108 miners were asphyxiated,
2 rescuers killed. "Thomas W. Williams of Plymouth and David Jones of Grand Tunnel, entered what subsequently proved to
them the pit of death. After reaching the bottom of the shaft they made signals for pick and shovel to be sent
to them. Accordingly the bucket was hoisted and the tools were put in and sent to them. After waiting some time, and hearing
nothing from the men, the bucket was again raised and two fresh men went down to search for them. Both Williams and Jones
were lying insensible. The body of Williams was immediately sent up with the men who went down, only Jones remaining. After
long continued efforts to resuscitate Williams, the melancholy truth had to be accepted that his life had been given in
sacrifice for the dead, and that another victim was added to the fearful disaster. Another party now descended for Jones,
one of whom had been down previously. They had not gone far before this man prostrated, and his companion, as hurriedly as
possible, carried him back to the bucket and both were quickly drawn up. It was a work of some to resuscitate him, but it
was finally accomplished. Thomas L. Williams now went down, found the body of Jones, and drew it to the bottom of the shaft,
but was too much overcome to remain longer. He was drawn up, and John W. and Isaac Thomas went down for a final effort to
recover the body of the unfortunate Jones. This they accomplished with difficulty, finding the air fouler every moment. Two
brave men had now perished, willing martyrs in their efforts to gain some tidings of their buried brothers."
C O A L
No. 3 Shaft Explosion South Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
4 killed in gas explosion, 2 fire bosses suffocated by afterdamp in attempting rescue.
C O A L
Pocahontas Mines 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.
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.
Five hours after the mine ceased operations for the day, an explosion occurred in the Rush Run mine, in which 8 men lost their lives. The explosion extended into the Red Ash mine, where 5 more men lost their lives. To rescue these men, 11 men entered the Rush Run mine and were lost in a second explosion.
C O A L
Northwestern Improvement Red Lodge Mine Fire Red Lodge, Montana
To suppress a fire, the fan was reversed, which reversed the air current supplying fresh air to the fighters in room 6. This resulted in forcing the noxious gases onto the men fighting the fire in room 6. Six men lost their lives from the crew fighting the fire in room 6, while two of the rescuers lost their lives in a vain attempt to rescue the men fighting the fire in room 6.
John Narey died in the mine rescue effort during the mine disaster at Monongah Mine, West Virginia Dec. 6, 1907. (from an article in the "Latrobe Bulletin," Latrobe, PA,
Dec. 18, 1907.) In all, three men are said to have lost their lives in the rescue work at Monongah, apparently overcome
with smoke or poisonous gases lingering in the mines because they had no proper equipment for entering exploding mines, or
proper equipment to revive rescuers or miners who had succumbed to their smoke and poisonous gases.
After extinguishing the blaze, five rescuers searching for 3 missing miners fell victim to toxic mine air. In all, 6 were
killed in the incident, including Victor Erickson, along with rescuers Peter McNini, Roy Coburn, Alf Johnson, A. W. Burns, and Gus Olson. John Sunston and Otto Johnson were returned to the surface barely alive.
" . . . 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."
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.
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.
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 72 miners and one rescue worker who fell victim to poisonous gas. The rescue worker was Joe E. Evans, Foreman of Federal Rescue Car No. 1.
Within 1 hour after the discovery of the fire, an attempt was made to begin rescue operations without the aid of breathing apparatus. Three bodies were discovered. However, because of the reversal of the air current while erecting a stopping, the smoke became so dense that the shift boss ordered the men to return to the surface. One man attempted to remain and finish the stopping but was overcome. It was several hours before rescuers reached him, but he was dead. Three of the others attempted to go out to the Cambria shaft but were overcome and were revived with great difficulty.
C O A L
Cherry Valley Mine Fire Cherry Valley, Pennsylvania
John Ferrell of the U. S. Bureau of Mines was killed while exploring a mine in which a fire was raging. Ferrell
had been in charge of the Bureau of Mines Rescue Car No. 5 since October 1911. At a mine rescue a few weeks
earlier at Briceville, Tennessee, Ferrell rescued five men. It is unknown if any others were killed or injured
in the Cherry Valley Mine Fire.
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.
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 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.
C O A L
Smokeless Coal Company Smokeless Valley No. 1 Mine Explosion Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Apparatus man succumbed during recovery work. Mr. Gomer Phillips was an employee of the Cambris Steel Company of Johnstown, PA. Mr. Phillips was a voluntary rescue man in the Johnstown explosion and came to his death while wearing the apparatus in attempting to rescue the men in the explosion. Mr. Phillips was the captain of the rescue team.
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.
C O A L
Jamison No. 7 Mine Explosion and Fire Barrackville, West Virginia
L. M. Jones, a mining engineer from the U. S. Bureau of Mines in Pittsbugh
became ashyxiated in the Jamison No. 7 Mine fire at Barrackville, West Virginia. When Jones and seven others
failed to return to the surface, additional recuers were dispatched to bring them out. All of the
initial party recovered except Jones. 9 other miners lost their lives in the disaster.
