April 2017 Mine Disaster Anniversaries
|January February March April May June July August September October November December|
|The month of April has accounted for 69 mine disasters in which 1,583 miners were killed; 9 successful rescues (longest - 60 hrs.); and the death of 40 rescuers in 9 incidents.|
|Successful Rescue Summary||Rescuer Death Summary||All April Mine Disasters|
|Successful Mine Rescues in April|
|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.|
|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 more. Source document.|
|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 were 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.
|1934||Sinclair Mine Fire, Switz, Indiana - Five miners escaped death in the Sinclair mine after fire broke out there. They walled themselves into a space 24 by 12 feet for an undisclosed period more than 100 yards away from the blazing wooden shaft, and awaited rescue. The rescued miners were Jack Hineman, Dennis Combs, Thomas Barnett, Henry Johnson, and Roll Himebrook. Source document.|
|1937||Toiling for 27 hours, rescue squads removed Anthony Vinscavage, 48, from a "bootleg" coal hole near Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. Vinscavage was trapped while working with son, John, who had escaped and called for rescuers. Source document.|
|1956||A roof fall at the Kaiser Coal Company mine near Sunnyside, Utah occurred trapping 4 miners. Three of the miners were rescued after 44 hours. The rescued were Lavell Golding, Joe Archuletta and Lloyd Allen Heath. Deceased in the accident was Joseph Otterstrom. Source document.|
|1968||Two Carlsbad, New Mexico miners trapped over 34 hours were rescued by workers using their bare hands and chisels. They became trapped when a 50-foot potash slab collapsed in the Southwest Potash Company mine. The two miners rescued were Fred Crabtree and Arnold Delso. Source document.|
|1980||Clyde Waddell was rescued 13 hours after a roof fall at the Florence Mine near Huff, Pennsylvania. The mine was owned by the Florence Mining Company. Source document.|
|1985||Trapped for 37 hours following a roof fall accident, Curtis Sanders was rescued and walked out of the Powderhorn Mine in DeBeque Canyon, Colorado. Source document.|
|Rescuer Deaths in April|
|1887||Old Savanna No. 2 Mine Explosion, Savanna, Oklahoma Thirteen miners were overcome by toxic gas and suffocated while attempting to rescue the 6 victims of an explosion which occurred in the Old Savanna No. 2 mine near Savanna, Oklahoma.|
|1905||Zeigler Mine Explosions, Zeigler, Illinois 49 miners died as a result of two explosions in the Zeigler Mine. In an effort to recover the entombed men, five rescuers were overcome by afterdamp. The rescuers were let down by hand. In two instances, the men above were nearly overcome by gas. Source document.|
|1911||Price-Pancoast Mine Fire, Throop, Pennsylvania Two pipeline men noticed smoke coming from the direction of the shaft and discovered that the North Slope engine room was on fire. When the fire in the engine room was under control, the crew noticed that the timbers and a large number of mine cars on the passing branch were also burning.
Victims included 69 miners and four rescue worker who fell victim to poisonous gas, including Joe E. Evans, who was the Foreman of Federal Rescue Car No. 1. Also killed while attempting to help others were: Walter Knight, mine foreman; Isaac Dawe, fire boss; and John R. Perry. These men rushed beyond the flames to warn others farther in the workings.
|1913||Cincinnati Mine Explosion, Finleyville, Pennsylvania An explosion occurred in which 97 men were killed and subsequently one of the rescue party wearing breathing apparatus lost his life. About 167 men were in the mine at the time of the explosion. About 67 escaped uninjured through old workings, and three were rescued alive - one by the first rescue parties and 2 some sixty-hours later by exploring parties.|
|1917||Hastings Mine Explosion, Hastings, Colorado On May 6, 1917, Walter Kerr, a member of a mine rescue team of the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, died wearing a Dräger 2-hour oxygen breathing apparatus, while helping to recover bodies, after an explosion in the Hastings mine of the Victor-American Fuel Company, Hastings, Colorado, in which 121 men were killed. The explosion was caused by a mine inspector striking a match to relight his safety lamp about 120 feet from the face of 7 South entry.|
|Mountain King Mine Asphyxiation, Mariposa County, California Two men obtained permission from the mine foreman to investigate the results of blasting on the 1,400-foot level. When they did not return, the foreman went to investigate, returned, and with two others climbed down to the 1,400-foot level, where all three were overcome. Before proper supervision could be obtained and rescue work begun, three others had attempted to help by going to the 1,400 foot level (all at different times). Only one was able to return to safety. Seven men lost their lives from asphyxiation.|
|1927||Connellsville By-Product Company Mine Asphyxiation, Morgantown, West Virginia Two mine rescue men sacrificed their lives in a fruitless effort to save a fellow rescuer from deadly gas in the Connellsville By-Product Company mine near Morgantown, WV. The three victims were part of a crew from Parnassus, PA. Crews of helmet men were sent in to explore sealed workings to determine whether flooding of the mine had extinguished a fire. C. Roy Rushton, Frank Burns and William Heagy formed this crew. For some unexplained reason, Rushton removed the mouthpiece of his breathing apparatus. He soon collapsed, a victim of carbon monoxide.|
|1971||Barnett Complex H2S Poisoning, Rosiclare, Illinois Two brothers, William and Philip Long, entered an area of the mine and were subsequently overcome by Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) gas. An additional 5 employees made several attempts to reach the Long brothers and bring them to fresh air. After finally reaching the downed brothers and loading them onto a locomotive to bring them out, they too were overcome and killed by the toxic gas.|
|1978||Moss No. 3 Portal A Inundation, Duty, Virginia Two of the four miners who were advancing the drainway when the inundation occurred successfully retreated to the surface (one dragged the other). However, the other two miners perished. The blackdamp also killed three other men who went underground without protective equipment or adequate gas testing equipment to search for the missing men. Similarly unequipped during rescue attempts, two other men were also overcome by blackdamp, but were successfully assisted to the surface. The deceased included the Mine Superintendent, the MSHA Sub-District Manager and a Service Manager from National Mine Service. Posthumously, Willis D. Ison was bestowed a Valor Award for bravery.|
|Download the Master File in MS Word or Adobe PDF format containing all 12 months of successful mine rescues and incidents of rescuer deaths.|
The links below include pages from the Bureau of Mines Annual Reports which describe accidents in which lives were saved.
|Bureau of Mines Information Circular No. 7279 shows that from 1911 to 1940, inclusive, 26 men lost their lives while wearing oxygen breathing apparatus in this country.|
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