Lawrence R. Newsom died attempting to save Paul Chorniak from suffocation, Kimberly, Ohio, October 12, 1956. Chorniak, 38; Newsom, 32, a bulldozer operator; and another man were excavating coal from an exposed vein on a hillside. A three-foot auger hole had been drilled 40 feet horizontally into the hillside, and it penetrated an entry of an abandoned underground mine in which the air contained insufficient oxygen to sustain life. Chorniak entered the hole and was overcome, falling unconscious with the upper part of his body in the hole and the lower part in the mine entry. The other man looked into the hole and then called to Newsom and a truck driver who were nearby, informing them that something was wrong and that Chorniak was in the hole. Newsom obtained a flashlight and entered the hole, where he too was overcome from a deficiency of oxygen, within four feet of Chorniak. Unaware that Newsom had preceded him, the other man entered the hole and crawled 15 feet inside before losing consciousness. The truck driver looked into the hole, heard labored breathing from inside, and became dizzy. He immediately drove to another coal company a half-mile away and summoned a group of men. Those men went to the scene with a rope, and, although warned that the hole probably contained a deadly gas, one of them took an end of the rope and crawled inside, holding his breath. He reached the man who had followed Newsome into the hole, tied the rope to his ankle, and with him was pulled to safety. Firemen arrived with rescue equipment. Newsom and Chorniak then were drawn from the hole by ropes tied to them by a fireman equipped with an oxygen mask. They were taken to the hospital but could not be revived.
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