Baxter W. Ellison, 47, mine general superintendent, rescued G. Edward Longwell, 52, miner, from a cave-in, Clarksburg, West Virginia, October 25, 1966. When a cave-in occurred in a coal mine, Longwell took refuge under the steel boom of a digging machine in a three-foot space between the machine and a shuttle car. A second cave-in piled coal and shale as much as 50 feet deep over a wide area. Longwell was surrounded by debris but was not injured. In about 24 hours digging machines had removed the debris to the shuttle car within 22 feet of Longwell. He shouted that the rescue efforts were moving the coal and shale above him and adding to his danger. Ellison, who was from another mining company, volunteered to dig a tunnel to Longwell. The digging machine was removed, whereupon a small slide extended the debris six feet. Working on his knees and using short-handled tools, Ellison began digging. The tunnel was generally 30 inches square, but because of occasional large rocks it was in places as low as two feet and as narrow as 18 inches. Ellison placed side and overhead timbers as he progressed six inches at a time, sometimes lying prone. The electric lamp on his helmet provided his only light. Ellison, aided by a number of men, dug six feet to the buried shuttle car in about an hour. He then used the badly crumpled car for one side of the tunnel. He was joined in the tunnel by John M. Ashcraft, who removed the material Ellison dug away and took tools and timbers to him. They worked together for about an hour and were joined by Gayle Alvin Davis. Ellison kept digging and timbering while Ashcraft and Davis moved the debris out and the timbers in. The debris overhead creaked almost continually. Small material sifted into the tunnel and had to be removed. Ashcraft and Davis reversed positions. After nearly five hours, Ellison reached the other end of the shuttle car but found a large rock between him and Longwell. The rock was wedged against the car in a position which left a triangular passage 18 inches high, 18 inches wide, and four feet long. At Ellison’s direction, Longwell removed his helmet and coveralls and, with his hands over his head, began to crawl through the opening. He became stuck. Ellison reached under the rock and took hold of his hands but was unable to move Longwell, who outweighed him by 80 pounds. Davis pulled on Ellison, who in turn tugged on Longwell. Together they slowly drew Longwell through the opening. All then emerged from the tunnel.
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