Jesse Engle rescued Charles Napier from a mine cave-in, Bulan, Kentucky, July 26, 1931. While Napier, 31, miner, was working beside a mine car in a mine, a rock weighing approximately 56 tons fell from the roof, knocking him down, and rested on hard-packed coal 20 inches above the floor. Napier lay face down. The fingers of one of his hands were pinned between the rock and the top of a box on the car, and his other arm was pinned under the end of the car. Miners placed posts under one edge of the rock, but the posts were slowly pushed downward by the weight of the rock. Engle, 31, miner, who knew the rock was sinking, shoveled coal from beneath the rock along one side of the car and then crawled eight feet beneath the rock on his stomach to Napier. For 40 minutes he made thrusts against the top edge of the box with iron bars, chipping it, and inserted wedges. Napier then was able to free his hand. Engle then reached under Napier and helped him free his other arm. Engle backed out from beneath the rock, and Napier followed him. The rock settled four inches during the act, and a half-hour later the rock had crushed the car and settled within three inches of the floor. Two of Napier’s fingers had to be amputated. He was not otherwise injured.
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