of air, and hunger was the only inconvenience he had suffered.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1922 Midway Mine Fire, Murphysboro, Illinois — Four men that went into the Midway Coal Company mine to investigate the fire became trapped and in need of rescue themselves. They were all safety removed uninjured from the mine after an undisclosed period.  Source document PDF Format
National Mine Fire, National, Nevada — After being imprisoned for four hours, Superintendent Joseph Bolam and Peter Madison were rescued from the National mine, 75 miles north of Winnemucca, Nevada.  The two men were working 1000 feet from the tunnel entrance and their escape was cut off because rock and dirt caved in as the fire progressed.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1922 Quartet Mine Fire, Searchlight, Nevada — All of the men trapped by fire in the Quartet mine at Searchlight were rescued after an undisclosed period, except two that were known to be dead.  Previous advices said four of five men had been trapped in the mine in addition to the two, known to be dead.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1922 Idaho-Maryland Gold Mine Cave-in, Grass Valley, California — Three miners entombed on the 1,000-foot level of the Idaho-Maryland gold mine were rescued uninjured after having been buried for fourteen hours.  The men were not injured.  Source document PDF Format
Cortez Mine Fall of Persons, Picher, Oklahoma — Two miners were killed and two were injured when a can bumped while descending the shaft at the Cortez mine in northeast Picher.  Charles Ross, 36, and Frank Smalley were hurled from the can and fell a distance of about 100 feet to the bottom of the shaft, being instantly killed.  Jake Blenzor was rescued from death by Roy Harris, who was the only one of the four men to remain in the can.  Harris caught Blenzor's foot and prevented him from falling to the bottom.  Blenzor suffered serious injuries to his head, but was expected to recover.  Harris was slightly injured.  They were taken to the Picher hospital.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1922 Unnamed Mine Coal Bin Entrapment, Leipsic, Ohio — Reuben H. Arnold, 42, crane engineer, helped to save W. Stanley Moratt, 39, coal heaver, from a coal-bin cave-in, Leipsic, Ohio, February 7, 1922.  Moratt fell to the bottom of a coal bin, 15 feet deep, when a slightly frozen mass of coal at the top on which he stepped gave way, and he was buried in coal to his hips and was unable to free himself.  A rope was lowered from the top of the bin, and Arnold, holding to the rope, descended a slope of coal to Moratt.  Vertical walls of coal extending inward from two adjacent walls rose from points near the middle of the bin to the top of the bin, and there was danger of their falling.  After Arnold had worked alone for about 15 minutes, three other men stood on the slope above him, and for 1.5 hours coal was removed from around Moratt and passed by Arnold to the man above him and then to the other men in turn.  They made slow progress because of more coal sliding to the bottom.  The bin was in darkness.  The man next above Arnold then descended to the bottom and helped Arnold, both piling the coal behind boards, to prevent further sliding.  After working 1.5 hours longer, they finally freed Moratt, and they were aided to the top by means of ropes.  Reuben Arnold and Clyde W. Jameson, 38, brakeman, were awarded the Carnegie Hero Medal for their bravery.  Source document External Link  
JAN 1922 National Colliery Cave-in, Scranton, Pennsylvania — A cave-in in the Dunmore No. 2 vein, National Colliery of the Glen Alden Coal Company came without a moment’s notice.  While most people were in bed, there came a hissing, and then a trembling.  People were tossed about in their beds, some thrown to the floor, the buildings creaked and swayed.  The populace ran to the streets, many clad in night clothes, there to face greater terror as they saw the street veritably bobbing up and down, the surface opening and steam hissing through.  For a time no one knew what it meant.  Cool heads realized that it was but another evidence of the mine menace to which Scranton had been long subject.  Word came that nineteen miners were entombed.  Investigation proved that a fall occurred trapping 16 miners.  Three others were injured.  These men were found, brought to the surface and rushed to the hospital.  The three men rescued were James Daugherty, John Kearney and Anthony Collett.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1921 Monarch Mine Fire, Louisville, Colorado — Following an outbreak of fire in the surface buildings of the National Fuel Company’s Monarch mine, nine men who were reported to have been trapped in the mine were said to have been rescued through an air shaft.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1921 Sioux No. 3 Colliery Cave-in, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania — After being entombed for 5 hours, five miners were rescued at the Sioux No. 3 Colliery.  They were working in the west seven-foot gangway when it caved in for a distance of 150 feet.  The men suffered only from shock.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1921 Coalbrook Mine Cave-in, Carbondale, Pennsylvania — Peter Sufjack and Stanley Falosky, two of the four miners entombed for twenty-four hours in the Coalbrook mine of the Hudson Coal Company at Carbondale were rescued alive at noon today.  William Morcum and Dominick Alving, the other two miners were rescued alive earlier in the day.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1921 Seven miners were rescued after an undisclosed period following an explosion in the Harco Coal Company mine near Harrisburg, Illinois.  The men were suffering from the effects of blackdamp and taken to local hospitals.
