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Mining Disasters

Fire and Brimstone: The North Butte Mining Disaster of 1917
Fire and Brimstone: The North Butte Mining Disaster of 1917
Recounting the remarkable stories of the men below ground and their families above, Fire and Brimstone focuses on two groups of miners who made the incredible decision to entomb themselves to escape the gas during what's known as the North Butte Mine Disaster of 1917 in which 164 miners died.
Death in the Mines: Disasters and Rescues in the Anthracite Coal Fields of Pennsylvania

Death in the Mines: Disasters and Rescues in the Anthracite Coal Fields of Pennsylvania
Since 1870, mining disasters have claimed the lives of over 30,000 men and boys who toiled underground in the anthracite mines of Pennsylvania. The constant threat of fire, explosion, collapsed rock and deadly gas brought miners face to face with death on a daily basis. Sometimes they survived; many times they did not. Through original journal and newspaper accounts, J. Stuart Richards's Death in the Mines revisits Pennsylvania's most notorious mining accidents and rescue attempts from 1869 to 1943. From the fire at Avondale Colliery that resulted in the first law for regulation and inspection of mines, to the gas explosion at Lytle Mine in Primrose that killed fourteen men, Richards reveals multiple facets of Pennsylvania's most perilous profession. Richards, whose family has worked in the mines since 1870, offers a startling yet sensitive tribute to an industry and occupation that is often overlooked and underappreciated

Death Underground: The Centralia and West Frankfort Mine Disasters Death Underground: The Centralia and West Frankfort Mine Disasters
Death Underground: The Centralia and West Frankfort Mine Disasters examines two of the most devastating coal mine disasters in United States history since 1928. In two southern Illinois towns only forty miles apart, explosions killed 111 men at the Centralia No. 5 mine in 1947 and 119 men at the New Orient No. 2 mine in West Frankfort in 1951. Robert E. Hartley and David Kenney explain the causes of the accidents, identify who was to blame, and detail the emotional impact the disasters had on the survivors, their families, and their communities. Politics at the highest level of Illinois government played a critical role in the conditions that led to the accidents. Hartley and Kenney address how safety was compromised when inspection reports were widely ignored by state mining officials and mine company supervisors. Highlighted is the role of Driscoll Scanlan, a state inspector at Centralia, who warned of an impending disaster but whose political enemies shifted the blame to him, ruining his career. Hartley and Kenney also detail the New Orient No. 2 mine explosion, the attempts at rescue, and the resulting political spin circulated by labor, management, and the state bureaucracy. They outline the investigation, the subsequent hearings, and the efforts in Congress to legislate greater mine safety. Hartley and Kenney include interviews with the survivors, a summary of the investigative records, and an analysis of the causes of both mine accidents. They place responsibility for the disasters on individual mine owners, labor unions, and state officials, providing new interpretations not previously presented in the literature. Augmented by twenty-nine illustrations, the volume also covers the history, culture, and ethnic pluralism of coal mining in Illinois and the United States.
The Deep Dark: Disaster and Redemption in America's Richest Silver Mine The Deep Dark: Disaster and Redemption in America's Richest Silver Mine
For nearly a century, Kellogg, Idaho, was home to America's richest silver mine, Sunshine Mine. Mining there, as everywhere, was not an easy life, but regardless of the risk, there was something about being underground, the lure of hitting a deep vein of silver. The promise of good money and the intense bonds of friendship brought men back year after year. Mining is about being a man and a fighter in a job where tomorrow always brings the hope of a big score.
On May 2, 1972, 174 miners entered Sunshine Mine on their daily quest for silver. Aboveground, safety engineer Bob Launhardt sat in his office, filing his usual mountain of federal and state paperwork. From his office window he could see the air shafts that fed fresh air into the mine, more than a mile below the surface. The air shafts usually emitted only tiny coughs of exhaust; unlike dangerously combustible coal mines, Sunshine was a fireproof hardrock mine, nothing but cold, dripping wet stone. There were many safety concerns at Sunshine, but fire wasn't one of them. The men and the company swore the mine was unburnable, so when thick black smoke began pouring from one of the air shafts, Launhardt was as amazed as he was alarmed.
When the alarm sounded, less than half of the dayshift was able to return to the surface. The others were trapped underground, too deep in the mine to escape. Scores of miners died almost immediately, frozen in place as they drilled, ate lunch, napped, or chatted. No one knew what was burning or where the smoke had come from. But in one of the deepest corners of the mine, Ron Flory and Tom Wilkinson were left alone and in total darkness, surviving off a trickle of fresh air from a borehole.
The miners' families waited and prayed, while Launhardt, reeling from the shock of losing so many men on his watch, refused to close up the mine or give up the search until he could be sure that no one was left underground.
In "The Deep Dark, Gregg Olsen looks beyond the intensely suspenseful story of the fire and rescue to the wounded heart of Kellogg, a quintessential company town that has never recovered from its loss. A vivid and haunting chapter in the history of working-class America, this is one of the great rescue stories of the twentieth century.
Oneness: Angiolina the 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster Oneness: Angiolina the 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster
The Golden Door When they first glimpsed "The New Colossus" - The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor - as described by Emma Lazarus, many immigrant's future in America looked brilliant. One Augusto Sargenti disembarked after his long journey from northern Italy and proceeded to Cherry, Illinois to toil in the coalmines there. A few months later his wife Angiolina with their two children Armando and Mario, too, looked upon The Lady with the Lamp and the bright future ahead. The beacon dimmed when fire ripped through the dark pit and extinguished Augusto's life and nearly smothered Angiolina's. Through tears, frustration and deep grief, Angiolina finds the strength to withstand this severe test. She gathers all her courage, survives, and unexpectedly finds happiness and transcends the heartbreak. This book is a "quick read" that you will want to experience again and share with others who want to understand the challenges faced by one huddled family's yearning to enter America through the golden door.
   




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