John S. Korfonta sustained fatal injuries attempting to help rescue Francis R. Yaros from a mine cave-in, Starford, Pennsylvania, March 11, 1935. While Yaros, 21, was close to the face of the coal at the end of a heading of a mine, a rock six feet and a half in diameter and from two to 15 inches thick fell from the roof onto him. The rock lay two feet from the face of the coal between two parallel rows of posts eight feet apart. Only Yaros’s feet and ankles extended from under the rock. Frank L. Russell, Jr., heard the crash and went to another heading, where he notified Korfonta, 46, miner; J. Clair Irvin; Joseph C. Resovsky; and another man. Irvin, closely followed by Russell, Resovsky, and the other man, hurried through a crosscut and the heading to the rock and then crawled over it to positions between the rock and the face of the coal. Russell placed a crowbar beneath the edge of the rock, and his companions placed their hands beneath the rock to lift it. Korfonta then reached the rock and began to crawl over it. Another rock, five feet wide and eight inches thick, fell and knocked him aside onto loose slate. Slate dribbled from the roof, and the men feared another fall. After standing aside a moment, Irvin and Resovsky lifted a part of the rock, which had been split by the second rock, from Yaros’s legs. Russell and Resovsky then lifted the rock from Yaros’s back. Irvin grasped Yaros’s ankles and pulled him to the face of the coal. Russell and Irvin then carried Yaros toward the other side of the heading, the roof of which was amply supported by crossbeams, then for 25 feet over a pile of slate to a safe part of the heading. Resovsky remained with Korfonta. Russell ran to the entrance of the mine for help. Irvin returned to the rock and crawled over the loose slate to Korfonta and Resovsky. He and Resovsky then carried Korfonta over the same course to the crosscut and the other heading. In the meantime, Yaros died. Korfonta was placed in a minecar and hauled out of the mine. He died of his injuries that evening.
34652 – 287534652-2875