C O A L
Roden Coal Company 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.
One apparatus man died under the severe strain, and another collapsed from overexertion but recovered. 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.
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.
C O A L
Sahara Coal Company 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.
Before experienced apparatus men arrived a member of a crew from a neighboring mine was killed by inhaling carbon monoxide due to removing his nose clip in some way.
C O A L
Standard Coal Company 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.
C O A L
Kathleen Mine Fire Dowell, Illinois
During the time the State Mine rescue team was erecting seals outby the fire, several motor trips of material were sent into the 7th north haulage road which is on the return for this section. With these trips, there were between 15 and 20 men, who had been sent to assist with the sealing. All of these men were more or less affected with carbon monoxide; nine of them lost their lives.
Two men persuaded a third to lower them to an area of dangerous atmospheric conditions. The third man realized the seriousness of the situation but gave little or no thought to the atmospheric conditions. He proceded down the manway until he was overcome and fell to the bottom. A fourth man, in a solitary attempt to rescue the third, was overcome and also fell to within 5 feet of the bottom. When the shift boss and four others arrived, they attempted to recover the bodies. Two men were lowered in the bucket, and both were overcome.
C O A L
Metz Coal Mine CO2 Ashyxiation Fulton, Missouri
Columbia firemen were called to remove the four bodies and helped save a fifth worker who was in serious condition. Mine owner Louis Metz and his father-in-law were overcome by gas as they went into the mine to pump water. The miner’s three younger brothers came to help and they, too, fell victim to the deadly gas.
C O A L
Northwestern Mining Company Kramer Mine Explosions DuBois, Pennsylvania
A spark from a locomotive ignited a body of methane in the first explosion, a fire ignited the 2nd. Two were killed in the first explosion and 7 were killed in the second explosion. The others died in an effort to rescue their fellow man, when a second explosion of gas took place.
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.
About 1240 a.m., August 29th, or 2½ hours after the first explosion, a second explosion occurred in the same area, at which time there were 18 members of a rescue party in the affected section. Two men of the rescue party were killed and 16 were injured. Eight of the sixteen injured died after being removed to the hospital. Total number of deaths from the second explosion was 10.
The fire was first detected by a pumpman who encountered smoke while being hoisted in the Lark Shaft from the 2500 level to the 1200 level. He returned by cage to the 2500 level to notify the hoistman by telephone and died some time later after closing the water doors when a power outage occurred. The other four men died while attempting to rescue him.
C O A L
Wharton Coal Company Wharton Auger Mine 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.
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. See video.
On March 11, 1976, at the time of the second explosion, 13 men were underground near the entrance of 2 Southeast Main; 11 died as the result of the explosion and 2 repairmen working a short distance outby escaped without injury. Among the 11 killed on March 11 were 3 Federal Mine Inspectors: Kenneth Kiser, age 45; Richard Sammons, age 55; and Grover Tussey, age 45.
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 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.
The entire section crew, except for two roof bolters, who remained unaccounted for, boarded a scoop to ride to the surface via the man trip route. Soon after, however, the section foreman left the fleeing scoop to search for the two missing roof bolters. Later that afternoon, the bodies of the foreman and the two roof bolters - all victims of asphyxiation - were recovered.
After the explosion, Rocke Wilson and Ardy Johnson descended to search for two workman. Shortly thereafter, both men were suddenly overcome by carbon monoxide. Two hours later, the general partner and mine manager resumed the search. During this effort, Johnson was found 75 feet from the portal and Wilson was found 100 feet from the portal. Subsequent CPR attempts revived Wilson, but Johnson never regained consciousness.
At about 2:40 a.m., as two miners were barring down some loose ground near timbers, a cave-in suddenly occurred without warning. One of the miners was trapped in the collapse. After unsuccessfully attempting to free the trapped miner, the other miner summoned three miners who were working in an adjacent area. Their rescue attempts went awry when one of the rescuers removed a steel bar near the trapped miner, triggering a second cave-in. This collapse fatally injured another miner. Shortly thereafter, a third cave-in occurred. This collapse killed the trapped miner as well as a fourth individual.
C O A L
R & R Coal Company Mine No. 3 Carbon Monoxide Suffocation Woodbine, Kentucky
Loading and hauling coal after a shot throughout the afternoon, a miner was overcome by CO when his scoop became stuck in the face area. Two others attempting to save the fallen miner were also overcome.
After communicating with the section foreman about the events of the initial blast in 4 Section, 3 other miners entered the 4 Section to rescue the remaining injured miner. Additional miners from other sections were notified and traveled toward 4 Section to lend assistance. Five of these miners entered the Section and another 4 reached the mouth of the 4 Section. The second explosion resulted in 12 fatalities and widespread destruction.
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.