Gibbons Mine Cave-in, South Scranton, Pennsylvania — Mathew Schrader was held prisoner for over six hours after a cave-in occurred in the mine workings of the Gibbons Coal Company in South Scranton.  Schrader directed the work of rescue telling his comrades where to dig.  He was removed to a hospital where it was said he was not seriously injured.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1921 Packer No. 3 Mine Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Entombed behind a heavy fall of coal and culm in Packer No. 3 mine for an undisclosed period, Jacob Romansky was rescued without a scratch.  Romansky’s partner heard the coal working and ran to safety just as the fall occurred. Source document PDF Format
MAY 1921 Old Midwest Mine Fire, Henderson, Kentucky — Upward of 100 miners were employed at the Old Midwest mine of the Southland Coal Company at the time the fire started and several of them were rescued through the air shaft before the tipple fell.  The others escaped through an air shaft.  Although none was injured, several suffered from the effects of the smoke.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1921 Racketbrook Colliery Cave-in, Carbondale, Pennsylvania — A searching party of six men was assembled after they learned from his family that Joseph Spatz, 32, did not return at his usual hour the evening before.  Spatz was employed at the Racketbrook colliery where he had been working alone in his section of the mine in the afternoon.  After being located at 2:30 a.m., he was hurried to the Emergency Hospital.  He was unconscious and his condition was serious.  His injuries were about the head and shoulders where a fall of roof struck him.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1921 Kohinoor Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Penned in behind a heavy fall of coal and rock, two contract miners at the Kohinoor colliery were rescued after three hours by swift action of fellow workers.  Both escaped with slight bruises, but were near death from fright and shock when taken out.  Source document PDF Format
Old Ben No. 8 Mine Explosion, West Frankfurt, Illinois — Forty miners were rescued from the fume-filled shaft of the No. 8 mine of the Old Ben Coal Corporation following an explosion.  Ten were seriously injured and were taken to a hospital.  Physicians said two probably would die.  The miners were rescued after having been held prisoner in the mine for three hours.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1920 Sacramento Mine Ground Fall, Bisbee, Arizona — Falling ground at the Sacramento mine entombed James Toots, a miner, on the 1500 level, for what seemed like an eternity while comrades frantically dug to extricate him.  Toots was imprisoned for about half an hour but was finally freed and was none the worse for the experience.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Bellaire Mine Rescue, Bellaire, Ohio — Ross Julian, 40, gave thanks for his life to the promptness of the helmet men in effecting his rescue from asphyxiation by black damp in an abandoned mine at Bellaire, Ohio.  Julian said that if the rescuers had been a half-hour later, he would have succumbed to the deadly gases.  The man’s lamp gave out while he was in the mine and, becoming confused, he walked away from the mouth of the mine.  He wandered around in the darkness for several hours and was beginning to lose consciousness when mine inspectors reached him.  Source document PDF Format
George F. Lee mine Cave-in, Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania — Ten mine workers caught behind a fall in the gangway of the George F. Lee mine were rescued after nine hours imprisonment.  Rescue forces worked throughout the night to reach the men.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1920 Arnold Mine Fire, Earlington, Kentucky — Ten miners were rescued from the burning Arnold Mine.  The rescue was effected by tunneling around the fire which had shut off the single entry of the mine and came 20 hours after the flames broke out.  Source document PDF Format
Crescent Mine Fire, Peoria, Illinois — One hundred and fifty miners were rescued from the Crescent mine after being trapped for more than an hour.  The fire was caused by a spark from a circuit breaker.  The miners were freed by an escapement in another part of the mine.  Several were overcome by smoke.  Considerable damage was done to the mine.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1920 Plymouth Red Ash Mine Cave-in, Plymouth, Pennsylvania — Two miners employed by the Plymouth Red Ash Coal Company, owed their lives to the clear-headed calculation of a mine foreman and the faithful and heroic work of fellow-miners who rescued the miners from an entombment of more than twelve hours.  William Young, 35, and Joseph Hillard, 48, were erecting timber in a gangway when a sudden and unexpected crash brought tons of coal and rock down within fifteen feet of them.  The cave-in blocked the slope and imprisoned Hillard and Young.  When word reached the surface, the mine foreman, John D. Maxwell, directed that a hole be bored from the top of the tomb and, by a mathematical deduction, he was able to reach exactly the spot where the miners were imprisoned.  With picks, axes and other tools, nearly two score of miners set to burrowing a passageway for their helpless fellow-workers.  The digging and cutting of the mountain of coal which separated the pair from freedom started at 1 o'clock p.m. and ended with the rescue of the men at about 1:45 a.m. the next morning.  The two miners walked home, unhurt.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1920 William Penn Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Martin Becker was rescued from his entrapment after an undisclosed period from a cave-in at the William Penn Colliery in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.  Felix Mack, a co-worker of Becker, was probably responsible for saving the life of a driver who was bringing a trip of cars into the gangway.  Mack saw the fall was coming and flagged off the driver.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1920 Brookside Colliery Cave-in, Tower City, Pennsylvania — Glen Jones, employed at robbing pillars in No. 4 slope, Brookside colliery, was caught by a fall of coal and for a time it was thought he had been killed.  It required several hours of hard and careful work to release him.  For almost two hours he had been doubled up with his knees against his breast and the heavy weight of the coal resting on him.  He was badly sprained and bruised and it will be some time before he would be able to be about.  No bones were broken.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1920 National Mine Cave-in, South Scranton, Pennsylvania — Louis Buffalino was freed from a cave-in after an undisclosed period that occurred in the National mine at South Scranton, Pennsylvania.  All the time the rescue party was at work, Buffalino kept uttering comforting words to his wife, who stood at the edge of the cave-in watching the rescuers work.  Buffalino’s companion, Pasquale Ballino, was crushed to death in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1920 Deering Mine No. 8 Cave-in, Clinton, Indiana — Andrew Steen, fire boss at the Deering Coal Company mine No. 8 lay for more than five hours, expecting to be killed any moment before he was found by workmen entering the mine.  The heavy weight on his chest prevented him from calling for help.  He was pinned under three tons of slate, unable to move anything except his head and one hand with heavy pieces of slate falling all around him.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1920 Draper Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Peter Burfosky was entombed by a sudden rush of coal at the Draper Colliery for several hours.  An alarm was sounded when it was found Burfosky was a prisoner in his chamber behind tons of rock and coal.  He was taken from his perilous position in an exhausted condition due to his efforts to release himself.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1920 Jeanesville Mine Cave-in, Jeanesville, Pennsylvania — Edward Moore and Jere Donovan were rescued from the Jeanesville mines of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company, where they were entombed for several hours by a fall of coal.  Moore was taken to the State Hospital suffering from injuries to his back, but Donovan escaped unhurt.  Source document PDF Format
