Page Navigation

Identified More Than 1,100 Rescues
Download the Book

MS Word

Adobe PDF
Including source links

Incidents of Rescuer Death
Rescuer Deaths

MS Word

Adobe PDF
Including source links

Father Time
See more ways to search
for mine disasters

Calendar Image
Mine Disaster Calendar

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

United States United States
1914 thru 1904
Rescue events are listed in descending chronological order
Related documents are available below
DEC 1914 Diamond Colliery Hoist Rescue, Scranton, Pennsylvania — On December 9, 1914 about 6:20 a.m. the north cage failed in the north hoistway of the Tripp Shaft, Diamond Colliery of the D.L. & W.R.R. Coal Mining Department.  During the act of lowering the third cage load of men from the surface to the Dunmore Seam, 13 men were dropped in the cage to the bottom of the shaft.  The floor of wooden cage gave way dropping men to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of about 200 feet.  After an undisclosed period, one man was rescued from the wrecked cage at the Clark seam, 15 feet below the point of failure, or 330 feet from the surface.  John Bolinski, the man who escaped, had an instinctive fear of the mine cage and had made it a practice for several years to cling to the side bars every time he rode up or down.  Aside from the severe shock Bolinski was uninjured, but on account of the severe shock he has not returned to work in the mines.  This text taken from MSHA’s fatality database.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1914 Cave-in at Sibley Iron Mine, Ely, Minnesota — Six men were entombed.  One man was rescued after 112 hours by parties led by company officials.  Source document External Link
Fall of Top Rock at West Brookside Mine, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Two men were imprisoned for four days, when they were rescued by a party led by company officials.  Source document 1 External Link  Source document 2 PDF Format
Bonar Mine Explosives Detonation, East Bernstadt, Kentucky — Five men were standing timber, when without warning the ground caved, catching all five.  One man was able shortly to free himself and went for assistance.  Soon a rescue party arrived.  In a short time, the party got a man out; with medical assistance his life was saved.  The next three men were alive when removed but died soon after; the last man was dead when taken from under the fall.
OCT 1914 Royalton North No. 1 Mine Explosion — An accumulation of gas was ignited by open light.  Doors to an old room were left open and gas accumulated.  One man was rescued from the affected area 10 hours after the explosion had occurred.
Explosion in Mulga Mine, Mulga, Alabama — Sixteen men were killed and 12 were rescued by parties led by company officials.  Source document External Link
Explosion at Patterson No. 2 Mine, Elizabeth, Pennsylvania — Following the explosion, the superintendent and the pump man were overcome by afterdamp.  A rescue party in the charge of the mine foreman carried the unconscious men to fresh air.  The superintendent soon recovered, but the pump man could not be revived.  Breathing apparatus was not used.  Source document External Link
American Zinc, Lead and Smelting Mine Cave-in, Webb City, Missouri — As by a miracle, there was no loss of life when fifty zinc miners were caught in the drifts of the American Zinc, Lead and Smelting Co., when the roofs of mines Nos. 1, 2, and 3 caved in.  Thirty acres of ground caved to the working levels 250 feet below.  All the men were rescued after an undisclosed period.  Fifteen miners climbed to the surface after finding their way through darkened drifts by liberating a blind track mule and following him as he made his way over a path he had trod unseeingly for years to the shaft.  All of these men were injured, none of them dangerously.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1914 Rockwood Mine Explosion, Rockwood, Tennessee — The explosion killed one miner, and another miner was overcome while trying to escape.  An apparatus crew of four company men several hours later advanced 1,000 feet, rescued this miner, and carried him to fresh air, where he quickly revived.
Cave-in at Centennial Gold Mine, Eureka, Utah — Twelve men were imprisoned.  One man was rescued by company men, who, in seven hours, drove a drift 15 feet in country rock without shooting.  Source document 1External Link  Source document 2PDF Format
Alderson Mine Cave-in, Placerville, California — William Williams, a miner, who was buried alive by a cave-in at the Alderson Mine, was dug out safe and sound after having been imprisoned for 12 hours.  He had plenty of air to breathe at all times and was not cramped for space in which to stretch his limbs.  A hole large enough for a man to crawl through was dug through fifteen feet of gravel and Williams crawled to liberty by means of it.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1914 William Penn Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — After firing a blast at the William Penn colliery, Michael Wasso was caught in a rush of coal and buried up to his chin and was being gradually carried to a terrible death, down a chute, when his cries for help brought rescuers.  It took 12 miners seven hours to extricate the victim from his perilous position, owing to the continuous falls of top coal.  Wasso collapsed five times, but a doctor on the scene revived him.  He was lacerated from head to foot.  Source document PDF Format
Cameron Colliery Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — After being entombed for 48 bours in a low breast at the Cameron colliery, Leo Bulcosky was rescued alive.  Bulcosky was working in the breast when the face broke.  He put up props to hold it, but the push was too strong and forced the timber and carried props and man down the breast.  The battery broke and the miner was entombed.  He was taken to the State Hospital where he was listed in good condition, but would remain until he regained his strength and to guard from the danger of him collapsing.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1914 Banovich Silver Mine, near Tonopah, Nevada — Two men overcome by powder smoke at the bottom of a 95-foot shaft were brought out by two Bureau of Mines men from car 5.  The rescuers descended the shaft, tied ropes under the armpits of the unconscious miners, and had them hoisted to the surface, where oxygen and artificial respiration were used for two hours.  One miner fully recovered, but no sign of life appeared in the other miner.  Source document External Link  Source document 2PDF Format
Pine Brook Colliery Inundation, Peckville, Pennsylvania — Patrick Crane, a driver boy for this Scranton Coal Company mine in Lackawanna County was caught in a rush of water while making his last trip with a mule.  At first, he was thought to be dead.  A searching party was formed and after an undisclosed period he was found in water up to his waist.  The mule was a short distance away.  The lad was taken to the surface, none the worst for his experience.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1914 Central Mine Cave-in, Grass Valley, California — His face, shoulders and arms buried in dirt and rock, Hugh McCann managed to attract the attention of other men in the Central mine by wiggling his feet and escaped possible death following an undisclosed period.  When he was rescued from his painful plight, he was almost stifled.  Aside from a badly bruised face and slight lacerations of the hand, he was none the worse for the accident.  Source document PDF Format
Mary D Colliery Hoisting Disaster, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania — An over hoist accident occurred in the tower of the south hoist way, main shaft of the Mary D Colliery, when the self-dumping cage containing 8 men was hoisted above the dumping chute in the shaft tower.  Six men were instantly killed, 5 falling into the opening over the shaft.  Five men fell to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of 600 feet.  One man fell to the surface, landing 20 feet below the dumping chute and was also killed.  The seventh man was thrown into the dump chute, sustaining a fractured leg and lacerations about the head.  The eighth man clung to the crosshead of the cage and when rescued after an undisclosed period was found to be suffering from shock and a few scratches.
APR 1914 Eccles Mine Explosions, Eccles, West Virginia — A rescue party was rushed to the scene of the disaster from Beckley, which is only two miles away, but after removing two men from the debris of No. 6 their activities were checked by the deadening fumes of coal gas.  Later the party was more successful in bringing forty more men to the surface.  Two of the men, P. M. Ellison and N. Jones, were seriously injured.

