November 2017 Mine Disaster Anniversaries

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View the planets for this day1904
Fall Down Shaft
Nanticoke, PA
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1900
Berryburg, WV
No. Killed - 15

View the planets for this day1926
H2S Inundation
Ishpoming, MI
No. Killed - 51

View the planets for this day1888
Kettle Creek
Mine Explosion
Westport, PA
No. Killed - 17


View the planets for this day1916
Mine Explosion
Palos, AL
No. Killed - 30


View the planets for this day1930
Mine No. 6
Mine Explosion
Millfield, OH
No. Killed - 82


View the planets for this day1922
Reilly No. 1
Mine Explosion
Spangler, PA
No. Killed - 77

View the planets for this day1923
Glen Rogers
Mine Explosion
Beckley, WV
No. Killed - 27

Mine Explosion
Black Diamond, WA
No. Killed - 16

View the planets for this day1943
Mine Explosion
Madison, WV
No. Killed - 11


View the planets for this day1910
Victor American No. 3
Explosion & Fire
Delagua, CO
No. Killed - 79

View the planets for this day1891
Susquehanna 1
Mine Explosion
Nanticoke, PA
No. Killed - 12


View the planets for this day1888
Frontenac No. 2
Mine Explosion
Frontenac, KS
No. Killed - 40


View the planets for this day1907
Mine Fire
Drytown, CA
No. Killed - 11


View the planets for this day1909
St. Paul No. 2
Mine Fire
Cherry, IL
No. Killed - 259

View the planets for this day1954
Jamison No. 9
Mine Explosion
Farmington, WV
No. Killed - 16


View the planets for this day1915
Mine Explosion
Ravensdale, WA
No. Killed - 31


View the planets for this day1913
Acton No. 2
Mine Explosion
Acton, AL
No. Killed - 24

View the planets for this day1911
Bottom Creek
Mine Explosion
Vivian, WV
No. Killed - 18


View the planets for this day1968
Consol No. 9
Mine Explosion
Farmington, WV
No. Killed - 78

View the planets for this day1903
Bonanza No. 20
Mine Explosion
Bonanza, AR
No. Killed - 11

View the planets for this day1885
Bull Domingo
Mine Explosion
Silver Cliff, CO
No. Killed - 10

View the planets for this day1901
Mine Fire
Pandora, CO
No. Killed - 31


View the planets for this day1903
Mine Explosion
Connellsville, PA
No. Killed - 17


View the planets for this day1922
Dolomite No. 3
Mine Explosion
Dolomite, AL
No. Killed - 90


View the planets for this day1920
Mine Explosion
Parrish, AL
No. Killed - 12


View the planets for this day1886
Mine Explosion
Wilkes-Barre, PA
No. Killed - 12


View the planets for this day1908
Rachel and Agnes
Mine Explosion
Marianna, PA
No. Killed - 154

View the planets for this day1910
Mine Explosion
Durant, OK
No. Killed - 13


View the planets for this day1940
Mine Explosion
Cadiz, OH
No Killed - 31

View the planets for this day1917
Old Ben No. 11
Mine Explosion
Christopher, IL
No. Killed - 17

View the planets for this day1930
Lutie No. 5
Mine Explosion
Lutie, OK
No. Killed - 15


View the planets for this day1863
Raccoon Pit
Mine Explosion
Clover Hill, VA
No. Killed - 17

View the planets for this day1915
Boomer No. 2
Mine Explosion
Boomer, WV
No. Killed - 23

Did You Know? The month of November has accounted for 80 mine disasters in which 1,660 miners were killed; 20 successful rescues (longest - 8 days); and the death of 30 rescuers in 7 incidents.