Laughlin Mine Explosion, Martins Ferry, Ohio — An explosion occurred in the Laughlin mine of the American Sheet & Tin Plate Company, near Martins Ferry.  Eighteen men were said to have been trapped in the workings but were freed after an undisclosed period.   Source document PDF Format
NOV 1919 Gold Hunter Mine Cave-in, Mullan, Idaho — Emil Sayko and Peter Grant were rescued 14 days following a cave-in at the Gold Hunter mine near Mullan, Idaho.  When they were finally reached, Grant and Sayko were wrapped in blankets and their eyes were bandaged to protect them from the unaccustomed light.  They were described as "looking fine," although "a trifle weak."  In the same incident, Jacob Delmarh and James Collins were rescued from a secondary cave-in after being trapped for 15½ hours.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1919 Oakdale Mine Explosion, LaVeta, Colorado — One man was rescued alive in the Oakdale mine of the Oakdale Coal Company near LaVeta, which was wrecked by an explosion.  William Davis, a miner, was brought out by rescue crews after an undisclosed period and resuscitated.  Eighteen miners were killed in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1919 Henry Clay No. 1 Colliery Inundation, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Rescuers worked for 60 hours endeavoring to locate Vistor Aughustine, one of the two men caught in a breast at the Henry Clay No. 1 colliery of the Reading Coal and Iron Company, when a body of water mysteriously broke into the workings.  Bart Mirolli, the other man entombed, was rescued alive.  He was swept into a heading and was in a semi-conscious condition when reached.  He was in the Shamokin hospital with several ribs broken, one of which penetrated the lungs, causing an injury likely to result fatally.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1919 After almost 10 hours of tunneling, Andrew Coshosky, trapped under a fall of slate in the Old Colony Mine, Ligonier, Pennsylvania, was rescued and expected to recover.  Covered to a depth of 30 feet, the only way to reach him was to drive a tunnel under the fallen mass of rock.  Source document External Link
Nottingham Mine Asphyxiations, Plymouth, Pennsylvania — Forty men were overcome by blackdamp in the Nottingham Mine of the Lehigh & Wilkesbarre Coal Company at Plymouth.  All were brought to the surface.  There were no fatalities, but the condition of most of the men was serious.  Source document PDF Format
George F. Lee Coal Mine Asphyxiations, Avondale, Pennsylvania — Blackdamp overcame five employees of the George F. Lee Coal Company in the Avondale section of Plymouth township and six or eight others were more or less effected by inhaling the dangerous fumes.  Prompt and heroic action on the part of fellow employees who risked their own lives, saved the lives of the five men who were overcome.  The men who were overcome were carried out of the mine and given first aid treatment at the company emergency hospital.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1919 Indian Ridge Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Stiney Narbut, a 36-year-old contract miner was buried alive for several hours at Indian Ridge Colliery.  Although seriously injured, he directed the rescue work, but lost consciousness as he was being taken from beneath several tons of coal.  An examination at the State Hospital showed that he had sustained internal injuries.  Source document PDF Format
South Willis Mine No. 7 Fall of Person, Morristown, Washington — Victim was standing on a pile of timber just below the battery with his partner passing timber to him when one of the posts, supporting the timber on which he was standing, fell out, allowing him to fall down the pitch, which was about 60 degrees.  The timber striking him, bruising his chest, face and ribs.  He was removed to his home as soon as possible where he died 5 days later from pneumonia, which set in as a result of the accident.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1919 Plymouth Consolidated Mine Cave-in, Plymouth, California — Unhurt except for bruises, Vinve Frizonti, a young Italian miner, was buried fourteen hours by a cave-in at the Plymouth Consolidated mine.  Frizonti was caught in a stope on the 1,000-foot level.  Rescuers removed carload after carload of debris while the imprisoned man kept communication by taps on a pipe.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1919 Mount Braddock Mine Fire, Mount Braddock, Pennsylvania — As the result of fire and gas fumes in the Mount Braddock mine of the W. J. Rainey Coal Company, two men died, four were trapped in the mine and two were rescued.  The dead miners, Samuel Hardy, 28, and Clyde Foltz, 33, lost their lives in an attempt to aid their trapped comrades.  The missing men were James Russell, 45, Frank Largen, 25, Charles Lurch, 27, and Elmer Matthews, 38. Jack Cole, 32, and Herman Earhart, 36, were rescued at 6 p.m. on January 20.  Cole, Earhart, and the missing men entered the mine on an inspection tour when gas was discovered earlier in the morning.  When they did not return, Hardy and Foltz entered in a coal car to which a cable was attached.  Miners on the outside were to withdraw the car on signal.  After waiting 20 minutes the men withdrew the car and found both occupants dead.  Little hope was held out for the men that were still trapped.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1918 Cleveland-Cliffs Mine Cave-in, Ishpeming, Michigan — Confined 63 hours in an area four feet square from a cave-in, three miners in the Cleveland-Cliffs mine were rescued alive.  A fourth miner in their group died.  Although the other three had existed without food or water, they were able to climb 400 feet to the shaft.  They were in the best of health, apparently.  As a last resort they had planned to feed themselves on cedar bark from a timber protruding into their tiny prison.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1918 Consolidated Mine Cave-in, Plymouth, Pennsylvania — Vinve Frizonti, a young Italian miner, was rescued after being trapped for 14 hours by a cave-in at the Consolidated mine near Plymouth, Pennsylvania.  Frizonti was caught at the 1000-foot level when the crash came.  He was standing by a drilling machine and this prevented the falling rock crushing him to death.  He was unhurt except for bruises.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1918 Coon Hollow Mine Explosion, Pikeville, Kentucky — Seven miners trapped in the Coon Hollow Coal Company's mine near Pikeville were rescued after an undisclosed period.  They were imprisoned behind a wall of fire caused by a gas explosion.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1918 Sayre Colliery, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania — After being closed in a blind heading for five hours at the Sayre colliery Saturday afternoon and evening, Frank Leski was rescued alive and well, without a scratch.  The entombment was discovered immediately and the officials quickly had a force of men on the scene to rescue the man.  Rapid headway was made and by working carefully, Leski was taken out of his underground tomb safe and without any injury.  Source document PDF Format
Men Lost in Abandoned Mine, Morgantown, West Virginia — Lost in an abandoned coal mine, without lights, and prisoners for five hours, Walter Mayfield, Harley Warman and J. C. Fortney, prominent residents of this city, were saved by a searching party after they had given up hope of rescue.  The men went into the mine to investigate it when their lamp went out and for five hours they wandered about vainly in an effort to find their way out.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1918 Benton Mine Lost Miner, Benton, Illinois — Tony Dooering, a miner, was rescued from the Benton Coal Company mine at Benton, Illinois after being lost for two days without food or drink.  He was said to have started for the main shaft and became lost, wandering around in abandoned parts of the mine.  Several hundred searched the mine before he was found.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1918 Short Mountain Colliery Cave-in, Lykens, Pennsylvania — Five men were standing timber, when without warning the ground caved, catching all five.  One man was able shortly to free himself and went for assistance.  Soon a rescue party arrived.  In a short time, the party got a man out; with medical assistance his life was saved.  The next three men were alive when removed but died soon after; the last man was dead when taken from under the fall.