Supt. Donaldson, an experienced miner, with an expert rescue crew, was lowered down the shaft of No. 6 mine.  For a time the steadily growing crowd of frightened women and children waited in suspense, but soon the signal came to hoist away and the cage responded.  It bore two men badly hurt, a few of the rescue party, and two bodies.
MAR 1914 Hickory Ridge Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Rescuers penetrated a breast at the Hickory Ridge Mine and recovered the body of John Mrowka, a miner, who had been entombed since the day before with Paul Poplaski, his partner.  Poplaski was brought to the surface earlier in the day in a dying condition following an undisclosed period.  The men had been imprisoned in a gangway by the roof collapsing.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1914 Cannon Mine Inundation — Andrew Churnick, 50, was killed by an inrush of water and gravel in No. 11 chute on the water level in the Gem seam.  His body was recovered 4 days later near the first crosscut in the No. 12 chute.  His partner, Mike Bobchurnick, was rescued after being imprisoned for 7 days near the 6th crosscut in the same chute.
JAN 1914 Miner Avalanche Burial, Philipsburg, Montana — Eli Marfhi, aged 35, a miner, was rescued from an avalanche that buried him near Philipsburg.  For 48 hours had lived in the snowdrift, eating snow to satisfy a fierce thirst and fighting desperately to free himself.  He was unconscious when miners on their way to a remote claim beyond Philipsburg saw Marfhi’s head above the drift and rescued him.  His right leg had a double fracture and his left arm was broken in two places.  The miners improvised a cast from splints off trees, strapped the injured man on their backs and carried him several miles.  Then they secured a wagon and dragged Marfhi to the Northern Pacific tracks.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1913 Golden Cycle Mine Cave-in, Cripple Creek, Colorado — Fighting against tons of rock and dirt, hundreds of miners working in shifts of 25 minutes each, struggled to reach the remaining three men entombed in the Golden Cycle mine at Cripple Creek, Colorado.  Grave fears for the safety of these men were expressed by rescuers that a second slide had occurred between them and the imprisoned men.  Four men were entombed in the Golden Cycle mine by a cave-in the day before.  One miner, Thomas Spindel, was rescued alive following an undisclosed period.  A fifth miner, Frank Cabris, who was entombed in the adjoining Christmas mine was rescued after nine hours.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1913 Sunday Creek Mine No. 9 Lost Miner, Shawnee, Ohio — Ben Arbaugh, 37, was rescued from the Sunday Creek Mine No. 9, after being lost for — three days and nights — in an abandoned part of the mine without food or water.  He went into the mine on October 31st to get some tools and became confused.  He wandered into an old tunnel and tramped for hours trying to find his way.  Arbaugh’s lamp finally burned out and he groped around in the dark for 48 hours.  Exhausted and partly overcome by black damp, he gave up all hope of escape.  When found he was in a semi-conscious condition, but soon regained his senses after being brought out to light and fresh air.  He would recover.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1913 Stag Canon No. 2 Mine Explosion — Nine miners, found unconscious near the bottom of the airshaft, were rescued by an apparatus crew after about 5 hours.  They were revived by the use of pulmotors.  At 6:15 p.m., the first miner to be rescued alive within 12 hours was taken from the main entry.  He was found unconscious, two miles within the mine.  Source document  External Link
Seven Mexican miners, trapped for 6 days in the Vogel and Lawrence Lignite mine at Rockdale, Texas were found unconscious, and barely alive.  The men were imprisoned by a cave-in following a cloud burst which flooded the mine.  Laying near the men was their mule, still alive.  Source document External Link
Trapped in an abandoned chamber of the Continental Mine operated by the Lehigh Valley Coal Company in Centralia, Pennsylvania, Thomas Toshesky was finally freed by rescuers after 8 days.  He was in good condition and spirits, refusing a stretcher and making it out of the mine under his own power.  Source document External Link
Shenandoah Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — John Kender, a well-known miner, had a narrow escape from death at the Shenandoah colliery, where a heavy fall of coal and rock took place, making him a prisoner.  Rescuers, after six hours of hazardous work, finally took Kender from his living prison, painfully but not seriously injured.  Source document PDF Format
Vogel & Lawrence Lignite Mine Cave-in, Rockdale, Texas — Seven Mexican miners entombed for — 5 days — in the Vogel & Lawrence lignite mine near Rockdale were rescued.  Two other men found in another part of the mine were dead.  A mule also was rescued alive.  The miners were entombed when heavy rains caused a creek to cave in on the mine.  The seven taken from the mine were unconscious and barely alive.  If rescue had been delayed several more hours, they likely would have died.  They were ninety feet underground and continual digging, day and night, was necessary in order to reach the spot.  The men were so weak they had to be carried from the mine.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1913 Valley Crystal Ice and Storage Co. Lost Person, Charleroi, Pennsylvania — Fred Lambert, aged 23, became lost in the coal mine of the Valley Crystal Ice and Storage Company and wandered a day and night in the mine without sleep or anything to eat before by accident he stumbled into the right entry to find himself in the arms of friends who had gone to search for him.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1913 Barnes No. 2 Mine Roof Fall, Willis Creek, Ohio — Lester Jennings was saved from death after an undisclosed period when a large rock under which he was working in the Barnes No. 2 mine at Willis Creek fell and pinned him to the ground.  The rock rested upon piles of waste when it came down and Jennings was alive, thankful to have escaped with bruises, a dislocated shoulder, and a twisted knee.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1913 Spruce No. 1 Mine Inundation, Eveleth, Minnesota — Due to a heavy rainstorm causing a nearby creek to overflow its banks, fifteen miners became trapped in the Spruce No. 1 mine.  Ten of these miners were freed later in the day of the flood, after more than 12 hours.  The remaining 5 miners' freedom required much more difficulty which lasted nearly 4 days.  While they had suffered greatly from bad air and hunger, it was believed they would all recover.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1913 Imperial Mine Explosion, Belle Valley, Ohio — After an undisclosed period, rescuers found Roy Yeager about 300 feet from the scene of the explosion.  Yeager, who was alive, was unable to rise on account of a broken leg, and he probably owes his life to the broken leg.  Lying on the floor, he did not inhale the fumes of the afterdamp.  The rescue party carried him to a mine car and started toward the entrance.
APR 1913 Sixty-seven miners escaped from the Cincinnati Mine following the explosion that claimed 98 lives on April 23, 1913, including one apparatus wearing rescuer.  Two miners were rescued after 60 hours.  See moreExternal Link  Source document External Link
MAR 1913 Scranton Mine Fire, Charleston, West Virginia — Forty men were rescued with difficulty from the Scranton Mine of the Paint Creek Collieries Company after the fan-house was destroyed by fire.  The damage occurred within an hour after orders had been issued for the withdrawal of part of the military on duty in the coal country of Kanawha county, where martial law had reigned for almost two months because of the strike of miners.  The fire ate into the workings and at a late hour was burning 300 feet from the mouth of the mine along the main entry.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1913 Draper Colliery Inundation, Gilberton, Pennsylvania — Three miners were imprisoned for 3 days and 3 nights when the Mahonoy River flooded the Draper Colliery near Gilberton, Pennsylvania.  The face of an old breast collapsed allowing the river to flow in upon them.  The rescued miners were Joseph Drobas, William Kokas, and John Servillas.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1912 Copper Mountain Avalanche, Cordova, Alaska — Nine miners were killed when a snow slide on Copper Mountain carried away seven buildings of the Great Northern Development Company.  Two miners, John McCarthy and a Japanese named Kee, were rescued after an undisclosed period.  McCarthy was seriously injured about the body and Kee's legs were broken.  Source document  External Link
East Lehigh Coal Colliery Cave-in, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — After being imprisoned nearly — 40 hours — behind a fall of coal and rock, eight of the nine men entombed in the East Lehigh Coal Company colliery were rescued.  The other man, Joseph Walters, was believed to have been killed.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1912 Horn Silver Mine Explosion and Cave-in, Frisco, Utah — A party of 7 was entombed for 14 hours following an explosion and cave-in at the Horn silver mine near Frisco, Utah.  The group, which included the 2 teenage daughters of the mine foreman, was on a sightseeing tour of the mine.  The group was imprisoned at 10 o’clock the night before when an explosion occurred.  A cave-in that followed blocked their exit until rescuers removed the mass of earth and timbers.  Source document PDF Format
Delaware and Hudson Mine Fall of Person, Scranton, Pennsylvania — To fall down a distance of 68 feet and escape uninjured, except for slight lacerations of the scalp and face, was the unusual experience of Sank Mimce, 31, of Olyphant.  While standing at the opening of the Delaware and Hudson mine shaft, Mimce suddenly became dizzy and tumbled down the shaft pit.  That he was not killed was due to the fact that there was three feet of water at the bottom of the shaft and this broke his fall.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1912 Boston Colliery Water Rescue, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — While repairing a sluiceway at the Boston colliery of the Delaware and Hudson Company, James Lawson was nearly drowned when the pumps of the mines began to work, sending great quantities of water into the sluiceway.  As he attempted to make his escape, Lawson became fastened in the woodwork and water was creeping gradually up about him.  The force of the pump was terrific, and as it reached its highest speed, Lawson was hurled from his fastening and carried away in the overflow water.  He was almost dead when rescued, but first-aid work restored him to consciousness.  Source document PDF Format
Bolan-Darnell Mine Explosion & Fire, Craig, Oklahoma — Imprisoned for sixteen hours in the burning Bolan-Darnell mine at Craig, Oklahoma, Frank Spanevelli was taken out alive.  He was badly burned but would recover.  The body of Antonio Piatza was found not far from the cave-in where Spanevelli was found.  They were the only two men in the mine when it caught fire after an explosion.  Source document PDF Format
