February 2017 Mine Disaster Anniversaries


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29 30 31 1


View the planets for this day1910
Browder
Mine Explosion
Browder, KY
No. Killed - 34

2


View the planets for this day1922
Gates No. 2
Mine Explosion
Brownsville, PA
No. Killed - 25

View the planets for this day1909
Short Creek
Mine Explosion
Short Creek, AL
No. Killed - 18

View the planets for this day1911
Belmont
Mine Fire
Tonopah, NV
No. Killed - 17

3


View the planets for this day1882
Midlothian
Mine Explosion
Coalfield, VA
No. Killed - 32

View the planets for this day1926
Horning No. 4
Mine Explosion
Horning, PA
No. Killed - 20

4


View the planets for this day1957
Bishop No. 34
Mine Explosion
McDowell Cty, WV
No. Killed - 37

View the planets for this day1907
Thomas No. 25
Mine Explosion
Thomas, WV
No. Killed - 25

View the planets for this day1891
Spring Mountain No. 1
Mine Inundation
Jeanesville, PA
No. Killed - 13

5


View the planets for this day1924
Milford
Mine Inundation
Crosby, MN
No. Killed - 41

View the planets for this day1910
Ernest No. 2
Mine Explosion
Ernest, PA
No. Killed - 12

6


View the planets for this day1930
Standard
Mine Explosion
Standardville, UT
No. Killed - 23

View the planets for this day1915
Carlisle
Mine Explosion
Carlisle, WV
No. Killed - 22

7
8


View the planets for this day1923
Stag Canon No. 1
Mine Explosion
Dawson, NM
No. Killed - 120

View the planets for this day1906
Parral
Mine Explosion
Parral, WV
No. Killed - 23

9


View the planets for this day1911
Cokedale
Mine Explosion
Trinidad, CO
No. Killed - 17

10
11


View the planets for this day1916
Ernest No. 2
Mine Explosion
Ernest, PA
No. Killed - 27

12
13


View the planets for this day1894
Gaylord
Roof Fall
Plymouth, PA
No. Killed - 13

14


View the planets for this day1916
Pennsylvania
Mine Fire
Butte, MT
No. Killed - 21

15
16


View the planets for this day1883
Diamond
Mine Inundation
Braidwood, IL
No. Killed - 69

17


View the planets for this day1915
Prospect
Mine Explosion
Wilkes-Barre, PA
No. Killed - 13

18


View the planets for this day1896
Vulcan
Mine Explosion
New Castle, CO
No. Killed - 49

19


View the planets for this day1906
Maitland
Mine Explosion
Walsenburg, CO
No. Killed - 14

20


View the planets for this day1905
Virginia City
Mine Explosion
Virginia City, AL
No. Killed - 112

View the planets for this day1925
City
Mine Explosion
Sullivan, IN
No. Killed - 52

View the planets for this day1884
West Leisenring
Mine Explosion
West Leisenring, PA
No. Killed - 19

1928
Kinloch
Mine Explosion
Parnassus, PA
No. Killed - 12

21


View the planets for this day1918
Amasa-Porter
Mine Cave-In
Crystal Falls, MI
No. Killed - 17

22
23


View the planets for this day1911
Belmont
Mine Fire
Tonapah, NV
No. Killed - 17

24


View the planets for this day1928
Mama No. 3
Mine Explosion
Jenny Lind, AR
No. Killed - 13

25


View the planets for this day1901
Diamondville 1
Mine Fire
Diamondville, WY
No. Killed - 26

View the planets for this day1917
North Star
Snowslide
Hailey, ID
No. Killed - 16

26


View the planets for this day1972
Buffalo Creek
Dam Failure
Saunders, WV
No. Killed - 114

27


View the planets for this day1943
Smith
Mine Explosion
Red Lodge, MT
No. Killed - 74

View the planets for this day1932
Boisevain
Mine Explosion
Boisevain, VA
No. Killed - 38

View the planets for this day1895
White Ash
Mine Explosion
Madrid, NM
No. Killed - 24

View the planets for this day1906
Piper No. 2
Mine Explosion
Piper, AL
No. Killed - 12

28
29/1


1916
Davis No. 42
Mine Explosion
Kempton, MD
No. Killed - 16

2 3 4
Did You Know? The month of February has accounted for 83 mine disasters in which 1,502 miners were killed; 14 successful rescues (longest - 19 days); and the death of 27 rescuers in 11 incidents.

