October 2017 Mine Disaster Anniversaries

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View the planets for this day1902
Mine Explosion
Black Diamond, WA
No. Killed - 11


View the planets for this day1906
Mine Explosion
Pocahontas, VA
No. Killed - 35

View the planets for this day1909
Mine Explosion
Roslyn, WA
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1926
Mine Explosion
Rockwood, TN
No. Killed - 27


View the planets for this day1914
Mine Explosion
Mulga, AL
No. Killed - 17

View the planets for this day1906
Mine Explosion
Blossburg, NM
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1936
Hoisting Accident
Mullan, ID
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1910
Mine Explosion
Starkville, CO
No. Killed - 56


View the planets for this day1916
Jamison No. 7
Mine Explosion
Barrackville, WV
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1937
Mine Explosion
Birmingham, AL
No. Killed - 34

View the planets for this day1951
Mine Explosion
Cassville, WV
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1915
Granite Mt. Shaft
Mine Explosion
Butte, MT
No. Killed - 16

View the planets for this day1911
Mine Inundation
Hibernia, NJ
No. Killed - 12


View the planets for this day1909
Rock Island No. 8
Mine Explosion
Hartshorne, OK
No. Killed - 10


View the planets for this day1913
Stag Canon No. 2
Mine Explosion
Dawson, NM
No. Killed - 263

View the planets for this day1916
Marvel No. 2
Mine Explosion
Marvel, AL
No. Killed - 18


View the planets for this day1901
Diamondville No. 1
Mine Explosion
Diamondville, WY
No. Killed - 22

View the planets for this day1937
Mine Explosion
Jonesville, AK
No. Killed - 14


View the planets for this day1914
North No. 1
Mine Explosion
Royalton, IL
No. Killed - 52

View the planets for this day1930
Wheatley No. 4
Mine Explosion
McAlester, OK
No. Killed - 30

View the planets for this day1958
Bishop No. 34
Mine Explosion
McDowell Cty, WV
No. Killed - 22

View the planets for this day1884
Mine Explosion
Uniontown, PA
No. Killed - 14

View the planets for this day1941
Daniel Boone
Mine Explosion
St. Charles, KY
No. Killed - 15


View the planets for this day1904
Mine Explosion
Tercio, CO
No. Killed - 19

View the planets for this day1958
Mine Explosion
Nicholas Cty, WV
No. Killed - 14


View the planets for this day1919
Amsterdam No. 2
Mine Fire
Amsterdam, OH
No. Killed - 20

30 31

View the planets for this day1909
Franklin No. 2
Mine Explosion
Johnstown, PA
No. Killed - 13

View the planets for this dayView the planets for this day1951
United Gas No. 1
Mine Explosion
United, WV
No. Killed - 12

Did You Know? The month of October has accounted for 58 mine disasters in which 968 miners were killed; 19 successful rescues (longest - 8 days); and the death of 17 rescuers in 10 incidents.

Successful Rescue Summary Rescuer Death Summary All October Mine Disasters

Successful Mine Rescues in October
1897 October 30, 1897 - Joseph Yomaski, one of the men entombed in the Von Storch Mine of the Delaware and Hudson Company, was rescued at 10 o'clock Saturday night.  The bodies of the other men were afterwards found and brought to the surface.  In an interview, the Pole explained that when his companions began to suffer their death agonies, he at once urged them to follow him, but they refused.  He escaped to an old airway where he knew of a hand fan, over which he placed a box, and in that inserted his head.  He then kept the fan going for ten hours and kept himself alive until rescued.  See more.
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.
1913 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.  Lying near the men was their mule, still alive.  Source documentExternal 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 documentExternal Link
1914 Explosion in Mulga Mine, Mulga, Alabama - Sixteen men were killed and 12 were rescued by parties led by company officials.  Source documentExternal 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 documentExternal Link
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.
1915 Continental Colliery Cave-in, Centralia, PA – On October 4, John Tomaschefski was rescued after 187 hours, imprisoned by a cave-in at the colliery which occurred on September 26.  A 2-inch diamond drill hole was drilled 50 feet to provide food, water and dry clothing.  It took 85 hours to drill this hole.  Following this, the rescuers drove, by pick mining, a 4-foot by 4-foot passageway to reach and rescue the trapped miner.  It required 4 days to accomplish this.  Source documentExternal Link
1931 Two miners who never gave up hope after 4 comrades were killed in an explosion in the Mocanaqua Mine of the West End Coal Company were rescued after 133 hours of entrapment.  The survivors were John Thomashunis, age 40, and John Metz, age 22.
1935 Mine workers who worked all night, rescued one of two men entombed in a "bootleg" coal mine, 2 miles south of Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania.  Source documentExternal Link
1938 Falling slate blocked the exit from a room where Dolar Johnson, 54, was preparing to blast in the Lilly Meade Mine in Owensboro, Kentucky.   When his lamp became extinguished, he realized he was lost and he decided to sit and wait for rescue.  He was safely brought to the surface 4 days later.  Source documentExternal Link
1954 Nearly freed from fallen timber and rock in an Anthracite mine in Branchdale, Pennsylvania, Carl Herman became trapped again when a second cave-in occurred.  35 friends worked for an undisclosed period to free Herman who managed to get out with only a broken leg.  Source documentExternal Link
1958 Bishop No. 34 Mine Explosion — An explosion occurred in this mine and resulted in the death of 22 miners.  Thirty-seven others erected barricades and remained behind them until they were rescued.
1965 Wildcat Cave Entrapment, Hinckley, Ohio – A fifteen-year-old boy was rescued after being trapped for 24 hours.  He was wedged in a crevice 10 inches wide and three feet high and was found tilted downward at a 45° angle.  Consultation and assistance was provided by employees of the Ohio Division of Mines.  Source documentExternal Link
1965 Mars No. 2 Mine Fire, Wilsonburg, West Virginia — Workers inched their way deep inside the fire-ravaged Mars No. 2 mine tunnels for nearly 20 hours before coming upon Charles Lantz, 26, of Buckhannon.  He was brought out alive but died of his injuries en route to a hospital.
1980 Two men, David Aubuchon and Guy Hayton, and the car they were driving were rescued after spending 4 days at the bottom of a vertical shaft of the University of Arizona experimental mine near Tucson.  They had crashed their car through a barbed-wire fence protecting the shaft entrance.  Following their rescue, the men were questioned by Pima County Sherriff’s detectives about the burglary of $700 worth of tools from the mine.  Apparently no charges were filed.  Source documentExternal Link
1987 Rescuers worked for 58 hours to free "Baby Jessica" McClure from an eight-inch (20 cm) well casing 22 feet (6.7 m) below the ground.  The story gained worldwide attention (leading to some criticism as a media circus), and later became the subject of a 1989 television movie Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure on ABC.  As presented in the movie, a vital part of the rescue was the use of the then relatively new technology of waterjet cutting.  See moreExternal Link
Five miners trapped for more than a day were hauled 800 feet to safety in a bucket about the size of a garbage can.  They became trapped when a cable suspending a 3-ton piece of machinery snapped, sending the equipment and debris plunging into the Diamond gold and silver mine at Leadville, Colorado.   The mine was owned by the Leadville Corporation.  Source documentExternal Link