Successful Rescue Summary Rescuer Death Summary All November Mine Disasters

Successful Mine Rescues in November
1888 At 5:30 p.m. on November 9, an explosion occurred in the Frontenac Shaft No. 2 of the Cherokee and Pittsburg Coal Company.  At 4 a.m. (10½ hours), five had been rescued, and at 1 p.m. (19½ hours), four more were brought out alive.
1901 Four days after the start of the Pocahontas Baby mine fire in Pocahontas, Virginia, Fritz Moulter was found barely alive, entombed in a room on the east side.  Six physicians worked with him before he was restored to consciousness.
1902 Luke Fidler Mine Explosion, Shamokin, Pennsylvania — Several miners working near the scene of the accident made a rush for the foot of the shaft and were overcome by the after damp following the explosion.  They were rescued after an undisclosed period by the relief party and sent at once to the gangway.
1903 Ferguson Mine Explosion, Dunbar, Pennsylvania — After an hour of frantic search, nine miners were picked up by the rescuing party in different positions of exhaustion.  As they reached the open air they fell prostrate in the arms of their wives and children, who had spent that long, weary hour at the pit's mouth fearing that they would never see their loved ones again.  Their faces were blackened, their hair scorched and clothing burned almost to shreds from the flames that followed the explosion.
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.
1907 A cave-in deep inside the Draper Mine at Gilberton, Pennsylvania, followed by a 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 documentExternal Link
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.
1910 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.
1914 Bonar Mine, East Bernstadt, Kentucky - Three men were overcome by powder smoke.  They were rescued by the State mine inspector and the mine superintendent.  One miner was revived by artificial respiration; the other two died.  Source documentExternal Link
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 documentExternal 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 documentExternal Link
1916 Bessie Mine Explosion, Palos, Alabama - About 15 hours after the explosion, a trained apparatus crew of 5 men found 3 men at a break in the air line.  The party was then about 1,000 feet from fresh air, and the men were able to proceed to safety with the aid of the apparatus crew.  Thirty men were killed by the explosion, 5 escaped unassisted, and 3 were rescued as noted.  Source documentExternal Link
1922 Dolomite No. 3 Mine Explosion, Dolomite, Alabama — An unidentified foreman assembled thirty workers after the blast took place and ordered all to remain with him and work on fixing up brattices with stones and canvas to shut off the dreaded afterdamp gas that he felt sure was to follow the explosion.  When the fans started up again, the air cleared sufficiently to indicate that it was safe to tear down the temporary wall and the foreman led his men out.  One miner, who objected to remaining with the rest of the men was found only a few feet away from the temporary brattice.  He had become a victim of the gas.
Reilly No. 1 Mine Explosion, Spangler, Pennsylvania — 33 miners were taken out alive after an undisclosed period, but three succumbed to their injuries.  Of the remaining 30 rescued, all were at the Spangler Hospital and the attending physicians, who were doing everything in their power for them, said all would recover.
1926 Six miners were trapped by water in the Tomhicken Mine of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company in Pennsylvania on November 16, 1926.  One man died, but five men were rescued 8 days later.  The five rescued were Henry Kirchdoerfer, August Yensick, Michael Lorincz, John Gondera and Mike Lawrence.  Source documentExternal Link
Mound Mine Explosion — An explosion killed 5 of the 18 men in the mine.  Two died of burns and 3 from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Two injured men were rescued several hours later and 11 escaped uninjured.  Gas accumulated by the wrecking of a door, was ignited by the arcing of a trolley wheel of a locomotive. Coal dust was ignited, but the explosion was stopped by rock dust and water on the entries.
1933 Five men were rescued from a mine after an undisclosed period in South Scranton, Pennsylvania following a cave-in.  Two of the men, Paul Mariello and Carmel Comparta, were seriously hurt, suffering from internal injuries.  The other three men left the scene before they could be identified.  Source documentExternal Link
1962 After falling 200 feet down the abandoned Idaho Bride gold mine near Idaho Springs, Colorado and spending 14 hours in the mirky depths, Airman Chester West was rescued.  It took rescuers, led by District Mine Inspector, Norman Blake, three hours to lead West out of the winding tunnels.  Source documentExternal Link
1968 Eight miners were rescued five hours after explosions ripped through the No. 9 mine in Mannington, West Virginia owned by the Consolidation Coal Company.  13 other miners managed to exit the mine shortly after the 1st of at least 3 explosions tore through the mine.  This disaster, which killed 78 miners, triggered Congress to pass the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969External Link  See videoExternal Link