Successful Rescue Summary Rescuer Death Summary All February Mine Disasters

Successful Mine Rescues in February
1891 13 miners died in Jeanesville, Pennsylvania after they were trapped by water in the Spring Mountain No. 1 Mine operated by J. C. Hayden and Company on February 4, 1891.  Four others were rescued 19 days later.  They were John Tomaskusky, Joe Mautchwitch, Bosso Franko, and John Berno.  Source documentExternal Link
Following the firing of a blast, water rushed into the Susquehanna Colliery at Grand Tunnel, Pennsylvania trapping Michael Schilling, William Cragel, and John Riner.  Freedom from the flooded mine came for the trio when rescuers found them after 115 hours.  They had to wait out the 4 days perched on a piece of timber 3 inches wide.  When found, the men were almost completely exhausted and would require care to bring them through.  Source documentExternal Link
1908 All but one of 28 men and boys who were entrapped in the Mid-Valley Colliery near Shamokin, Pennsylvania were rescued after 1 day.   Frank Orloskie, fell down a chute after the accident and was killed.   Source documentExternal Link
1912 With 140 rescuers tearing at the rock and earth blocking the shaft of the Bunker Hill Mine at Sutter Creek, California, freedom came at noon on February 8 for sixty-two miners trapped for 23 hours.  Wives and daughters of the trapped men held torches through the nights while rescuers assailed the jam.  Source documentExternal Link
1914 Cannon Mine Inundation — Andrew Churnick, 50, was killed by a 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.
1915 Explosion at Carlisle Mine, Carlisle, West Virginia – Twenty-one men were killed and four were rescued by parties led by company officials.  Source documentExternal Link
1916 Davis No. 42 Mine Explosion, Kempton, Maryland — Those not directly in range of the blast hurried to the main entries and started for the foot of the shaft in which the cages were still operating.  There they were met by rescue parties from the surface and quickly hoisted.  Other rescuers made their way into the mine and located other miners who had been unable to reach the main lines of communication.  These men were brought out after an undisclosed period.
1918 Amasa-Porter Mine Inundation, Crystal Falls, Michigan — Following an inundation of water in the Amasa-Porter Mine at Crystal Falls, Michigan, one miner was found unconscious by rescuers after an undisclosed period and brought to the surface.  Three others managed to escape unaided.
1927 Joseph Schultz, a miner at the Henry Clay Colliery near Shamokin, Pennsylvania was entombed 4½ hours in a blind heading after a pillar crumbled when disturbed by a shot.   He was penned behind hundreds of tons of coal and rock in a space about 3 feet wide and 6 feet long.   Rescuers found him exhausted.   Source documentExternal Link
1928 One miner was found alive after an explosion at the Kinlock underground coal mine of the Valley Camp Coal Company in Parnassus, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh.  The rescued miner was trapped for nearly 1 day.  12 miners were killed in this accident.  (Parnassus was later renamed New Kensington).
1930 Standard Coal Company, Standard Mine Explosion — Five were rescued by crews from nearby mining communities. The five, taken out after an undisclosed period, had bratticed themselves from the deadly gas fumes, far back in the workings and had left notes directing their rescuers where to find them.
1937 Robert Johnson spent eight days without food in utter darkness in an abandoned Flemington, West Virginia coal mine.   Guided by his weak cries, Bill McDonald, Minor Cleavenger and Lon Smith found the man and brought him out on a stretcher.  Source documentExternal Link
1949 Kittoe Mining Works Fire, Benton, Wisconsin — Fifteen miners were rescued after being trapped for seven hours by a fire which occurred in the engine room of the Kittoe Mining Works near Benton, Wisconsin.  The fire cut the men off from their 167-foot escape shaft to the mine head.  Except for one miner who suffered a slight heart attack, all the men remained calm throughout their ordeal.
1958 Glenn Burchett was rescued after a 6 hour roof fall entrapment in the Amherst Coal Company’s Lundale Mine at Morgantown Post, West Virginia.  Rescue workers using hydraulic jacks slowly and methodically lifted the fallen slate to a point where Burchett could be extricated.  Sadly, Burchett later died from his injuries.