Central Coal Mine No. 42 Cave-in, Wier, Kansas — Antonio Mullain, a miner who was imprisoned in the Central Coal Company’s mine No. 42 was rescued following an undisclosed period after the rescue party had dug through twenty feet of solid coal.  Mullain’s worst injury was a broken leg.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1912 Abernant Mine Explosion, Abernant, Alabama — The day after the explosion, an exploring party found a man in the 14th right aircourse, still alive.  He was brought to the surface, but in such a condition that he never regained consciousness.  Another miner, after repeated efforts to penetrate the afterdamp, took refuge at the face of 14th right aircourse and came out unassisted after about 3 hours.
White Mine Inundation, Broad Ford, Pennsylvania — Caused by the most terrific rainstorm in recent years, the White mine of the H. C. Frick Coke Company became flooded, trapping two miners.  Their rescuers, led by Superintendent John Shields waded into the mine and finally reached the two men after an undisclosed period.  The trapped miners were Jesse Addis and another miner identified only as a Slav.  Source document PDF Format
J. F. Aldrich Mine Equipment Fire, Joplin, Missouri — A hand bellows at the top of a drill hole leading into a drift of the J. F. Aldrich mine at Joplin, furnished the air that saved at least two men's lives when debris from a burning derrick fell into the shaft.  One man. however, would probably die. He was Joe C. Cathgers, an aged workman.  He was overcome by fumes and was in an unconscious condition.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1912 Panama Mine Explosion, Moundsville, West Virginia — An explosion occurred in this mine causing the death of eight men.  There were 10 men in the mine at the time of the explosion.  Seven of these men died almost instantly from burns and suffocation; two others, badly burned, made their way to the shaft bottom and were hoisted to the surface.  One of these two men died on July 13.  The tenth man was found by the rescue party and brought out alive about 24 hours after the explosion.  It was the opinion of investigators that the explosion occurred when an accumulation of gas was ignited by an open light.
JUN 1912 Hastings Mine Explosion, Hastings, Colorado — Rescuers who entered the Hastings mine early on June 19 returned soon afterward with a Greek, who was badly burned.  Source document PDF Format
Superba No. 2 Mine Inundation, Uniontown, Pennsylvania — At Evans Station, three miles from Uniontown, thirteen men were drowned in Superba No. 2 mine, better known as Polecat mine.  Following a cloudburst, a flood rushed into the mine way of the mine.  Thirty-seven men were rescued after a terrible experience. The men were down 1,000 feet from the mouth of the mine.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1912 Norrie Mine, Oliver Iron Mining Company, Ironwood, Michigan — A party of 10 miners and 3 trammers on the night shift was walking home from the boundary of the property above the twentieth level of the mine.  Hearing ground dropping, they retreated to what they thought was a safe place, the main drift, which was securely timbered and had 35 to 40 feet of solid ore above it.  The cave, however, did not occur at the place where the men had been working, but in the very place of refuse to which they had retreated, crushing in the drift timbers over a length of about 80 feet.  Six men were rescued alive after about 24 hours, but one died about a week later.  In all, 7 miners were killed.  See moreExternal Link
APR 1912 Five Points Mine Cave-in, Globe, Arizona — Henry Paryman was rescued after being trapped for 100 hours following a cave-in that occurred in the Five Points Mine of the Manitou Copper Company at Globe, Arizona.  Aside from the obvious hardships he was forced to contend with, rising water in the space in which he was confined was an issue throughout his ordeal.  Source document PDF Format
No. 8 Colliery Cave-in, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania — After having been imprisoned for thirty-six hours by a fall of coal at the No. 8 colliery, John Rubicar, a laborer, was rescued practically uninjured.  Evan Tonkin, imprisoned at the same time, but rescued shortly after, was fatally injured.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Tunnel Cave-in, Santa Barbara, California — H. Frank Fizer, 27, motorman, saved Thomas Bowen, 32, foreman, and seven other men from a tunnel cave-in, Santa Barbara, California, April 7, 1912.  Fizer, while taking a train of muck cars out of the tunnel, discovered that a cave-in, which would cause water to back to the face of the workings, was imminent at a point about two miles from the entrance.  To warn the other men, he waded back in the tunnel over 4,400 feet, through water from 12 to 20 inches deep, against a current of 2.5 m.p.h.  All escaped.  The cave-in closed the tunnel for three hours after they got out.  Frank Fizer was awarded the Carnegie Hero Medal for his bravery.  Source document External Link  
MAR 1912 San Bois No. 2 Mine Explosion, McCurtain, Oklahoma — Twenty-six men were rescued on Thursday following an undisclosed period after undergoing frightful experiences.
Bast Colliery Cave-in, Ashland, Pennsylvania — Two miners, Peter Orbitsky and Stephen Muskah, were rescued after an 8-hour entrapment following a cave-in in the Bast Colliery at Ashland, PA.  Both men were in a state of utter collapse with just enough strength to fall upon the necks of their deliverers in a hysteria of joy when reached.  Source document PDF Format
Richards Colliery Fall of Person, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — After Mary Doyle, a 17-year-old schoolgirl, had fallen 100 feet down a mine breach near the Richards colliery, she found herself in total darkness, almost frightened to death, and covered with bruises.  She had been walking along a mountain path, talking to several girlfriends, when the path caved in.  She was in the lead, and as she sank from sight, her companions barely escaped.  Close behind the girls was John Rack, a miner, on his way home from work.  Hearing Miss Doyle's friends call for help, he ran to the scene, called to the missing girl, and was overjoyed to hear her faintly answer.  She told him she had fallen a long distance but did not think any of her limbs had been broken.  Rack told her to remain as quiet as possible, whereupon he ran to a house and procured a clothesline.  Again, reaching the cave-in, he lowered one end of the rope to Miss Doyle, who faintly told him she was too weak to tie it about her.  Several miners appeared, tied the rope about Rack and lowered him fully 100 feet, until he found the girl, who had become unconscious.  He tied the rope about her and had the men pull her up, after which he also was drawn to the surface.  Miss Doyle was resuscitated and taken home, where doctors found, she was badly bruised.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1912 Eddy Creek Mine Rescue, Dickson City, Pennsylvania — Michael Hudy was rescued by a searching party after being lost for 3 days in the Eddy Creek mine of the D & H Coal Company.  Hudy was found in an abandoned working, exhausted, starving, and lying in a ditch.  He could not explain how he lost his way. He was expected to recover.  Source document PDF Format
With 140 rescuers tearing at the rock and earth blocking the shaft of the Bunker Hill Mine at Sutter Creek, California, freedom came at noon on February 8 for sixty-two miners trapped for 23 hours.  Wives and daughters of the trapped men held torches through the nights while rescuers assailed the jam.  Source document External Link
Western Coal and Iron No. 5 Mine Fire, McAlester, Oklahoma — Mexican youth, Reifne Rodriguez, was rewarded for his bravery by the United Mine Workers’ 21st district executive board.  When it was discovered that the No. 5 mine was on fire, Rodriguez ran through the workings warning all 100 workmen except for 9 of the danger allowing them to exit before the fire gained headway.  Nine miners died from suffocation in the fire.  For his bravery, the board authorized to set aside sufficient funds for the education of the young Mexican.  Source document PDF Format
Fairmount Coal Co. Mine Entrapment, Danville, Illinois — After being imprisoned in the shaft of the Fairmount Coal Company's mine near Danville for 15 hours, 50 miners were released by men who had chopped the ice from the shaft.  The men were entombed by the breaking of a wheel on the cage, while the cage was about 100 feet below the surface.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1912 Corbin Mine Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — After being entombed in the Corbin mine at Shamokin, Pennsylvania, Benjamin Smith, a miner, was rescued from under a fall of rock by fellow workmen after twelve hours work.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1911 Five miners were found alive after 58 hours following an explosion in the Cross Mountain mine at Briceville, Tennessee.  Discovery of Andrew Johnson was made when a dead miner was found in a sitting position in one of the interior chambers.  Johnson and the other men were suffering from blackdamp.  Source documentExternal Link  Source document 2PDF Format
Packer Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Joseph Reed and Thomas Levan, two miners who were entombed in the Packer Colliery of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company were rescued and would spend Christmas at home with their families.  The men were working on the night shift when there was a rush of coal and refuse, preventing escape.  So immense was the wall that mine officials feared it would take several days to dig through and that the men might be asphyxiated if not crushed to death by a further movement of the cave-in.  All available men, working in short relays at high speed, made rapid progress and the men soon were reached.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1911 Bottom Creek Mine Explosion, Vivian, West Virginia — By heroic work the rescuers reached the scene of the disaster after an undisclosed period and found engineer Alexander Williams and 3 other men who were brought out alive.  All were injured.  Hoping to reach others of the entombed men the rescuers pushed the work with all haste.  One after another they found the victims and by midnight all but two had been brought out of the mine.  The dead included 4 other engineers.
Needmore Zinc Mine Explosion and Cave-in, Oronogo, Missouri — A cave-in, caused by an overloaded mill hopper, caused six men to be buried alive for an undisclosed period in the Needmore Zinc Mine at Oronogo, but they were rescued soon afterward when a hole was blasted through to them.  The pumps were disabled by the crash of earth, which took down the mill and all machinery.  The mine was operated by J. H. Magee and John Newland of Carthage.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1911 The fourteen miners entombed in the Shakespeare Placer gold mine cave-in at Dome Creek, Alaska were freed after 84 hours.  The Keystone drill hole was enlarged by thawing until it was large enough to permit the body of a man to pass.  Then the imprisoned miners were pulled up one after another 174 feet to the surface.