North Mahanoy Mine Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — John Wasnoski, 50, was taken out of an old chamber in the North Mahanoy mine after being entombed for ten hours.  He was only slightly injured.  Wasnoski spent most of the hours of his underground imprisonment in prayer.  He embraced his rescuers and walked home, refusing to ride in the colliery ambulance.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1918 Winchester Magnesite Mine Cave-in, San Jacinto, California — After being imprisoned in the Winchester magnesite mine for fourteen hours as a result of an earthquake, Foreman Edward Sexton and Edward Cole, a miner, were rescued.  20 men who had labored frantically to release them.  Shut in an airtight, pitchy dark hole, six feet long and four feet high, Sexton and Cole breathed thru a 10-foot pipe that was forced down thru the imprisoning rock and dirt.  With lips pressed tight about the ends of the pipe, the two prisoners sucked air from the outer world.  That the men were still alive was proved by faint sounds of tapping on the pipe.  When released Cole and Sexton were weak from lack of food and anxiety, but it was believed they would be none the worse for their ordeal.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1918 Alden Coal Mine Cave-in, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania — Adam Krezinski was rescued from his three-day-entombment in the mines of the Alden Coal Company following a cave-in that trapped both he and his laborer, Andrew Bartek.  Bartek was rescued at about 11 o’clock a.m. the previous day, ending his two-day-entrapment.  Company doctors who attended Krezinski said that he would recover.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1918 Amasa-Porter Mine Inundation, Crystal Falls, Michigan — Following an inundation of water in the Amasa-Porter Mine at Crystal Falls, Michigan, one miner was found unconscious by rescuers after an undisclosed period and brought to the surface.  Three others managed to escape unaided.
JAN 1918 Barnum Mine Cave-in, Pittston, Pennsylvania — Two cave-ins caused by pillar robbing, covering approximately 5 acres, occurred at the Erie Mining / Pennsylvania Coal Company’s Barnum Mine near Duryea, Pennsylvania trapped more than 100 men underground for a period.  Two men were killed and 15 injured.  Five of the men were rescued 10 hours after the accident.  Thomas Huntley, who won the Carnegie Hero Medal for a mine rescue at the PCC No. 14 mine in 1907, lead one of the rescue parties that brought the missing men to the surface.  Source: Anthracite Heritage Foundation.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1917 Acme Mine Explosives Detonation, Fleming, Kentucky — Four men entered the mine on a Sunday to blast some holes; after the holes were loaded and lighted, they started to leave the mine, but when they were about 500 feet from the point of blasting, all the holes went off at about the same time.  A rush of wind down the entry caught the men and extinguished their carbide lights.

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

The rescue party found the other two men, both badly burned, in the room into which they had gone.  Their lights had been put out by the explosion and they had become so badly confused that they were unable to find their way out.  All four men had entered the mine without the consent of the mine officials.
NOV 1917 Henry Clay Mine Coal Slide, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Michael Jacobs, covered by five wagon loads of coal in a chute at the Heading Company’s Henry Clay shaft was smothered for an undisclosed period when Frank Smith, fireboss, appeared.  Amid great peril, he caused the coal to flow into a gangway and rescued Jacobs, who was in a critical condition.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1917 Independent Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Thomas Kilroy, 50, was rescued after being trapped for twenty-four hours in an unnamed Anthracite mine.  He was held as a prisoner in the depths of the mine 1,000 feet below the surface by a fall of rock and coal.  As the rescue men progressed with their work, the fall of the top continued, endangering their own lives.  Suffering severely from exposure, shock and hunger, Kilroy’s condition was critical, however, it was believed that he would recover.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1917 Empire Mine Asphyxiations, Grass Valley, California — James Harris. Nick Fungus and a third miner named Eldridge were rescued after an undisclosed period from the workings of the Empire Mine, where they had been overcome by gas when a large rock fell on the air pipe valve, cutting off their supply of fresh air.  All three were removed to their homes and it was believed they would recover.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1917 Thanks to the heroism of Frank Mattson, two miners who were overcome by smoke in the Lincoln mine fire at Virginia, Minnesota were rescued after an undisclosed period.  Mattson was lowered into the mine without a mask where he found Oscar Pakkala and Joe Reinshe.  Mattson found the victims near the flames and carried both of them to the surface.  All three were revived by a pulmotor.
West Kentucky No. 7 Mine Explosion, Clay, Kentucky — Forty six had been brought to the surface alive from the West Kentucky Coal Company's No. 7 mine explosion after 3½ hours.  Of the rescued, 24 were uninjured.  The remainder were suffering from burns, none of which were said to be serious.
JUL 1917 Rock Salt Mine Explosion, Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York — 21 hours after the explosion of gas, one man was found alive at the bottom of the shaft by a Bureau of Mines rescue party.  His leg had been caught and he was trapped by some timber.  He was freed and taken to the surface.  The party started to recover the body of the other man and brought it to the surface about two hours later.