Rescuer Deaths in February
1899 Diamondville No. 1 Mine Asphyxiations, Diamondville, Wyoming — Ten brave men were risking their lives endeavoring to reopen the Diamondville No. 1 coal mine.  They were all knocked down, one by one, by blackdamp.  When help arrived, two were already dead, and the others were resuscitated with great difficulty.  The names of the dead are John L. Russell and Lee Wright.  Source documentExternal Link
1907 Thomas No. 25 Mine Explosion, Thomas, West Virginia — A rescue party of 7 men entered the mine and were exploring for survivors.  They had penetrated as far as the third heading when suddenly the current of air died away.  The motor which operated the large fan above the entrance had burned out.  Now exposed to the blackdamp, 4 of these men were quickly overcome.  Dan R. Jones died from asphyxiation and the other 3 were removed by re-enforcements and revived under the treatment of physicians.
1911 Cokedale Mine Explosion, Trinidad, Colorado — On February 9, 1911, E. A. Sutton, assistant superintendent of the Cokedale mine of the Carbon Coal & Coke Company, Carbondale, Colorado, lost his life while wearing a Dräger helmet-type oxygen breathing apparatus after an explosion in this mine in which 17 men were killed.  It is believed that this was the first instance in the United States, wherein a person died while wearing oxygen breathing apparatus.
Belmont Mine Fire, Tonopah, Nevada — William A. "Big Bill" Murphy, a 28-year-old cage operator, twice successfully descended into the Belmont Mine inferno to bring confused and unconscious co-workers to the surface.  Said to say "he was nearly done in," he made his third descent into the mine.  This would be his last.  In 2006, a statue was erected and dedicated in Tonopah to "Big Bill," the hero of the Belmont Mine Fire.
1916 Pennsylvania Mine Fire, Superior, Arizona — Approximately 195 men were hoisted to the surface in less than 45 minutes after the discovery of the fire.  Six men escaped through the 1,000-foot level to the Tramway mine.  Subsequently, two men lost their lives while wearing Dräger apparatus during rescue and recovery work.
1918 Carthage Fuel Company, Mine Exploration Fatality, Carthage, New Mexico — On February 26, 1918, David Murphy, an experienced mine rescue volunteer from Dawson, New Mexico, lost his life while wearing a Fleuss mouthpiece-type oxygen breathing apparatus during an exploration trip in the Government mine of the Carthage Fuel Company, Carthage, New Mexico.
1921 Sahara No. 8 Mine Explosion, Illinois — Three men lost their lives by suffocation in oxygen apparatus while opening a fire sealed area to see if the fire was extinguished.  The oxygen of one of the three man crew was fully consumed and the two other men used up all their oxygen in attempted rescue of the one man who went down.
1926 Nelson Mine Explosion, Nelson Creek, Kentucky — Immediately after the blast, Cecil Fulkerson, manager, led a squad of rescue men into the pit.  With him were Archie and Leonard Huter and George Brandon, Jr., whose fathers were killed in the explosion.  Archie Huter, Brandon, and two others were asphyxiated by blackdamp.  Fulkerson and Leonard Huter were overcome by the gas and their condition was serious.
1930 Standard Mine Explosion, Standardville, Utah — The three men in the connected No. 3 mine were killed by the forces, and 17 of those in No. 1 mine died in the afterdamp.  Five of the men in No. 1 mine successfully barricaded themselves and were rescued.  Three men of a fresh air crew were killed by a falling roof slab on February 7.  Source documentExternal Link
1943 C. F. H. (Mulcaby) Mine Cave-in, Shullsburg, Wisconsin — Two of the victims were buried in an initial collapse, which occurred while they were preparing to shoot down a section of the rock suspected of being weak.  Six others were buried in a second cave-in, which occurred while they were attempting to dig out the bodies of the first two men.
Smith No. 3 Mine Explosion, Bearcreek Mountain, Montana — One rescuer later succumbed from the toxic gas, after spending days looking for the miners.

Download the Master File in Word Format Download the Master File in MS Word or Adobe PDF format containing all 12 months of successful mine rescues and incidents of rescuer deaths. Download the Master File
Download these lists in chronological order
Rescuer Deaths  MS Word Icon
Successful Rescues  MS Word Icon

Additional Resources:

The links below include pages from the Bureau of Mines Annual Reports which describe accidents in which lives were saved.

1915       1916       1917       1918       1919       1921

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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