Those rescued included Edward Carlson, John Smith, Oscar Burg, Peter Peterson, Frank Albani, Robert Forasino, George Sakoff, Taze Gabeso, Antone Mareno, Kabof Sakkoboff, Nik Moreff, Zip Moreff, Michael Morzof, and George Zakaloff.  This accident occurred on September 28, 1911.
Source document External Link  See more External Link about this disaster and early erroneous reporting.
O’Gara Mine No. 8 Explosives Detonation, Harrisburg, Illinois — Eight miners were killed, and eight others temporarily overcome by an explosion of powder in the O’Gara mine No. 8.  The dead and those made unconscious were removed from the mine by rescuers, three of whom were overcome by gas.  They were resuscitated at a hospital.  The explosion occurred as the shifts were changing and, but sixteen men were in the north entry, where the explosion occurred.  Three hundred and sixty men had reported for work, but all bad not gone into the workings.  It was not definitely known what caused the explosion, but that it was possible that the insulation on an electric cable had become loosened and that the exposed wire touched some spilled powder.   Source document PDF Format
SEP 1911 Morning Star Mine Cave-in, Leadville, Colorado — Fred Caski, Andrew Perle, and Nat Jacobson, the miners who were imprisoned in the Morning Star mine for sixty hours as the result of a cave-in were rescued.  Their rescue was effected through a hole made in the obstruction in the shaft. Source document PDF Format
AUG 1911 Rescuers worked for three days to free Joseph Clary, 32, from the White Oak Mine near Villa Heights, Missouri, where a cave-in had occurred on July 30.  Once a drill hole was large enough, a fried chicken dinner, water and whiskey were lowered to Clary along with a telephone from which he conversed with his family and rescuers.
Rose Hill Mine Cave-in, Cannelville, Ohio — Charles Pringle, aged 35, was buried under a pile of slate in the Rose Hill mine at Cannelville for an hour, and was so seriously injured that it was believed he would die.  He was unconscious when found, cut and bleeding on all parts of the body when rescuers finally freed him from the mass of rock.  Many bones were broken and his head was badly cut.  Miners worked for an hour in rescuing Pringle.  Source document PDF Format
Bast Colliery Cave-in, Big Mine Run, Pennsylvania — After working without cessation for 48 hours, two or the three men imprisoned in the East Holmes Gangway of the Bast Colliery at Big Mine Run, near Ashland, were rescued alive.  The rescued miners are John Dolan and Anthony Tamashitos.  The third man, Peter Zemonskie was buried beneath the fallen rock which had imprisoned the three men at the face of the gangway.  He was dead.  Dolan and Tamashitos were uninjured.  The men said they could hear the muffled sounds of the work of the rescuers which grew more distinct as they approached nearer to the small place where they were imprisoned.  They knew nothing of their missing companion, Peter Zemonskie, who was probably killed outright by the first fall of top coal.  The men had been in the mine 50 hours.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1911 Kokomo Mine Cave-in, Brazil, Indiana — George Faulkner, a miner at the Kokomo mine, near Brazil, Indiana, was buried alive for several hours by a huge mass of slate.  Faulkner was entirely covered, but retained consciousness, and when a mule driver went by several hours later.  He yelled to him for aid.  He was rescued with great effort by several miners and was found to be injured about the back with serious internal injuries.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1911 Banner Mine Explosion, Littleton, Alabama — Following the explosion that would kill 128 miners, forty-five of the miners either reached the outside to safety or got within hailing distance in the shaft and were taken out by rescuers.  Scores of volunteers were on hand, brought by the alarm spread through the valley, and many made heroic rushes into the mine to bring out the victims.  This work proved effective until the deadly gases reached the main shaft into which the men were headed, and then it meant death for all who entered the workings.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1911 Elba Mine Cave-in, Gilbert, Minnesota — Captain Benny and two miners were entombed 250 feet down in the Elba mine.  After an undisclosed period described only as "hours", Captain Benny was rescued alive and taken to his home.  His condition was reported as extremely critical.  William J. Stone, an Englishman, and Joseph Bovich, an Austrian, are the men who lost their lives.  Source document.
FEB 1911 Homestake Mine Cave-in, Lead, South Dakota — Larry Nichols, who was imprisoned in the Homestake workings by the cave-in which killed Shift Boss Joe Thomas, was dug out after almost a day and removed to the hospital.  He was not seriously injured.  Source document PDF Format
Cokedale Mine Explosion, Trinidad, Colorado — The Cokedale mine was wrecked by an explosion on February 9.  There were seventeen men in the mine at the time of the explosion, and only two shot-firers were rescued after an undisclosed period.  Superintendent Bailess of the company declared that the explosion was due to the accidental discharge of blasting powder.  The mine is owned by the American Smelting and Refining company.  Note: the news article called this the Gale Mine, however, the actual mine name is Cokedale, according to the final investigation report.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1911 Carbon Hill No. 1 Mine Explosion, Carbon Hill, Virginia — 6 men who were injured in the explosion at the Gayton Mine at Carbon Hill, Virginia were returned to the surface after an undisclosed period.  It is not clear whether all of these men survived their injuries.  A total of seven miners died as result of the explosion.
Unnamed Mine Asphyxiation, Butte, Montana — Frederick A. Babcock, 25, miner, saved Joseph Harkins, 23, and David McPherson, 38, miners, from suffocation, Butte, Montana, January 14, 1911.  Babcock made his way through dense smoke on the 2,200-foot level toward Harkins and McPherson, who were working at the face of the level.  He met four men whom he warned of a fire in the mine.  One of these men shouted the warning to Harkins and McPherson.  Before Babcock could retrace his steps to the shaft, from breathing smoke, he sank from weakness, and had to be helped to the shaft by Harkins and McPherson, who found him.  When he reached the shaft, Babcock was unconscious but revived in half an hour.  Frederick Babcock was awarded the Carnegie Hero Medal for his bravery.  Source document External Link  
Unnamed Mine Asphyxiation, Butte, Montana — Michael L. Belangie, 33, miner, died attempting to help save Dennis Lynch, 53, repairman, and Stephen Hogan, 57, pumpman, from suffocation, Butte, Montana, January 14, 1911.  Belangie, who had already made two trips into a copper mine, was one of a party of four men who made two trips to the pump station on the 1,000-foot level in search of Lynch and Hogan, who had been overcome by smoke from a fire in the mine.  On the second trip through the station, Belangie was overcome.  The others went on and rescued Lynch and Hogan, but when Belangie was gotten out, about 10 minutes later, he was dead.  Lynch and Hogan were revived.  Source document External Link  
Hoyt Mine Explosion, Port Griffith, Pennsylvania — Martin F. Mangan, 26, mine footman, helped to save Joseph Lucas, 33; James E. Dougher, 27; and Anthony Gowrey, 43, from suffocation at the Hoyt shaft of the Pennsylvania Coal Company on January 10, 1911.  Mangan went with four other men into a heading of a coal mine, one-half mile from the shaft, immediately following an explosion that had deflected the air current and filled that and other headings with after damp.  They found Lucas, unconscious, and carried him into fresh air.  Returning, Mangan and four others found Dougher, whom they also carried out.  All had been somewhat affected by the after damp.  Mangan and three of the men went through another heading into the gangway where the explosion had occurred, where they found Gowrey.  A second explosion seemed imminent, and Mangan went with two of the men to obtain a stretcher.  They returned and carried Gowery out while the fourth man in their party continued, to save another man. Lucas and Dougher were revived.  Gowery was badly burned.  Those that participated in rescuing miners affected in the incident on January 10, 1911 and were awarded the Carnegie medal for their bravery included those listed below.  Numbers in parentheses are assigned by the Carnegie Hero Award site.
  • Michael J. Madden, 37, assistant mine foreman (6419)
  • Martin F. Mangan, 26, mine footman (6416)
  • Jacob Modlo, 22, mine driver (6879)
  • Andrew J. Horan, 44, miner (6418)
  • Thomas F. Gallagher, 25, car-runner (6420)
  • Andrew Devers, 54, miner (6417)
  • James L. Conlon, aged 36, assistant mine foreman (6415)
  • John T. Brown, 46, mine foreman (6414)
Source document 1 External Link    Source document 2 PDF Format
DEC 1910 Greeno Mine Explosion, Tacoma, Virginia — Four miners were either rescued or otherwise made their way to the surface after more than twelve hours following the explosion in the Greeno mine which killed eight.  The four included John Swede, James Rosenburg, John Ritsky, and G. E. Lehman.  Rosenburg was badly burned on his head, face and hands.  The others were reported to be in good condition.  Note: corrected name spellings are taken from the final accident investigation report.
NOV 1910 Jumbo Mine Explosion, Jumbo, Oklahoma — After an undisclosed period, just one miner was rescued from the shaft explosion of the Jumbo Mine, operated by the Choctaw Asphalt Company of St. Louis.  Five miners descending in cars were blown to atoms and eight others were entombed and asphyxiated by the deadly fumes.
Victor American No. 3 Mine Fire, Delagua, Colorado — 18 miners were rescued from behind barricades 5 days and 21 hours following a fire in the Victor American No. 3 mine in Delagua, Colorado.  79 miners were killed in the disaster.  Source document PDF Format  Source document 2PDF Format
Fifty men who were working in the section of the Shoal Creek No. 1 Mine where the explosion occurred were rescued after an undisclosed period according to the mine management.  Six miners died in the incident.
Fremont Mine Fire, Carson City, Colorado — The 200 men caught in the Fremont mine of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company were all hoisted to safety after the fire started in the mule stable underground.  The miners were hoisted to the surface one by one, through an air shaft which offered the only way of escape.  The Fremont mine was worked through two shafts, a haulage shaft and an air shaft.  It was believed all the men in the mine were on the air shaft side of the fire and made their way safely to the surface.  The mule stable, where the fire broke out is about 1,500 feet from the bottom of the haulage shaft.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1910 Nazareth Limestone Quarry Explosion, Nazareth, Pennsylvania — A large force of men made every effort to reach the victims, but it was some time before the first man was found.  He was still breathing, but unconscious and that he might die at any moment.  All the victims were Hungarians and Italians and were known about the quarry only by numbers.
Amsterdam No. 2 Mine Explosion, Amsterdam, Ohio — Seven bruised and burned men were rescued alive after an undisclosed period from the pit of the Youghiogheny and Ohio Coal Company's mine at Amsterdam where a terrific explosion snuffed out the lives of fifteen other miners.
Packer Mine No. 5 Cave-in, Girardville, Pennsylvania — After being imprisoned for 18 hours by a fall of coal at the Packer No. 5 mine of the Lehigh Valley colliery, near Girardville, Robert Metukas was rescued uninjured, but died an hour later from an excess of joy on being taken from the tomb.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1910 McTurks Colliery Cave-in, Girardville, Pennsylvania — John Meducas was rescued from behind hundreds of tons of coal in a breast at McTurks Colliery, where he had been imprisoned for 36 hours.  Meducas spent the entire time in the dark since he lost his lamp when the rush of coal first occurred.  Except that he suffered slightly from hunger and thirst, he experienced no ill effects from his thrilling experience.  Source document PDF Format
Gardner Mine Fall of Person, Bisbee, Arizona — Falling a considerable distance down a manway at the Gardner shaft, A. D. Creamer, a miner, was rendered unconscious and for a time it was feared he was seriously injured.  After an undisclosed period he was removed to the surface and conveyed in an ambulance to the Copper Queen hospital where he regained consciousness.  An examination showed that no bones were broken, but he was still suffering from the shock.  His bodily injuries amounted to only a few scratches.  At about the same time as the accident at the Gardner, Peter Hirgo, at the Lowell shaft, was overcome by gases in the mine and was rendered unconscious.  He was also revived at the hospital and went home later.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1910 Ernest No. 2 Mine Explosion, Ernest, Pennsylvania — Andy Kragear was overcome by the gas arising from the explosion.  A rescue party using an oxygen helmet rescued and brought him to the surface about 8 hours after the explosion.  Shortly afterward he gained consciousness and was able to tell where he boarded.  He was the only man in the mine in the vicinity of the explosion that escaped.
Sholl Mine Fire, South Bartonville, Illinois — After an undisclosed period, a rescue party entered the escape shaft of the burning Sholl mine at South Bartonville, a mile from the main shaft, and brought two miners, nearly dead from suffocation, to the surface.  The fire is believed to have had an incendiary origin and started in the tipple at 5:30 p.m.  All the upper works and wooden construction in the main shaft were burned.  The blaze was extinguished by volunteers two hours later.  Only the two men were in the mine.  The mine is owned by Sholl Brothers of Peoria.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1910 Primero Mine Explosion, Primero, Colorado — After an undisclosed period following an explosion in the Primero Mine, one man, Dio Nardine, was rescued.  He was found badly injured beneath a mass of earth and timbers.  Source document External Link
DEC 1909 Mine A Explosion and Fire, Herrin, Illinois — James Guinney, Superintendent of the mine, and Robert Hueston, manager, headed the first relay of rescuers within five minutes of the explosion.  Despite the blackdamp, they penetrated the workings.  After sending to the surface three unconscious persons they found the first of the deceased miners.  Afterdamp then forced them to retreat.
Bolen Darnell Mine Explosion, McAlester, Oklahoma — Superintendent John Brown was rescued alive after being trapped for twenty-eight hours in the Bolen Darnell Company mine.  Brown risked his life attempting to save Angelo Ascinar, a shot firer who was entombed following an explosion in the mine.  It was speculated that Brown would have died within another hour.  Source document PDF Format
Negaunee Iron Mine Cave-in, Negaunee, Michigan — Frank Cobdello, entombed for 7 days in the depths of the Negaunee mine, was rescued alive.  He was found in a pocket behind the cave-in which had trapped him and Peter Mundi.  The latter's dead body was beside Cobdello's barely conscious form.  Two others were trapped in the same incident, Victor Mattila and Peter Makki.  The body of Victor Mattila was recovered on the 23rd, terribly crushed. No further word was found on the location of Peter Makki.  In 1902, ten miners were killed in a cave-in in this mine.  Source document PDF Format
Hammond Colliery Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Buried to the neck in the rush of hundreds of tons of coal that swept into the gangway in the West Holmes vein at Hammond Colliery, Anthony Connell, 21 years old, was rescued alive and practically unhurt.  He had been hemmed in twenty-four hours and at one point given up for dead.  Miners acquainted with conditions said he could not survive the entombment.  A rescuing force working in relays of eleven men removed over three hundred tons of coal and rock before reaching him.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1909 There were tales of unbelievable suffering and endurance following the Cherry Mine Fire.  One group of miners, 500 feet underground, had built a wall of mud, rocks, and timbers to block off the poisonous gases.  They were in total darkness with only a pool of water leaking from a coal seam to drink.  After 8 days of confinement, they could bear it no longer.  They tore down the barricade and began crawling through the tunnels.  Finally, they heard the sounds of a search party.  Twenty-one men still alive from this group were rescued.  259 miners were killed in the disaster.