JUN 1917 Twenty-five of 29 miners imprisoned on the 2400-foot level of the Speculator Mine of the North Butte Mining Company were brought to the surface after being trapped for 36 hours.  They owed their lives to crew member, Manus Duggan, a 20-year-old nipper boy, who didn't make it out himself.  According to Nyrja Johnson, the first man to the surface, Duggan directed all the work in their effort to barricade themselves from the gases.  He had the men strip naked and use their clothes to block out the toxic gas.  Duggan became lost when he went ahead of the crew to test for gases.  163 miners were killed in this disaster.  See moreExternal Link  Source document External Link
MAY 1917 Abandoned Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Pittston, Pennsylvania — Two boys, Sylvester W. McKeon, age 12 and Robert E. Fear, age 13, were rescued after they descended the slope of a hole that had caved in the ground and entered the chamber of an old mine to gather coal.  They were caught by a fall of earth overhanging the entrance to the chamber.  Sylvester was buried to his hips, and Robert was buried to his chest.  Cracks at the top of the hole and the dropping of clay earth overhanging the chamber indicated another cave-in was imminent.  Their rescuers were Michael J. Franklin, Edward F. Norton, and Patrick J. Gallagher, both track layers.  After an undisclosed period, the men first extracted Sylvester followed by Robert.  The three men were awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.    Source document External Link
APR 1917 Silver Belle Mine Cave-in, Gleeson, Arizona — Pat Noland was severely injured in a cave-in in the Silver Belle mine when tons of earth came down upon him.  He was rescued by his comrades after an undisclosed period and brought to the company hospital, where word today was to the effect that he was not expected to live, owing to the severe injuries.  No word was received as to how the accident happened and where the blame lies.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1917 Unnamed Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Wiconisco, Pennsylvania — Samuel Snyder became trapped when the top fell and a rush of coal covered him completely.  When help arrived it took four hours to get him uncovered.  The only thing that kept Snyder from smothering was the fact that the coal that covered him was in large lumps, which allowed some ventilation.  Snyder was unconscious when uncovered, but soon became responsive. Source document PDF Format
FEB 1917 Isle Royale Mine Inundation, Houghton, Michigan — After more than fifty hours imprisonment, three miners were found alive tonight in the flooded Isle Royale mine.  Owing to the weakness of the men they would not be moved through the water to safety until the next day.  They had no knowledge of the fate of the two other men, also entrapped and still missing.  The Isle Royale mine was flooded when a blast broke through the drift wall into an adjoining abandoned working.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1917 No. 14 Pennsylvania Colliery Explosives Detonation, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Abandoned by his miner following an accident several days earlier, Andrew Marashak, a laborer at No. 14 Pennsylvania colliery, lay in the mine unattended and undiscovered for eleven hours.  Mine and State authorities investigated and found that the miner, John Kuroski, evidently believed that his laborer had been killed by a tardily fired shot, and thereupon was so frightened that he fled, not only the mine, but the region.  He had just returned home. It is understood that Kuroski had warned his laborer not to go back into the mine chamber after a shot had failed to explode.  But the laborer went, the charge exploded and the laborer was partly burled under debris.  Kuroski found him prostrate and apparently lifeless.  He wrapped a sweater about Marashak's head and then left the mine without notifying anybody.  The accident occurred at 3:30 p.m.  It was 2:30 a.m. before a fireboss, making his regular rounds, found the injured man.  He was taken home.  He had a fractured collar bone and barring the possibility of pneumonia developing as a result of his long exposure on the damp ground, it was believed he would probably recover.  Source document PDF Format
Brunswick Mine Fall of Persons, Grass Valley, California — Two miners fell down a shaft, a distance of thirty feet at the Brunswick Mine at Grass Valley.  Louis Faccina, one of the victims, was painfully injured and was taken to the hospital.  His hurts were not considered very serious.  His companion, whose name not given out, was practically unhurt.  Source document PDF Format
Primrose Mine Fire, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — While fighting the fire in the Glendon section of the Primrose mines, eleven miners were overcome by the fumes of white damp and dropped unconscious in the mine.  After an undisclosed period, a searching party brought them to the surface, where they were treated in the mine rescue car.  It was thought all would recover.  The men were sent out from the supply base properly equipped with helmets and when they failed to return, rescuers were sent over the same route.  It was believed their breathing apparatus failed to work properly.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1916 Oliphant-Johnson No. 1 Mine Explosion, Bruceville, Indiana — 42 miners were rescued from behind two barricades 2¾ hours after an explosion in the Oliphant-Johnson No. 1 Mine at Bruceville, Indiana.  There were 25 miners in one group and 17 in another.  Two miners were killed in this incident.  Source document  PDF Format
Fidelity No. 9 Mine Explosion, Stone City, Kansas — Eleven miners were rescued from the Fidelity No. 9 mine after an undisclosed period.  Overcome by the toxic gases, these men had to be resuscitated by pulmotor.  Some of those rescued were badly burned.