Among the 21 miners rescued from the Mountaineer Coal Co. (Consol) No. 9 mine was Matt Menas, Jr., whose father died in a similar disaster in the same mine 14 years earlier.  The explosion on Nov. 13, 1954, killed 16 men.  The mine at that time was owned by the Jamison Coal Co., and was called Jamison No. 9.  See VideoExternal Link  Source documentExternal Link

Here is a list of the other miners rescued, all of whom are from the area around Mannington, Fairmont and Farmington: Byron Jones; Nathaniel Stephens, 48; Charles Biafore; Nick Rose, 23; Roy Wilson; James Herron; Paul Sabo; Walter Slavikosky; Henry Conway; Nezer Vandergrift, 48; Ralph Starkey, 41; Lewis Lake, 55; George Wilson, 54; Alva Davis, 29; Raymond Parker; Robert Bland; Robert Mullen; Gary Martin; Charles Crumm; and Brad Hillberry.
1985 Following an avalanche at the remote Bessie "G" gold mine in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, rescuers, including officers from the LaPlata County Sheriff’s Department worked for 24 hours to rescue Lester Jay Morlang.  His partner, Jack Ritter, died of suffocation when the men were buried around 6 p.m.   Source document 1External Link  Source document 2External Link

Rescuer Deaths in November
1901 Baby Mine Fire, Pocahontas, Virginia — While the fires were being fought, a small explosion occurred, which injured no one, but blew out some of the brattices and allowed the smoke and gases to pass through into the adjoining West Mine.  Nine men in the West Mine were overcome by smoke and suffocated.  On November 22, 1901, a rescue party of eight men was also overcome by gases in the West Mine and suffocated.
1903 Koarsarge Gold Mine Fire, Virginia City, Montana — At the first alarm the 170 employees hastened to extinguish the flames.  The Mine Superintendent entered the tunnel through the fire and smoke to warn the entombed miners and to aid them to escape.  He returned and tried to enter the mine by the air shaft but fell from the ladder and was killed.
1909 St. Paul No. 2 Mine Fire, Cherry, Illinois — " . . . there were 259 men and boys who were never saved despite great deeds of heroism by volunteer rescue teams.  Sadly, that heroism was rewarded with death for no less than twelve of the rescuers.  They were a hastily assembled team of people from the town who went down in the cage six times, each time dragging more miners to safety.  From the seventh trip into the hell below, however, none returned alive."
1910 Victor American No. 3 Mine Fire, Delagua, Colorado — A member of the rescue crew who gave his breathing apparatus to one of the four men found behind a barricade stayed behind to wait for the party's return.  He was later found overcome in another part of the mine and died the next morning.
1911 Adrian Mine Explosion, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania — It is believed that the six dead miners, realizing that there had been an explosion, dropped their dinner buckets and ran further into the mine to rescue their fellow workmen.  The dinner buckets were found about a mile and a half from the innermost workings of the mine, which is five miles from the entrance.
1948 Nethken Mine Asphyxiations, Kitzmiller, Maryland — One of those suffocated in the Nethken Mine was a miner, Robert Jackson from Kitzmiller, Maryland, age 25, who had gone down the shaft to warn the other 4 miners of the danger and lead them out.  He had been married less than 6 months.
2013 Revenue-Virginius Mine Asphyxiation, Ouray, Colorado — A miner, Nicholas Cappanno, did not return from an area of the mine where an explosive had been previously detonated.  The shift foreman, Rick Williams, went in to search for him.  Eventually they were both found by other miners working in the area, and those miners immediately evacuated the mine.  Mine rescue teams entered the mine and found the two others.  During the recovery operation, they detected fatal levels of carbon monoxide.  The teams brought the victims to the surface.  Twenty miners were taken to the hospital, and three were kept overnight.  All 20 were subsequently released.

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
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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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