Black Diamonds by Ray Tutaj, Jr.
Play this audio file in your browser.  
Read and listen to the Cherry Mine Disaster Narration by Ray Tutaj, Jr. here.
London Mine Fire, Ducktown, Tennessee — Eight men imprisoned in the London mine of the Tennessee Copper Company as the result of a shaft house fire, were rescued.  None were injured.  Mine Expert Ramsay, of the rescue station recently established by the federal government at Knoxville, arrived with helmets.  The helmets were found to be of such weight that they could not be worn with ease into the levels and they were returned to the surface and abandoned.  A rescue party of three was then formed and without helmets descended the shaft, finding the eight men on the sixth level.  The miners were protected from smoke and gases by a partition they had built.  Source document PDF Format
Copper King Mine Cave-in, Reno, Nevada — Charles Moody and Harry Anderson, miners who were buried under tons of rock and timbers in a cave-in in the Copper King mine were rescued alive.  Falling rock warned the men that something was wrong and gave them time to crawl up to the 170-foot level.  They had barely reached safety when the cave-in occurred.  Forty men worked — 47 hours — to rescue the buried miners.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Mine Explosion, Gilchrist, Illinois — James Bennie helped to save Andrew Bogus and assisted to save Edward Wyatt from suffocation, Gilchrist, Illinois, November 22, 1909.  Bogus, 29, and Wyatt, 41, shot firers, were in a mine when an explosion occurred, extinguishing their lights, damaging the ventilating system, and making useless one of two hoisting cages.  Ten minutes after the accident, Bennie, 51, miner, with a lamp in his cap, descended steps in a section of the air shaft, followed by two officials of the mine.  When he was 15 feet from the bottom, he found the steps gone, and he dropped, in darkness, to the bottom.  The other men followed him, and they walked about 285 feet through smoke-filled entries and found Bogus and Wyatt.  The former was delirious, and the latter was unconscious.  While one man remained with Wyatt, Bennie and the other walked toward the hoisting shaft with Bogus, a distance of more than 425 feet.  The smoke grew denser, and after a time Bennie proceeded alone.  When he felt that he was being overcome by gas, he stooped close to the floor until he felt somewhat revived and then made his way back to Bogus and the other man.  He again went forward alone, reached the shaft, and called to have a cage lowered.  He did not wait for the cage but returned and helped get Bogus to the shaft.  After the three were hoisted, Bennie again descended and went with other men to where Wyatt and the other man had been left.  The air in the mine was then better, and all left in safety.  Bogus recovered, but Wyatt died three days later of pneumonia, brought on by the inhalation of smoke or gas.  James Bennie was awarded the Carnegie Hero Medal for his bravery.  Source document External Link  
JUL 1909 Pennsylvania Railroad No. 14 Colliery Rescue, Plainsville, Pennsylvania — Caught fast in a pump in the No. 14 colliery of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company at Plainsville, Pennsylvania, Robert Taylor, the night engineer, was held while the water slowly rose about him.  It had reached his chin, as he stood on his toes, when rescuers reached him.  In a few minutes he would have been drowned.  He went into the working early in the morning to repair the pump and his hand was caught in the machinery.  As the pump stopped, the water began to rise.  His cries for help were not heard until four hours later.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1909 Lackawanna No. 4 Mine Explosion, Wehrum, Pennsylvania — Twelve miners were unconscious when rescued on the 23rd but were revived through the use of oxygen.  They were placed in the temporary hospital, a machine shop, and at 3 p.m. were sent to Spangler on a special train provided by Trainmaster Henry Taylor, of Cresson.
MAY 1909 Pennsylvania Coal No. 6 Mine Explosion & Fire, Inkerman, Pennsylvania — James M. Flanigan, 20, mine car tender, rescued William Derrig, 19, and John W. Mullery, 21, in the Pennsylvania Coal No. 6 Mine at Inkerman, Pennsylvania after an explosion.  Flanigan went into an abandoned drift, immediately following an explosion of gas, and brought out Derrig.  He returned, others refusing to go with him, and got Mullery.  Both Derrig and Mullery were severely injured and Derrig died one week later.  Flanigan's hands were burned from beating out fire in the men's clothing, and he was disabled 18 days.  In April 1916, James Flanigan was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award along with $1,000 cash for his bravery.  Source document 1PDF Format  Source document 2PDF Format 
APR 1909 M & B Mine Cave-in, Duenweg, Missouri — Thomas Gibbs, the remaining miner of five entombed by the M & B mine cave-in near Duenweg, Missouri was rescued after an undisclosed period, but he died just as he was brought to the surface.  His death was the third in this incident along with Charles Evans and George Bennett.  Two other miners caught in the cave-in, Albert Winthrop and James R. Jones, fought desperately for their liberty and managed to escape.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1909 Los Angeles Aqueduct Cave-in, Pinto, California — After being buried alive for four days, John Marconi resumed his duties as a miner on the Los Angeles aqueduct, having returned to work 24 hours after his rescue.  Timbering collapsed in Tunnel No. 40 at Pinto, California.  Marconi's escape was cut off by a bank of sand, thirty feet thick.  A two-inch pipe was driven through the sand and air admitted to his dungeon.  For four days and nights aqueduct employees worked at the bank of sand, but it ran like water and little progress was made.  Marconi was rescued on March 12th, he took one day's rest and then returned to work.  Source document PDF Format
Erie Coal Explosion and Fire, Port Blanchard, Pennsylvania — An explosion of gas occurred in the colliery of the Erie Coal Company at Port Blanchard. A fire followed the explosion and sixty miners were entombed back of the fire. After several hours they were all gotten out alive.  Source document PDF Format
St. Patrick Mine Cave-in, Murray, Utah — After enduring the horrors of an underground prison with death at their elbows for — 50 hours —, George and Jerry Peterson were dragged through an 18-inch hole to freedom and safety.  They were blindfolded, wrapped in blankets, refreshed with hot coffee and hurried home.  The incident began when the roof of the drain tunnel on the St. Patrick property, four miles east of Murray, gave way and a huge mass of earth blocked the passage 160 feet from its mouth.  The Petersons were on the wrong side of the cave-in.  Warned by previous experience, they had with them a long pipe two inches in diameter.  They drove this tube through the debris to secure ventilation and undertook to burrow out.  Their digging was useless for the loosened earth ran down faster than they could remove it.  At supper time they were missed and their predicament was soon learned.  Ranchmen and a miner formed a relief party which set to work and labored heroically night and day.  Hope grew high as the barricade was reduced to a few feet, only to vanish as fresh masses of shale rumbled down from the insecure roof.  The prisoners, although supplied with air through the pipe, were weak from hunger, chilled by the water which rose to their knees and terrified by the constant peril of instant burial.  When the rescuers had removed but two or three feet of the obstruction, they were driven back 15 feet by a new earthfall.  News of the new danger spread and brought to the rescue work the chief engineer of the Newhouse mining staff.  Heavy timbers were brought from Murray, four miles away.  Timber after timber was sent into place and progress was slow but there were no more retreats.  Daylight finally burst into the tunnel prison.  Fearing delay, Mr. Johnson told the imprisoned men to stick their feet out.  Muddy boots appeared in the opening and in a moment, George Peterson was being brushed and hugged by his friends.  Jerry, who was rescued in the same manner, insisted on walking to the works.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1909 Black Diamond Colliery Fire, Luzerne, Pennsylvania — Five men were entombed by fire in the Black Diamond Colliery of the Plymouth Coal Company.  Three of them were rescued 4 hours after the fire started.  They were found a short distance from the foot of the shaft.  Overcome by the thick smoke, the men had fallen to the ground in a state of unconsciousness.  A doctor worked over them for an hour before they recovered sufficiently.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1909 Sutro Tunnel Fire, Virginia City, Nevada — Flames raged for more than 30 hours in the $6,000,000 Sutro Tunnel, which drains all the Comstock mines.  In the dangerous work of fighting the fire, nineteen miners were overcome and were rescued with difficulty.  Of those rescued, seven were expected to die.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1908 Lick Branch Mine Explosion, Switchback, West Virginia — At 11 o'clock p.m., 8 hours after the explosion, eighteen of the entombed men had been taken out of the colliery alive.  They had been stifled by smoke and were not seriously injured enough to make their removal to a hospital necessary.
Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Brockwayville, Pennsylvania — William P. Harris, 30, boss mine driver, assisted in an attempt to rescue Michele Rubino, 28, miner, and helped to rescue Francis P. De Santis, 28, miner, from a mine cave-in, Brockwayville, Pennsylvania, December 12, 1908.  De Santis and two others were trying to rescue Rubino, who had been caught by a fall of rock, when a second fall occurred, catching DeSantis’s trouser leg and pinning him to the floor.  While other falls impended, Harris crawled close enough to hand De Santis a knife, with which he freed himself.  Rubino, along with his two companions, Guiseppe Petruccelli, and Vincenzo Stefanelli, when released, were found to be dead.  Mr. De Santis survived.  For their demonstrated bravery in the rescue operation, Messrs. Harris, Petruccelli (posthumously), and Stefanelli (posthumously) were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award.    Source document External Link
OCT 1908 Wilson Creek Mine Lost Person, Scranton, Pennsylvania — Patrick Hart, 70, was rescued in the Wilson Creek mine after he stood in water up to his waist for twenty-four hours.  Knowing that his one chance of being found lay in standing in a channel which his rescuers would follow.  His fellow workmen originally missed him, and when a systematic search finally led them to the spot where the old man stood.  He was on the verge of collapse.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1908 Chauncey Colliery Cave-in, Avondale, Pennsylvania — After being entombed in a mine working for over ten hours, Andrew Harris, a miner, was rescued from under the debris in the Chauncey colliery, at Avondale.  Harris was shut in by a fall of roof, and the miners had little hope of his being alive.  Soon however, faint tappings from behind the debris told of his existence, and gangs of men were called to work on the fall.  They worked without interruption till they could hear the voice of Harris directing them the way nearest to him.  He was considerably exhausted when the last shovel of rock and coal was cleared off, but in a short time he felt as well as usual.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1908 A fall of top rock occurred following an explosion in the Knickerbocker Colliery near Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.  Two miners died, but John Kuza, William Suso and Charles Cowley were rescued.  The three men were seriously injured.
JUL 1908 Willamstown Colliery Explosion, Williamstown, Pennsylvania — Ten miners were removed from the mine after an undisclosed period badly burned and torn by the force of the explosion.  It was feared that several of them would die.  One of the injured men was taken to the morgue and it was not until an identification of the bodies was made that it was found that he was living.  The exact number of miners rescued is not known.  Seven miners perished in the disaster.
JUN 1908 Markle Mine Cave-in, Jeddo, Pennsylvania — After an undisclosed period, Michael Lebon was rescued unhurt from a cave-in at the G. B. Markle and Company mine in Jeddo, Pennsylvania.  Two falls occurred in the mine during this event.  The first narrowly missed entombing seven other miners.  The second fall, also called a "squeeze", trapped Lebon in between two large pieces of a room, ahead and behind where he ended up.  Thought to be dead, Lebon escaped injury, even directing the rescuers how and where to dig.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1908 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Salineville, Ohio — Francis C. Skinner, 32, stationary engineer, died attempting to rescue Wesley J. Wright, 48, and John W. Rowe, 36, in a mine, Salineville, Ohio, May 27, 1908.  Wright and Rowe were disabled by an explosion, and Skinner, with others, was lowered 180 feet down a shaft, where the carriage stuck, ropes being used to get to the bottom 20 feet farther.  Having been released from debris, Wright was being carried to the shaft when a piece of timber fell, striking Skinner on the head and killing him instantly.  Francis C. Skinner was posthumously bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award.    Source document External Link
APR 1908 Hammond Mines Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — Richard Brown rescued alive after being entombed in Hammond Mines at Mahanoy City for more than thirty-six hours.  Brown was unhurt and except for his enforced abstinence from eating, which had weakened him, he was in good condition.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1908 Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mine Cave-in, Wardner, Idaho — Paul Emmanuelson, the timberman who was imprisoned at the Bunker Hill and Sullivan mine at Wardner, Idaho, by the caving in of an abandoned stope, was rescued alive after thirty hours.  His companion was rescued late the previous evening.  Source document PDF Format
Sutro Tunnel Animal Rescue, Dayton, Nevada — Here’s a mine rescue with a different twist.  Buried for — 30 years — in the heart of Davidson mountain, on the Comstock, twelve mules which had been used on the Sutro tunnel’s ore-carrying railroad were brought to the surface for the first time.  In the future, electricity would furnish the power for ore carrying, and the mules would never be returned to the 1,700-foot level of the shaft.  The animals stood in the blinding snow storm blinking at the unusual scenery and in their fright tried to stampede.  Their faithful service was ended and they would be placed on a fertile pasture near Dayton.  The mules saved the entire town of Virginia from starvation in 1890, when the great snowstorms cut the camp off from outside communication.  Supplies were hauled to the hoist underground and then lifted to the hungry inhabitants.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1908 Mid-Valley Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — All but one of the miners who were entombed in the Mid-Valley colliery were rescued alive.  One of the miners was killed following the accident which entombed the men and two were injured.  When the rescuing party penetrated to the entombed men it was found that the men had dug for a great distance through fallen coal.  Source document PDF Format
Tombstone Consolidated Fall of Person, Tombstone, Arizona — John Ashcroft, a miner in the employ of the Tombstone Consolidated Company, met with an accident that might have cost his life.  While going toward the ore shute, he accidentally stumbled into it and fell.  He struck on a timber about ten feet down and, grabbing hold of it, saved himself from falling to the bottom of the shoot, a distance of about fifty feet.  After an undisclosed period, he was rescued from his perilous position by fellow workmen and immediately taken to the surface and then to his home.  A physician was summoned, and an examination showed that Mr. Ashcroft had escaped with but a few slight bruises and a small cut on the side of the head.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1908 Packer Colliery No. 5 Cave-in, Girardville, Pennsylvania — For ten hours Alexander Donaldson was trapped by a cave-in at the Packer Colliery No. 5 at Girardville, Pennsylvania.  Earlier, Donaldson fired a shot at the face of a breast, but as he sought to get away, he fell and was swept down the chute by the rush of coal and dirt freed by the shot.  Rescuers found him lying upon his face, with his head pillowed on his arms, conscious but unable to move hand or foot.  He was unhurt except for a few bruises.  Source document PDF Format
Giroux Mine Cave-in, Ely, Nevada — After having been entombed for — 46 days — in the Alpha shaft of the Giroux mine, A. D. Bailey, P. J. Brown and Fred McDonald were rescued.  At 8:30 on the night of January 18, 1908, Bailey was the first to be brought out.  Fourteen minutes later, McDonald came to the surface, and ten minutes afterwards, Brown was brought up.  Whistles all over the district blew loudly, while crowds cheered in the streets of Ely and every bell in the town was ringing.  On the morning of December 4, 1907, McDonald, Brown, Bailey and two Greeks were working in the bottom of the third compartment shaft, eighty-five feet below the pump station and 1,085 feet below the surface.  The cave-in occurred at 9 o’clock. The cable used to haul the cage from the third compartment to the shaft snapped and thousands of tons of rock, debris, and timbers fell down into the shaft.  From the bottom of the compartment in which the men were working to the pumping station a distance of eight-five feet a series of rickety ladders offered the only means of escape.  With falling rocks and timbers streaming down upon them the five struggled up these ladders. Half way up falling timbers knocked the two Greeks from the ladder killing them.  At first it was thought that all the men had perished, but twenty-four hours after the cave-in the three men who occupied the pumping station managed in make themselves heard by tapping on a pipe that was the means of saving the lives of the three men.  Source document PDF Format
Catsburg Mine Fire, Monongahela, Pennsylvania — Miraculously escaping death after a fire started by a "blown-out" shot in the Catsburg mine of the Monongahela River Consolidated Coal & Coke Co., forty men, whose escape by a nearer entry cut off, stumbled in the dark for a distance of seven miles and finally reached the surface.  All were severely bruised and their clothing torn by numerous falls.  Fortunately, there was only a little gas in the mine, so no explosion occurred.  It was believed that the fire could be extinguished with small loss.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1907 Monongah Mine Explosion, Monongah, West Virginia — In his book, Davitt McAteer tells about Monongah survivor Peter Urban.  Urban, a Polish immigrant, was found by rescuers sitting on the body of his injured brother, Stanislaus, trying to protect him.