Degnan-McConnell No. 5 Mine Explosion, Wilburton, Oklahoma — Twelve rescuers descended into the Degnan-McConnell Coal Company’s No. 5 mine following an explosion which killed two shotfirers, the only occupants of the mine at the time.  The rescuers were not able to proceed far before they were overcome by afterdamp, and fell prostrate in their tracks.  Each group succeeded in carrying back the fallen before they themselves were overcome by the gas.  Volunteers had to be called in to drag out the rescuers, and finally, when the last man was rescued, there were twelve prostrate men lying at the mouth of the slope.  Students from the Oklahoma School of Mines and citizens of Wilburton worked heroically with these men, resorting to artificial respiration.  All were saved except Tom Vickers.  A pulmotor was used in his case, but to no avail.  Several of those resuscitated re-entered the mine to continue with the rescue work.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1916 Bessie Mine Explosion, Palos, Alabama — About 15 hours after the explosion, a trained apparatus crew of 5 men found 3 men at a break in the air line.  The party was then about 1,000 feet from fresh air, and the men were able to proceed to safety with the aid of the apparatus crew.  Thirty men were killed by the explosion, 5 escaped unassisted, and 3 were rescued as noted.  Source document External Link
OCT 1916 No. 14 Colliery Cave-in, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — John Kellet, 32, was rescued uninjured after having been entombed for 24 hours behind a fall of coal at the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company’s No. 14 colliery.  Source document PDF Format
Lytle Colliery Explosion and Fire, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — The sixteenth miner closed in by an explosion of gas at the Lytle colliery was rescued after an undisclosed period, the other fifteen having been taken out safely earlier, all will recover.  The fire, which was started by an explosion, is well under control and the officials say it will be speedily extinguished. Source document PDF Format
SEP 1916 Jacob Dixon and William Gammell became enclosed by a rush of coal in the Good Spring Colliery of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company near Tremont, Pennsylvania.  After five hours, Dixon succeeded in getting into a blind heading where he was rescued.  They were engaged in the hazardous work of "robbing pillars."  No further news could be found regarding the rescue of William Gammell.  His survival was unlikely.  Source document External Link
AUG 1916 Central Mine Powered Haulage Accident, Chariton, Iowa — Joe Montgomery, who was employed at the Central mine, was painfully injured and had a narrow escape from death in a powered haulage accident.  He was driving the mules to a car of coal, when they got loose and the car ran over him, throwing him down and crushing his foot and ankle quite badly.  He was alone in the dark for an undisclosed period, and knowing that another car was coming, he called loudly for help.  A man happened to be close by, heard him and rescued him from his perilous position, and stopped the other car before it reached him.  Source document PDF Format
Woodward No. 3 Colliery Explosion, Westmoor, Pennsylvania — Six men were dead as a result of a gas explosion in the Woodward No. 3 slope of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Coal Company at Westmoor.  Three were killed instantly and the remaining three died within a few hours at Nesbitt West Side Hospital where they were taken as fast as modern methods could convey them.  The injured were taken from No. 3 shaft at Westmoor.  Those injured received first aid in the mines and their wounds were re-dressed when they reached the surface, and then they were immediately rushed to Nesbitt West Side Hospital.  They were all horribly burned and they died one after another within a few hours after they reached the hospital.  Those instantly killed were burned almost beyond recognition.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1916 On July 25, 1916, Garrett Morgan made national news for using his gas mask to rescue 32 men trapped during an explosion in an underground tunnel 250 feet beneath Lake Erie.  Morgan and a team of volunteers donned the new "gas masks" and went to the rescue.

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

Two years later, a refined model of his early gas mask won a gold medal at the International Exposition of Sanitation and Safety, and another gold medal from the International Association of Fire Chiefs.  See moreExternal Link  Source document External Link
Lehigh No. 12 Colliery Cave-in, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — Joseph Kellert was rescued after a 32-hour entrapment in the No. 12 Colliery of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company.  He was caught by a fall of top rock and rescued uninjured after rescuers dug a 60-foot rock chute to reach him.  Source document PDF Format
Rahn Colliery Inundation, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — Two miners were rescued after being confined for two hours in the flooded Rahn Colliery near Tamaqua. The rescued miners were Peter McHugh and John Smith.  Palmer Jones, 19, drowned in the incident.  Source document PDF Format
Babcock Mine Cave-in, Joplin, Missouri — Four miners were rescued — 56 hours — after becoming trapped by a cave-in at the Babcock mine near Joplin, Missouri.  Source document PDF Format
Continental Colliery Cave-in, Centralia, Pennsylvania — Caught behind a rush of coal at the Valley Coal Company’s Continental colliery, John Mulligan, 50 years old, was a prisoner for eight hours, while rescuing forces took turns in working frantically to release him.  Mulligan was engaged in the hazardous task of removing pillars.  A safety Inspector making the rounds discovered the miner’s predicament and volunteers were quickly secured.  Mulligan failed to respond to rappings and the men thought that he had been crushed to death.  Mulligan said he felt exceedingly uncomfortable and that it was not until the last hour that he heard them working to dig him out.  The mine is the same in which Joseph (or John) Tomachefesky was imprisoned for eight days.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1916 Hickory Swamp Colliery Cave-in, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania — Caught under a fall at the Hickory Swamp colliery, Frank Ringcavich, 41, was instantly killed while his "butty" Michael Droblefski, 29, was imprisoned behind a second fall and was rescued after 20 hours work on the part of rescue gangs.  The men were working as miners in No. 4 vein.  Mr. Ringcavich was completely buried under the first fall, and his "butty," who was dressing off a shot, when the fall occurred, went to his assistance to try and rescue him.  As he was trying to free Ringcavich, a second fall occurred, making him a prisoner.  Droblefski was only slightly bruised and walked out of his tomb.  Source document PDF Format
Anaconda Mine Fall of Person, Butte, Montana — John Corbett sustained painful injuries when he fell 75 feet in the shaft at the Anaconda mine.  He was rushed to the St. James hospital where it was found that two ribs had been fractured, one of them puncturing the lung.  It was considered probable that Corbett also sustained internal injuries.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1916 King Mine Explosion, Kimball, West Virginia — Following the explosion, rescuers worked throughout the morning to free a large number of miners.  Masses of coal and slate and cut off their escape.  At 2 p.m., it was stated that all the men who had entered the mine had been accounted for.
Sesser No. 1 Mine Fire, Sesser, Illinois — 95 miners were rescued from behind a barricade two hours after a fire in the Sesser mine in Illinois.  There were no fatalities in this incident.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1916 Davis No. 42 Mine Explosion, Kempton, Maryland — Those not directly in range of the blast hurried to the main entries and started for the foot of the shaft in which the cages were still operating.  There they were met by rescue parties from the surface and quickly hoisted.  Other rescuers made their way into the mine and located other miners who had been unable to reach the main lines of communication.  These men were brought out after an undisclosed period.
Ernest No. 2 Mine Explosion, Ernest, Pennsylvania — Five miners were rescued alive, four of whom were transferred to the hospital and the fifth at his home in Ernest.  The patients in the hospital, all of whom were badly burned about the face, hands, and body and who were suffering from shock are: James McGuire, a member of the mine rescue team; W. R. Nord, Mike Carrel, and Tony Wilish.

No one on the outside heard the explosion. It was Jimmy Moody, the motorman, who brought the news to the surface.  Moody discovered the body of one of the miners only about a mile from the entrance. Hurrying back to the surface, he quickly summoned help.