On August 16, 2007, three rescue workers were killed and six others were injured when a seismic jolt caused a mine accident during an effort to reach six men who have been trapped at the Crandall Canyon Mine since August 6. Among the three dead was Gary Jensen, Federal Mine Inspector.
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.
Barnsley Oaks Colliery Explosions Barnsley, Yorkshire, England
Several explosions at the Barnsley Oaks Colliery, Barnsley, Yorkshire, England on December 12, 1866 led to the deaths of 361 people, 27 of whom were rescuers who were in the mine after the first explosion.
C O A L
Cadeby Colliery Explosion Colinsbrough, England
Of the killed, 39 were men who went into the pits to rescue those entombed. Among these were government inspectors, including William Henry Pickering, chief inspector of mines, Yorkshire and Northmidland district.
C O A L
Bilsthorpe Colliery Explosions Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England
There were two explosions at the colliery, one shortly after 6 p.m. which injured eighteen people, six of whom died from their injuries and this was followed three hours later by a second which injured twenty two, three of whom later died. Those who died in the second explosion were - Arthur Woodcock, ripper, who died July 27th; John William Jones, a permanent rescue man who died July 27th; and William Preater, a permanent rescue man who died from burns on August 3rd.
C O A L
Gresford Colliery Explosion Gresford, Wales
Disaster struck again on Saturday (9/22) morning. The Llay Main No. 1 Rescue team were sent into the airway. The fumes killed off their canary before they had gone five metres. The team continued in, found their way blocked and on the way back three rescuers - John Lewis, Bill Hughes and Dan Hughes - were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. Perhaps their equipment had been damaged in the chaotic scenes at the surface.
Two miners went to the shaft without permission at 9:00 a.m. Sunday and were poisoned by the gas. On learning of the accident, the deputy head of the coal mine rushed to the shaft to help the two miners, but was also poisoned. All the three miners were found dead later.
Three rescuers were killed in a cave-in of a section of a colliery shaft Monday morning, when they were searching for miners trapped in a mine blast in Qitaihe City, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
The deaths occurred at a disused air shaft at a lead and zinc ore mine when two miners were overcome by a lack of oxygen and rescuers and family members went in to try and help. One miner died, as did five rescuers and three family members who tried to come to the aid of the miners but were themselves overcome.
An initial investigation showed the accident occurred when two people allegedly sneaked into a non-operating gold pit to dig ores but became suffocated, while seven other folks who allegedly went down the pit to save the first two people also succumbed to suffocation.
On 4/27 three inspectors failed to return to the surface after entering the abandon
underground pit 9 a.m. that morning to conduct routine inspections. Eleven workers were then
sent to look for them. Of the 14 people who entered the mine, five escaped unharmed and one was later rescued.
Three rescuers died of heat stroke in fighting a coal mine fire in
East China's Shandong province, according to the rescue headquarters of Zaozhuang Fangbei Coal Mine. The fire first broke out on July 7th.
Five people, including one rescuer were killed after a fire broke out at the Xinglong Mining Company's gold mine pit in northwest China's Shaanxi province. The rescuer was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning during the rescue operation.
Initially, four workers were trapped and suffocated in a manganese mine under construction while conducting examination work. Four others tried to rescue them but were also overcome. All eight were pulled out of the mine with one survivor.
An electrical outage cut the ventilation to a mine, killing one rescue worker and leaving another unconscious
as they helped recover the bodies of three miners killed in the blast. The ventilator that was cooling the
tunnel stopped and the temperature increase, killing the rescuer.
The search for about 100 workers believed to have died inside a collapsed gold mine in Sudan's Darfur region ended
on May 4th. Included in that number were nine rescuers who were victims of another collapse on May 5th.
Two mining rescuers died in the CSM coal mine near Karvina, probably of intoxication while taking samples of air in the underground premises. The rescuers were taking samples of air to find out whether it contains methane, carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide. Five years ago, a fatal accident similar to the latest one occurred in the nearby Darkov mine, also claiming two mining rescuers' lives.
Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) appears to have killed four people in a decommissioned mine, taking out first a mining contractor, then the worker who went looking for him and two paramedics who tried to save them both.
C O A L
MacGregor Mine Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Canada
Joseph Campbell, one of the expert miners who helped to rescue Dr. D. E. Robertson and Alfred Scadding
was killed. Campbell, trapped in a narrow incline of the shaft at MacGregor Mine, was struck and run over by
miniature train carrying a full load of coal.
The first two victims died after choking due to Carbon Monoxide and their bodies were retrieved from the mine. But more tragedy befell them when other miners on a rescue mission succumbed after running out of breath in the incident. As the rescuers were trying to retrieve the bodies, two others collapsed, and died on the spot.
Two rescue workers were killed while trying to retrieve the body of a miner in Harmony Gold's Evander mine in Mpumalanga, the company said on Tuesday. A third member of the external rescue team made it back to the surface unhurt. The accident happened on Monday.