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

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

On Oct. 9, 1926, almost 19 years later, Peter Urban was killed by a fall of coal in the same Monongah Mine.  Source document PDF Format
Fridley, Murry & Mosher Mine Fall of Person, Jamestown, Illinois — Harry Mosher of Jamestown in Scott County fell fifty feet down a mine shaft into ten feet of water and received no more than a few bruises.  Mr. Mosher was employed at the Fridley, Murry & Mosher mine.  He stood on a plank over the mouth of the shaft, hoisting a plug to release water from a tank.  The plank broke in the middle and Mr. Mosher went twisting and somersaulting down the shaft.  The water at the bottom of the shaft saved his life.  When he came to the surface of the water, he seized a piece of the plank which had fallen with him and thus sustained himself until help arrived.  Source document PDF Format
Ellsworth Mine No. 1 Explosives Detonation, Ellsworth, West Virginia — After being imprisoned for three days in Ellsworth No. 1 mine, at Ellsworth, John Ommilian, a young Slav miner, was released from his underground dungeon a raving maniac and taken to the county home at Arden.  On December 26, he imprisoned himself by setting off a blast that loosened enough earth to block all exit.  He was accidentally discovered by mine officials who were making a tour of inspection.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1907 A cave-in deep inside the Draper Mine at Gilberton, Pennsylvania, followed by an inrush of culm and water from the surface trapped Michael McCabe for 87 hours before rescuers managed to free him.  He was released from his prison barely alive.  Source document External Link
SEP 1907 Unnamed Mine Rescue, Duluth, Minnesota — Paul Meliege was rescued from an unnamed mine near Duluth, Minnesota after an undisclosed period.  He was 265 feet underground when he was caught in a sinking depression taking him down another 115 feet.  When dragged out, Meliege fainted from exhaustion.  He was rushed to a nearby hospital where it was said he would recover.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1907 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Inkerman, Pennsylvania — Thomas Huntley, 40; John Merrick, 50; and Patrick F. Walsh, 29, helped to rescue John R. Eustice, 52, timberman, from a mine cave-in, Inkerman, Pennsylvania, August 22, 1907.  Eustice and four others had been caught by the caving of the roof.  While the roof was working, the walls squeezing, and small stuff falling at intervals, Huntley, with the assistance of the others, dug Eustice from under the coal and debris where he lay injured and carried him to safety.  Eustice recovered.  All four rescuers were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for their bravery.    Source document External Link
Butler Colliery Rescue, Pittston, Pennsylvania — Lost miner Paul Swanbeck was found on August 19th, just in time to avoid the postponement of his daughter’s wedding.  Swanbeck had been missing for 48 hours in the Butler Colliery at Pittston, Pennsylvania.  He had wandered into some remote workings, lost his light, and been sickened by foul air.  He was semi-conscious when found.  Safe and sound after his ordeal and lying on the sofa at home, he was able to witness the wedding.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1907 North Franklin Colliery Cave-in, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — After being entombed thirteen hours by a rush of coal in the North Franklin Colliery, the rescuing party reached William Crawford alive, but badly injured.  His brother, Emanuel, was found dead.  Source document PDF Format
Anthracite Mine Hole Fall of Person, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — While playing near a mine hole on the Locust Mountain, William Graham, Jr., had a narrow escape from death or serious injury from a fall.  The hole was perpendicular for a considerable distance, and then sloped gradually.  On the bottom of the lift was coal dirt which impeded the fall and saved the lad from death.   Upon landing he slid down the slope unable to check his progress.  Playmates, realizing the danger of their friend, summoned aid.  Ropes and ladders were lowered to Graham with instructions to attach himself to the rope and ladders to tops of cliffs when raised.  The child followed the orders and after an undisclosed period was hoisted to safety, bruised considerably.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1907 Hope Mine Cave-in, Basin, Montana — As a result of a cave-in at the famous Hope Mine, at Basin, Montana, Charles Collins, a miner, was caught beneath many tons of debris.  The rescuers were more than surprised at the end of 17 hours of work to find him absolutely uninjured, the timbers having protected him.  So great was the fright from the experience, however, that Collins decided to lay off and went to Butte, where he dropped dead. Source document PDF Format
Shenandoah City Mine Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — In the Shenandoah City mine, Michael Wilcoski, a miner, was rescued from almost certain death by a rescue party.  Wilcoski was loading a car in a gangway when a fall of coal occurred, extending for over forty feet.  Large lumps of coal fell in such a position that Wilcoski was pinned fast, but the lumps served as support and the full weight of coal did not rest on him.  Rescuers worked for five hours before a tunnel was made and the walls braced so he could be released.  Source document PDF Format
Phillips Mine Cave-in, Salisbury, Pennsylvania — After having been entombed in the Phillips mine near Salisbury for an undisclosed period, Tom and Lawrence Fallon were reached by a rescuing party.  Lawrence Fallon was found alive and well, but his brother Tom was seriously injured.  The two men were imprisoned by a cave-in of the roof of the heading in which they were working.  Source document PDF Format
MAY 1907 Mandabach Mine Cave-in, Washington, Indiana — Joseph Summer, 50, was buried alive beneath several tons of coal in Mandabach’s mines.  It required almost an hour for workmen to dig him out.  He was still alive when rescued, but so badly injured that it was believed he would die.  Source document PDF Format
Royal Mine Powered Haulage Accident, Madisonville, Kentucky — Seventy-one men were rescued from the Royal Mine near Madisonville, after having been underground for 36 hours.  The rope attached to the big cage used in hoisting the cars from the mine broke and both cages fell into the bottom of the shaft, bursting into small bits and blocking the entrance so that it was impossible for the workmen to get out.  A rope was lowered into the air shaft and the men were pulled out one by one.  The men reached were hurt.  About 200 men were employed in the mines, which was one of the largest in western Kentucky.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1907 Seven miners were rescued after 100 hours in the flooded Mine No. 38 of the Berwind-White Operations at Foustwell, Pennsylvania.  Their rescue was made possible by the bravery of Stiney Rodon and Charles Ream who located the men by swimming 50 feet through a water-filled heading.  Earlier, four others made a similar attempt, but were unsuccessful and returned half-drowned.  Mike Boyla, a mine contractor, took charge of the group of trapped men and led them to the highest point in the heading where they waited for rescuers.  Source document External Link
Otto Colliery Cave-in, Pottsville, Pennsylvania — Although burled alive under tons of coal dirt for over half an hour, James Maley of Branchdale was rescued alive at the Otto colliery.  He was unconscious for several hours after being dug out, but it was believed his life would be saved.  Maley was shoveling at the base of a high culm bank when the top collapsed and fell upon him, completely burying him.  Source document PDF Format
Good Enough Stope Fall of Horse, Tombstone, Arizona — A remarkable cave-in occurred near the corner of Fifth and Toughnut streets in Tombstone at 1:00 p.m. on April 21, 1907.  A horse and wagon belonging to the Tombstone Improvement Company were suddenly precipitated some 75 feet below street level.  The driver had climbed down to see why his horse had stumbled only to find himself standing on the edge of a gaping aperture with his horse and wagon far below.  Although considerably bruised, the horse was found to have apparently suffered no serious injury.  The animal was found pressed beneath the wagon and some timbers and was rescued before the rapidly descending earth smothered him.  The wagon was badly wrecked, both front wheels being broken.  By means of ropes the vehicle was pulled out through the opening on the surface, while the horse was taken through the drifts of the old workings and brought to the surface near the old Visna shaft, some distance from where he went under.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1907 Homestake Mine Fire, Lead, South Dakota — A fierce fire was raging in the great Homestake mine at Lead.  Following an undisclosed period, twelve miners were rescued with great difficulty after having been overcome with gas and smoke.  The fire started in the stables located in the 600-foot level and it soon imprisoned 12 miners who were working beyond.  After burning nine horses to death the flames spread quickly to the timbered slopes between the Highland shaft and the Star hoist.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1907 Penco Mine Explosion, Penco, West Virginia — Following the explosion, almost eighty men were still at the bottom of the shaft.  Almost suffocated, they huddled closely together and cried pitifully up the shaft for assistance.  Several rescuers took possession of the elevator car and quickly ran it down into the shaft.  There were accommodations for only about twenty of the men at a time, however, and the foreign miners, who were crazed from fright, fought like demons to board the car, greatly retarding the work of rescue.  On the last two trips a majority of the miners were unconscious and had to be carried from the car.
After being imprisoned for nearly two days in an old coal mine near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, John Stevens managed to dig himself out and drag himself to his home.  He was at work in the old mine when he found himself hemmed in by fallen material all around.  With nothing but a shovel handle, he managed to dig through the wall of coal.  He fainted from exhaustion repeatedly and was scarcely able to drag himself to his home. Searching parties had been looking for him.  Source document PDF Format