One of the men, Ben O’Hara, was just walking out of the mine when he felt the force of the explosion on his back.  While on his way to the entrance of the mine he had passed George Bunton, Jr., going to work and as soon as O’Hara realized what had happened, he started back after his friend.  Before he reached Bunton, however, O’Hara encountered two other men lying on the floor of the mine.  He succeeded in dragging both fallen miners to safety and went back after Bunton but was unable to reach him.  Bunton’s body was brought to the surface shortly before 9:00 p.m. that evening.  The exact time of the tragedy was later determined from a watch found hanging from a pocket of one of the dead men.  The watch was smashed, and the hands pointed to 3:20 p.m.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1916 Abandoned Mine Fall of Person, Globe, Arizona — L. Lepi, a miner, was found and rescued by men working at a nearby mining lease after being robbed and thrown down a 40-foot shaft of an abandoned mine two days earlier.  The miner was suffering from bruises of the face and knees, declaring he was nearly famished and that he was minus a $20 gold piece taken by the robbers.  Lepi said that he was attacked by two men.  They took his gold, but overlooked $300 in currency, and then hurled him into the shaft.  He called for help frequently throughout the two days.  The men who rescued him said they heard a voice yesterday, but did not recognize it us a call for help.  Source document PDF Format
Pennsylvania Colliery Cave-in, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania — A miner employed at the Pennsylvania colliery was entombed four or five hours.  Officials acted promptly and soon had the man removed alive from his tomb.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1915 A rock slide choked the main gangway in the Newcastle Mine of the Pacific Coast Coal Company near Seattle, Washington, trapping Thomas Zathias for nine hours.  Rescuers expected to find his crushed body when they broke through the 60 feet of debris, but instead, they found him calmly sitting on his dinner bucket, awaiting deliverance.  Source document External Link
Richards Colliery Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — After being entombed by a rush of coal at the Richards colliery for a period of 96 hours, Joseph Renock, a miner, was taken out alive.  A force of 120 men had been working for four days at the risk of their lives in an effort to rescue the imprisoned man.  The rescue work was exceedingly dangerous owing to the many hundreds of tons of loose rock and coal which separated the workers from the miner.  The men encountered a large steel car in the gangway and it was necessary to chisel the car away before the rescue work could be continued.  When released, Renock was able to talk, but was in such a weakened condition from exhaustion and lack of food that he was immediately rushed to a hospital.  He would recover.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1915 Boomer No. 2 Mine Explosion, Boomer, West Virginia — 27 miners were rescued from behind a barricade seven hours after an explosion in the Boomer No. 2 mine in Boomer, West Virginia.  Source document PDF Format
Northwestern Mine Explosion, Ravensdale, Washington — A rescue party under the superintendent at once commenced recovery and repair of the auxiliary slope and rescued 4 men; 3 were unconscious and were given artificial respiration, but 1 died.
OCT 1915 Continental Colliery Cave-in, Centralia, PA — On October 4, John Tomaschefski was rescued after 187 hours, imprisoned by a cave-in at the colliery which occurred on September 26.  A 2-inch diamond drill hole was drilled 50 feet to provide food, water and dry clothing.  It took 85 hours to drill this hole.  Following this, the rescuers drove, by pick mining, a 4-foot by 4-foot passageway to reach and rescue the trapped miner.  It required 4 days to accomplish this.   Source document External Link
Foster Tunnel of No. 11 Mine Inundation, Coaldale, Pennsylvania — Six men and three boys were rescued after nearly seven days following the group’s entrapment in the Foster Tunnel of the No. 11 mine when a blast released water from an abandoned working.  Eleven were initially confined, but two of them, William Watkins and George Hollywood, escaped a day after the accident happened.  The other nine miners trapped sustained themselves on the remaining food in their dinner pails, lamp oil, and chicken bones.  The Coaldale mining operation was the property of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company.  The nine trapped miners included:
  • John McAndrews (boy)
  • Joseph Murphy (boy)
  • John Boner (boy)
  • Elmer Herron
  • Peter Lemmock
  • Charles Matokis
  • Dominic Holchek
  • Joe Lagonis
  • Dominic Dodori
Source document 1PDF Format  Source document 2PDF Format  Source document 3PDF Format
Ramago No. 4 Mine Powered Haulage Accident, Webb City, Missouri — Four miners were dropped almost the whole distance down a 200-foot shaft at the Ramago No. 4 mine.  The first "tub" had just started down with the underground men, carrying four, the usual number, when something went wrong with the hoister.  The presumption was that the hoist operator was lowering these men on the brake instead of having his air on in order to get them underground quickly and the four men were dropped to the bottom of the shaft.  All four men were more or less severely injured and were rushed to the Jane Chinn hospital.  All the men were expected to recover.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1915 Rahn Colliery Explosion, Coaldale, PA — On September 27, an explosion caused a rush of water and coal which cut off and entombed 11 men.  Two of the men were rescued 12 hours after the disaster, but the others were not reached until October 3, after an imprisonment of 6 days and 5 hours.  Three hundred men working 3 shifts per day drove the tunnel to reach the trapped miners.   Source document External Link
Logan Coal Company Mine Explosion, Hanna City, Illinois — Seventy-five miners who were imprisoned by a fall of rock caused by the explosion were rescued after several hours of desperate work.  Immediately following the explosion, fire broke out in the mine a mile from the shaft and 250 feet below ground where the accident occurred, and for two hours it was feared the entombed would be burned to death.  Deceased in the accident were Martin Perrit and Frank Robinson who were shot firers in the act of setting off a charge when the explosion occurred.  Source document PDF Format
Archbald Colliery Roof Fall, Archbald, Pennsylvania — Twenty-seven hours of imprisonment behind hundreds of tons of rock ended for four miners in the Archbald Coal Company's colliery who had been trapped by an extensive fall of roof.  One-half slice of bread was all the food the four men had in more than thirty hours.  They divided that before their matches gave out.  A little cold coffee in their dinner buckets was all they had to drink, and that, too, they divided.  But they are hardy men and strong and used to exposure.  And when they were hauled to the surface over a 3,000-foot slope that tops the vein they were penned in, they leaped from the mine cars and half ran to the company’s office.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1915 Orenda Mine Explosion, Boswell, Pennsylvania — After an undisclosed period, a foreman and others rescued 10 miners who were overcome by afterdamp following a local explosion in the Orenda Mine near Boswell, Pennsylvania.  Two of the rescued men were among the 19 that perished in the disaster.