Rescuer Deaths in October
1896 No. 3 Shaft Explosion, South Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — 4 killed in gas explosion, 2 fire bosses suffocated by afterdamp in attempting rescue.
1906 Pocahontas Mine Explosion, Pocahontas, Virginia — Edward Jones, the inside foreman, led the first rescue party, and when that party failed to return in a reasonable time a second rescue party under Supt. Leckie followed.  Two of the Leckie party, John Odham and Ed Brown, were overcome by gas and died.  Leckie barely escaped with his life.  Then the third party was formed and continued the work.  Meantime the first party had reached another entrance to the mine in safety, and sent word over the mountain announcing that fact.
1913 Dawson No. 2 Mine Explosion, Dawson, New Mexico — Of the 284 men working in the mine, 14 men escaped from an unaffected area of the mine, and nine others, unconscious at the bottom of the shaft were later rescued by a crew wearing apparatus.  Two helmet men, James Laird and William Poyser, were lost that night when they overtaxed the oxygen supply by overexertion and going in farther than instructed.  The oxygen was supplied at a fixed rate and when they tried to remove the oxygen bottles to breathe from them, they were overcome by afterdamp.  Source documentExternal Link
1916 Jamison No. 7 Mine Explosion and Fire, Barrackville, West Virginia — Lewis M. Jones, a mining engineer from the U. S. Bureau of Mines in Pittsbugh became asphyxiated in the Jamison No. 7 Mine fire at Barrackville, West Virginia.  When Jones and seven others failed to return to the surface, additional rescuers were dispatched to bring them out.  All of the initial party recovered except Jones.  9 other miners lost their lives in the disaster.  Source documentExternal Link

On November 13, 1917, Samuel T. McMahon and Bryce Warren lost their lives while wearing Fleuss oxygen breathing apparatus in a sealed fire area in the No. 7 mine of the Jamison Coal & Coke Company, Barrackville, West Virginia.
Marvel No. 2 Mine Explosion, Marvel, Alabama — Eighteen men entered the mine and all were killed in the explosion, except one pumper who was burned but escaped.  A rescue worker without rescue apparatus was overcome and was killed by a fall from a ladder.
1930 Dalton Coal Company Mine Fire, Dalton, Ohio — On October 8, 1930, Rush D. Hiller, an undertaker of Canton, Ohio, lost his life while wearing a ½-hour McCaa oxygen breathing apparatus on the property of the Dalton Coal Company, Dalton, Ohio.
1940 Wanamie Colliery Mine Fire, Wanamie, Pennsylvania — On October 6, 1940, Reese Phillips and Gray Lacey lost their lives while wearing Gibbs oxygen breathing apparatus after entering a sealed fire area at the Wanamie Colliery of the Glen Alden Coal Co., Wanamie, Pennsylvania.
1956 Wharton Auger Mine Asphyxiations, Ohio — Two men died from asphyxiation and a third man was overcome in a rescue attempt at 7:15 a.m., Friday, October 12, 1956.
1970 Open-Pit Uranium Mine Electrocution, Texas — A miner was electrocuted when he drove a portable drill rig with the mast up into a high voltage powerline.  In an attempt to rescue the truck driver, another miner was also electrocuted.
2002 Storm Decline Exploration, Elko, Nevada — Team trainer, Theodore Milligan and team member, Dale Spring were fatally injured when they collapsed from excessive heat while evaluating the conditions in an inactive gold mine.  The pair's failure to have coolant cartridges installed in their breathing apparatus was identified as a principle contributing factor.

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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