Ontario Mine Cave-in, Park City, Utah — Henry Drew, 25, had a narrow escape in the Ontario mine at Park City.  Several tons of dirt and rock came down, knocking him over and burying him up to his chin.  His light was extinguished and he lay in the darkness for several minutes expecting that at every moment more rock would come down and bury him alive before his partner could summon a party to rescue him.  The party soon arrived and for two hours they worked desperately to release the imprisoned miner.  When he was finally released, he was carried through the tunnel on a truck and conveyed to his mother's home.  Examination showed that Drew was badly bruised about the shoulders and legs, but, otherwise, he appeared to be uninjured.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1906 Rescuers worked around the clock to release Lindsay B. Hicks from his tomb in the Edison Tunnel near Bakersfield, California.  Trapped there with five other miners on December 7, Hicks’ freedom finally came after his 15 day entrapment.  He was the only survivor.  On December 12, speaking through a pipe, Hicks told rescuers that he had survived on 40 cents of chewing tobacco.  Victory finally came for his rescuers on December 22nd at 11:25 p.m.  Source document External Link
NOV 1906 San Toy No. 1 Mine Shaft Disaster, Corning, Ohio — Three men, who clung to the cage in which they were riding, were saved after an undisclosed period.  The men were ascending in the mule cage when the door, which had been left open, caught against the sides of the shaft.  Five were killed when they were thrown from the cage and fell 150 feet to the bottom of the shaft.
OCT 1906 Unnamed Coal Mine Cave-in, Stockdale, Pennsylvania — Arthur Smith and Albert W. Simpson helped to rescue George Spencer from a mine cave-in, Stockdale, Pennsylvania, October 9, 1906.  Spencer, 54, was caught by a fall of slate.  There was room for only one person to work at his release.  Smith, 28, driver, was first to go, and, while he was digging away the debris, another fall occurred but missed them by a narrow margin.  Fatigue compelled Smith to stop, and Simpson took up the work and after 15 minutes’ labor, Spencer was extricated.  Another fall seemed to be impending and did occur an hour later.  Arthur Smith and Albert Simpson were bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award.    Source document External Link
MAY 1906 Hazel Kirk Mine No. 1 Fire, Washington, Pennsylvania — Three hundred miners were rescued from the fire in the Hazel Kirk Mine No. 1 of the Pittsburg and Westmoreland Coal Company.  A trapper boy had volunteered to go into the mine and warn the men, and gained an entrance through a winding stairway in the air shaft.  While the men outside fought the flames with buckets of water and kept the blaze from the air shaft, miners poured from the pit.  The mules in the mine, almost suffocated by smoke, stampeded, and were beyond control eighty feet from the surface.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Fairview Mine Cave-in, Fairview, Nevada — While working on the stope in a mine at Fairview, Felix Noe was buried under thirty-seven feet of dirt, rock and timbers, which caved in on him.  A rescue party worked for hours getting him out.  He was badly injured internally.  Source document PDF Format
Abandoned Mine Asphyxiations, Greensburg, Pennsylvania — Wasall Kircera gave up his life while trying to save three boys from death in an abandoned mine, where blackdamp was known to escape from the old workings.  The boys were playing and soon became senseless under the influence of the deadly gas.  Kircera saw the boys’ peril, plunged down into the hole and hurled two of them to the outside.  Then Kircera fell, overcome by the gas fumes.  A friend went down after him and, after throwing the remaining boy out, dragged Kircera up the bank.  The gas was too much for Kircera, however, and he died in a few minutes, while his friend was in a serious condition and not expected to live.  Source document PDF Format
MAR 1906 Century No. 1 Mine Explosion, Century, West Virginia — Within one hour after the accident Superintendent James Ward had a relief gang in the mine.  The first trip out brought ten men, five dead and five badly burned.  During the second expedition, twenty injured men were making their way towards the bottom of the shaft and were brought to the surface by the rescuers.
FEB 1906 Parral Mine Explosion, Parral, West Virginia — After an undisclosed period following the explosion, rescuers removed twelve miners alive, but it was believed that most of them would die from their injuries.
Rosco Mine Cave-in, Forest Ranch, California — For twelve hours, James Larkin, a miner in the Rosco Mine at Forest Ranch, lay pinioned under a mass of rock and timbers which had settled down on him while putting in a set of timbers.  The tunnel was known to be dangerous, but the work had to be done and Larkin volunteered to do it.  Twice when within a few feet of Larkin, the ground caved in again and it was feared he would die before aid could reach him.  Finally, after twelve hours of hard work, their efforts were rewarded and Larkin was rescued.  Both legs were broken and it was feared internal injuries would cause his death.  Source document PDF Format
King Jack Mine Cave-in, Joplin, Missouri — Graves Jett, a miner, lived twenty hours pinioned under hundreds of tons of rock, which fell from the roof of the King Jack mine.  He was rescued by thirty of his fellow workmen, who had worked incessantly since the falling of the material and who did not know that he was alive until a short time before the rescue was effected.  Jett recognized and spoke, cheerfully to his wife when taken to the top of the ground and declared that he would live, but despite his struggle for life, he died later at his home, his lungs having been affected by the foul air which he breathed while imprisoned.  Source document PDF Format
App Mine Cave-in, Stockton, California — Tomo Sablich and Gero Buvlch, who had been imprisoned in the App mine by a cave-in for — five days —, were rescued.  Fortunately, there was plenty of water at hand and they did not suffer from thirst.  They were extremely weak from lack of food when rescued, but were otherwise in good condition.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1906 Lincoln Mine Quicksand Inundation, Virginia, Minnesota — Victor Peltoniemi was rescued alive after having been buried under 20 feet of quicksand for nearly 10 hours in the Lincoln mine near Virginia, Minnesota.  Peltoniemi owed his life to a large boulder weighing several tons, which fell in such a way as to rest on some mining timbers and form a small cavity about his chest and head, the other parts of his body being held by the dirt as tightly as if gripped in a vice.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1905 Horton Mine Fire, Horton, West Virginia — After an undisclosed period, two of the miners who were in the more remote sections of the mine were rescued.  These men, who were overcome by smoke, were revived after being brought out.
Coxey Shaft Mine Rescue, Pittston, Pennsylvania — Joseph Davies, a miner, was found in the Coxey Shaft of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company almost starved to death having gone without food for eight days.  When found, he was slightly demented and could not account for his wanderings.  While lost he had nothing to eat and drank the sulfur water of the mine.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1905 Tunnel Ridge Mine Cave-in, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania — Charles Rineawage was rescued — 8 hours — following a cave-in at the Tunnel Ridge Mine at Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania.  His work companion, Joseph Skernolis, died in the accident.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1905 Joe Oinesky was trapped under a fall of coal for 14 hours in the North End Coal Company’s mine near Scranton, Pennsylvania.  He was finally released after forty carloads of coal and rock were dug from around him.  Remarkably he was saved from injury by the fact that two big slabs of rock formed a sort of tent over him.  Source document PDF Format
Kirtley Mine Cave-in, Georgetown, Colorado — After men worked continuously for 44 hours, John O'Day was rescued from a perilous position in the Kirtley mine at Georgetown, Colorado, where he had been confined without light, food or water.  O'Day seemed none the worse for his long confinement.  He wanted to walk to town but a carriage conveyed him to his hotel in Georgetown.  This was the second experience of entombment for O’Day.  He was confined once before for 36 hours.  Source document PDF Format
AUG 1905 Mountain Consolidated Mine Cave-in, Butte, Montana — After facing death for 24 hours, Con Sullivan was rescued by a force of about 50 miners, who worked in gangs of three and four with feverish haste.  He was working on the 100-foot level of a section of the Mountain Consolidated mine, when a cave of many tons of rock, covering a distance of over 40 feet, entombed him, and narrowly escaped crushing him to death.  Sullivan had barely enough room to stretch himself out and with rare presence of mind, though death hovered over him.  He devoted many hours of his imprisonment to sleep, believing he could better preserve his strength, as the air was rapidly growing bad and he feared suffocation.  When the rescuers reached him, the man emerged from his narrow prison with a smile on his countenance, and unassisted climbed the ladder to the top.  Over 100 miners had gathered at the shaft, and he was accorded an ovation.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1905 Fuller Mine Explosion, Searights, Pennsylvania — The rescuing party had a remarkable escape from death.  They had gone to the bottom of the shaft for the last body and had the body securely fastened to the bottom of the temporary rigged bucket when the concrete wall and timbering about the top of the shaft tumbled down a distance of 70 feet.  The timbers caught in such a manner over the top of the bucket as to save the men who were huddled in it from instant death.  They were buried, however, by hundreds of tons of concrete and scaffolding.  Enough crevices were left in the wreckage to supply them with air until they were rescued in half an hour.
Pond Creek Mine Rescue, Hazleton, Pennsylvania — John Dusheck saved the life of Miss Emma Martin while conducting a sight-seeing party of the Pond Creek mine near Hazleton. While in the mine, a gust of wind blew out the lights and Miss Martin went ahead in the darkness. Just as she came upon the brink of a 100-foot shaft, Dusheck seized her, saving her from an awful death. The end of the article states "the incident broke up the trip." Indeed!  Source document PDF Format
Jeddo Mine Cave-in, Upper Lehigh, Pennsylvania — For nearly seven hours Andrew Wisda, a miner, was entombed in the Jeddo mines, and was rescued alive.  Wisda was working in a breast fifty feet up from the gangway, when a heavy fall took place below him.  He was unconscious when taken out, but soon revived in the air.  Source document PDF Format