JUL 1915 No. 14 Mine Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — After spending a day and part of a night entombed behind a rush of rock and coal at the No. 14 mine of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, Frank Clausius, 28, was rescued.  He was suffering greatly from shock, but only slightly from bruises which he sustained.  Source document PDF Format
William Penn Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Julius Kramitzski was rescued without a scratch after being trapped at the William Penn colliery for 5 hours.  Kramitzski was employed in the West Mammoth vein, No. 1 level.  He was engaged in chopping down an old prop when the top gave way closing him in.  When the entombed man was taken out, he said he did not feel any ill effects from his experience.  Source document PDF Format
Johnson Colliery Lost Person, Dickson City, Pennsylvania — Lawrence Brady, 60, was found in an abandoned working of the Johnson mine at Dickson City, near Scranton.  He had been wandering aimlessly for nearly 3 days in the darkness of an underground prison which seemed to offer no means of escape.  Brady was employed for a number of years at the Johnson colliery.  About three months earlier he quit his job, but instead of removing all of his tools, he hid some of them in an abandoned part of the workings.  Recently he became re-employed and decided to gather his hidden tools.  Knowing that he would be gone for some hours he carried a lunch with him in a dinner pail.  According to Brady’s story, he had only proceeded a short distance through an old chamber when the light of his lamp played out, and he was left in the darkness, not having any matches with him.  Rescuers found his dinner pail at the top of the heading and following the course indicated by its position, found the missing man.  Source document PDF Format
Eckhart Mine No. 3 Cave-in, Cumberland, Maryland — After having been imprisoned nearly a mile back in the earth behind 300 feet of fall of roof for 24 hours, four miners were rescued unscathed from the Eckhart Mine No. 3 of the Consolidation Coal Company.  State Mine Inspector William Walters headed the rescuing party.  The four imprisoned men walked out of the mine little the worse for their experience and sought their homes.  After the fall the trapped men could he heard talking, and this spurred on the rescuers.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1915 Rush of mud and water into the Longacre-Chapman Zinc Mine, Neck City, Missouri — Six men were imprisoned.  Four were rescued alive after 120 hours of difficult work by company men, volunteers, State mine Inspectors, and Bureau of Mines men.  Two men found were dead on the fourteenth day following the accident.  Source document 1PDF Format  Source document 2PDF Format
MAY 1915 Wanamie Colliery Cave-in, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Buried beneath tons of coal and other fallen debris for nearly one hour, Jacob Dombrow was rescued alive from the mines of the Wanamie Colliery of the Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Company.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1915 Abandoned Mine Rescue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — After they had gone missing for a week, two small boys were located by searchers in a long-abandoned mine.  The boys were in a small 5-foot drop that had several inches of water in it.  Albert Tomlinson, age 10, was found barely alive and hungry.  His companion, William Hale, age 5, was dead, believed to have starved to death.  The Hale boy was partly submerged in water and his head was held in the lap of Tomlinson.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1915 On March 2, 1915, an explosion occurred at the Layland No. 3 Mine in Layland, West Virginia.  The explosion occurred at 8:30 a.m., resulting in the deaths of 114 men inside the mine and 1 outside.  Fifty-four men afterward escaped alive from the mine.  Seven came out from 2 to 5 hours after the explosion; 5 more escaped unassisted at 8 a.m. on March 6 (4 days later), and 42 others were rescued an hour later.  Of those killed, 44 died from suffocation.  The store porter passing the drift mouth at a distance of 100 feet at the time of the explosion was hurled against a post and killed.
Lost Boys Found in Abandoned Mine, Banksville, Pennsylvania — When searchers, peering into the dark recesses of an abandoned coal pit, lighted only by their pit-lamps, saw a young boy staggering toward them, dragging a limp form that might have been a sack, a search that had continued a week ended and a ghastly tragedy came to light.  The boy who dragged his burden toward the dim flicker of the pit lamps was Albert Tomlinson, 10 years old, of Banksville.  The limp form was Willie Hale, a five-year-old playmate.  "Willie is dead."  the searchers heard the elder boy sob.  Almost starved when found, bruised and cut from contact with sharp slate and coal as he had groped about in the unlighted worklng, the boy quickly lapsed unconscious.  He was hurried to St Joseph's Hospital for treatment.  The boys had been lost for — 8 days — in the mine.  The Banksville entry of the abandoned mine was in the back yard of the Tomlinson home.  Although within probably 200 yards of home, young Tomlinson and his companion had not been able to find their way out of the working, and even daily searches of the pit by members of the family and neighbors had been futile.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1915 Explosion at Carlisle Mine, Carlisle, West Virginia — Twenty-one men were killed and four were rescued soon after the explosion by parties led by company officials.  One of the rescued men, suffering from burns, was sent to a hospital.  Source document 1External Link  Source document 2PDF Format
Maple Grove Mine Cave-in, Terre Haute, Indiana — One man was killed and eight other men were trapped in an entry at the bottom of a shaft of the Maple Grove mine when the timbers of the shaft gave way in a cave-in.  After an undisclosed period, the eight miners were rescued by "first aid" workers through an air shaft about 100 feet from the main shaft.  The men were brought to the surface by means of a rope.  One miner, Frank Simmons, 52, was killed in the accident.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1915 Cave-in at Black Diamond Mine, Luzerne, Pennsylvania - Four miners were rescued after seven hours by parties led by company officials.  Source document 1PDF Format  Source document 2PDF Format
Unnamed Zinc Mine Cave-in, Joplin, Missouri — Thomas French, a miner who was caught by a cave-in in a zinc mine near here, was rescued after having been imprisoned more than eight hours.  French was held by a mass of rock and earth with his head free.  He directed the work of his rescuers, trying energetically to free himself.  Although seriously injured, French would live, physicians said.  Hope of rescuing Harry Hubbell, French’s fellow-workman, was abandoned.  He was believed to be buried under fifteen feet of rock.  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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