JUN 1905 Carbonate Hill Mine Explosives Detonation, Ketchum, Idaho — Three miners rescued their mine foreman, Charles A. McCoy, from the Carbonate Hill mine near Ketchum, Idaho after an undisclosed period.  These three miners were awarded the Carnegie Hero Medal:    Source document PDF Format
MAY 1905 Gunnison Reclamation Tunnel Cave-in, Montrose, Colorado — Twenty-one workmen who were imprisoned in the Gunnison reclamation tunnel by a cave-in were rescued alive and uninjured, through a shaft which was sunk about 50 feet in less than 24 hours.  There were two dead under the slide.  Source document PDF Format
APR 1905 Cabin Creek Mine Explosion, Kayford, West Virginia — Nine men were still within the mine when the explosion occurred.  Of these four reached safety with the assistance of friends.  Three of the number were so seriously injured that they are not expected to live.  Those rescued were William Jacobs, George Eastman, Morrey Darby and William Robinson.  The last three men were seriously injured.
JAN 1905 Hartzel and Gottschalk Mine Cave-in, Ironton, Pennsylvania — Pinned to the ground by a piece of heavy timber and covered over by a mass of earth, William Brown was rescued after being buried alive for 11 hours in a mine at Ironton, Pennsylvania.  Source document PDF Format
Decatur Mine Fire, Decatur, Illinois — About 20 miners were imprisoned by smoke in distant entries as a result of fire in the stables of the Decatur coal company mine, but were rescued after an undisclosed period.  Fire communicated from the stables to timbers of the mine but was put out by firemen after a long struggle.  Damage to the mine was believed to be small.  Source document PDF Format
DEC 1904 Woodside Coal Company Mine Fire, Springfield, Illinois — After being imprisoned for hours in the burning shaft of the Woodside Coal Company, 14 men were rescued.  The top works of the mine were destroyed and the flames spread to the underground workings.  Source document PDF Format
Eldorado Mine Explosion, Eldorado, Illinois — Thanks to the bravery of Patrick Reed, mine boss, four miners were rescued and were resting in their homes following an explosion in the Eldorado Coal and Coke company's mine.  The explosion, the cause of which was unknown, damaged the machinery and the cage could not be raised. Mine Boss Reed volunteered to go down to aid the men and was lowered in a bucket.  He groped his way through the blinding fumes and found the four after an undisclosed period.  Four other men were entombed in the mine, with no hope for their rescue.  Source document PDF Format
NOV 1904 Hudson Coal Company Fall of Person, Jersey City, New Jersey — Buried under ten tons of coal, with life sustained by means of a piece of gas pipe forced through the heavy mass, while his comrades worked heroically to rescue him, was the experience of Hugh Kelly, an employee of the Hudson Coal Company.  Kelly had been at work on the top of a thirty-foot trestle, up to which big steel cars, each carrying fifty tons of coal, were run from the barges.  Kelly was on a car fastening the brakes when another employee, Thomas Haggerty, pulled the lever which releases the coal from the bottom of the car.  Kelly fell with the coal thirty feet, and in an instant was buried under tons of it.  Kelly’s fatal plunge was seen by Haggerty and his cries for help brought other employees, headed by the superintendent of the yard, to the scene.  A long piece of gas pipe was shoved down through the coal, and fortunately reached the entombed man, who was thus saved from suffocation.  When Kelly was reached his teeth were clinched viselike on the end of the gas pipe.  An ambulance was summoned and Kelly taken to the hospital, where an examination proved that his injuries were fatal.  Source document PDF Format
OCT 1904 Abandoned Anthracite Mine Cave-in, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania — Frank Borjerko, an old miner, was digging coal for his family’s winter supply in an abandoned drift at the Furnace colliery when the roof caved in, completely covering him.  Fellow coal pickers, at the risk of their own lives, set to work and soon uncovered the victim's head, so that he could breathe.  For twelve hours they feverishly worked to free him, despite another threatened fall, and finally got him out alive.  He was seriously injured about the body and limbs.  Source document PDF Format
Sioux Colliery Cave-in, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania — Caught by a fall of coal at the Sioux Colliery, Michael Kennedy lay buried with his face exposed for fifteen hours.  No one witnessed the accident, and when he did not return home in the evening searching parties entered his place of work and found him nearly dead from exhaustion, but he was expected to live.  Source document PDF Format
SEP 1904 Unnamed Anthracite Coal Mine Cave-in, Kingston, Pennsylvania — William Watkins, 24, coal miner, rescued Brinley R. Davis, 22, mine car tender; Rees J. Williams, 19, driver, and Joseph Winchent, 45, coal miner, in a mine, Kingston, Pennsylvania, September 3, 1904.  Watkins successively took the men from the place of an explosion, where there was imminent danger of the roof falling, to a position of safety.  Mr. Watkins was bestowed the Carnegie Hero Award for his efforts.    Source document External Link
AUG 1904 Lykens Valley Coal Mine Cave-in, Wiconisco, Pennsylvania — Frank Paul was completely buried in a mass of coal which fell down upon him while he was working in what is known as the Little Vein of the Lykens Valley Coal Company and was so terribly bruised that he was unable to move.  Morris Woest and William Plark were working with Paul, when suddenly coal from only a few feet above him came down and covered every portion of his body.  His two companions were uninjured by the cave-in and were able to render him immediate assistance and succeeded in extricating his body after an undisclosed period before he was suffocated.  Source document PDF Format
JUL 1904 Daniel Davis died attempting to save William Monroe from suffocation, Sherodsville, Ohio, July 11, 1904.  Davis, 23, coal miner, was overcome by black damp while walking into a mine to rescue Monroe, 38, who was helpless from the gas but was later rescued.  Source documentExternal Link
MAR 1904 Excelsior Clay Mine Inundation, Brazil, Indiana — Twelve rescuers saved 10 miners trapped by a surging torrent in a flooded mine by clasping hands in a long line.  The ten men were brought to safety after an undisclosed period, although two were unconscious due to the foul air in the slope where they had sought refuge.  The two quickly recovered when they were brought outside.  No one was seriously injured.  Source document PDF Format
Madison Mine No. 4 Inundation, Glen Carbon, Illinois — Glen Carbon, a mining town of 1,200, about four miles south of Edwardsville, was demoralized by a cloudburst Thursday night.  At Madison Mine No. 4 the presence of cool heads averted a possible panic.  The water poured in a flood into the boiler room and rose rapidly.  Soon the stream was a couple of feet deep, and as it continued to rise it was feared that the fires would be put out, and all the men marooned in the mine.  Orders were given to get them out quickly.  The cages shot back and forth at high speed, bringing the workers to the surface. and did not cease until all were above ground.  When the engine was shut down at last the water was within three inches of the grate bars in the boiler room.  Source document PDF Format
Unnamed Mine Explosion, Henry, West Virginia — Albert Cronkin, a miner of Henry, West Virginia, was rescued after seven days’ starvation in a coal mine.  He was entombed by an explosion in which three were killed. Cronkin was badly burned, but it was thought he would recover.  Source document PDF Format
FEB 1904 No. 1 Mine Cave-in, Scranton, Pennsylvania — While at work in the No. 1 mines, John Chalice was buried almost to his neck, requiring many minutes’ work of a force of men to rescue him.  He had been working alone in a chamber, being engaged in knocking down overhead coal, using a pick and bar for the purpose.  Without any warning large chunks of the coal and rock fell and paved the way for an avalanche that threatened to smother the miner.  He shrieked for help, and men in other sections of the mines were not slow in answering his appeals.  After considerable work Chalice was released.  The injured man was taken to the Emergency hospital in the mine ambulance, and his injuries attended to.  He had suffered two fractures of the leg, and was also badly bruised about the body.  Source document PDF Format
JAN 1904 Severely burned 16-year-old, Adolph Gunia, was brought to the surface still alive after an undisclosed period following the explosion in the Harwick mine in Cheswick, Pennsylvania.  He was the lone survivor of the mine blast which took 179 lives.
Gap Mine Fire & Asphyxiations, Locust Gap, Pennsylvania — Ten men were overcome by gas fighting a fire of unknown origin in the top west gangway of the Gap mine.  The fire bosses discovered the fire and hurried for assistance.  In the work of extinguishing, several of the men were seen to stagger and fall and others who hurried to their assistance fell under the influence of the powerful blackdamp, and before the men were rescued ten had gone down.  All of the men will entirely recover from the effects of the gas, but for some the call was a close one.  Source document PDF Format
Page Navigation for More Rescues
Mine Accident Research Documents
Successful Mine Rescues  (MS Word format)    (PDF format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 1,000 successful rescues in the United States.  See more.  
Incidents of Rescuer Death  (MS Word format)    (PDF format)
Listed in descending chronological order, this file contains more than 125 incidents of rescuer death in the United States.  See more.  
Carnegie Hero Award Recipients  (MS Excel format)
Inspired by the bravery that Daniel A. Lyle and Selwyn M. Taylor External Link displayed at the Harwick Mine Disaster in 1904, Andrew Carnegie started the Carnegie Hero Fund External Link.  The file linked here includes awardees associated with mining along with additional resources which you may find interesting.
Children Killed in Mine Accidents (MS Excel format)
This is a compilation of more than 100 incidents involving the death of children in mines.  Source documentation links are provided.  See more.  
Women Killed in Mine Accidents (MS Excel format)
This is a compilation of more than 50 incidents involving the death of women in mines.  Source documentation links are provided.  See more.  
Loss of Life Among Wearers of Oxygen Breathing Apparatus
From 1911 to 1940, 26 men lost their lives while wearing oxygen breathing apparatus.
And many, many more . . .
Your Donations are
Greatly Appreciated