July 28, 2012

Quecreek Mine Rescue Celebrated As Triumph Of The American Spirit

The 10th Anniversary of the 2002 Quecreek Mine Rescue of nine trapped miners in Somerset County was celebrated Saturday with a special program featuring former Gov. Mark Schweiker, other state and federal mine rescue officials, private companies involved in the rescue and several of the rescued coal miners.
Gov. Mark Schweiker offers his comments in this video.
“The rescue was a miracle, there’s no other way to describe it,” said Bill Arnold, Executive Director of the Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation and the owner of the family farm where the rescue took place.   “People from all over the world have come to learn about the rescue, what coal mining is all about and how everyone worked together to save the lives of the miners.”
“The Quecreek Mine Rescue is a celebration of life, community and determination,” said Arnold. “A community of people-- coal miners, state and federal rescue workers, coal companies and Somerset community volunteers-- came together to achieve a single objective-- rescuing nine men trapped 190 below the ground and return them to their families.
“It is a tremendous example of determination and the Pennsylvania spirit to never give in to overwhelming odds, that is why we are calling this celebration ‘The Triumph of the American Spirit,’” said Arnold.
Watch these videos of other comments offered at the anniversary celebration on July 28--
-- Joe Sbaffoni, DEP Director of Deep Mine Safety;
-- Bill Arnold invites comments from Rescued Miners John Unger, Thomas Foy; Blaine Mayhugh;
-- Congressman Mark Critz;
-- Joseph Main, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety & Health;
-- Larry Neff, ISG, Inc. (formerly Bethlehem Mines); and
-- David Hughes, Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation Advisory Committee.

On July 24, 2002 miners broke through into an abandoned, water-filled mine flooding the Quecreek Mine with over 150 million gallons of water.  Nine miners scrambled to safety, but nine were trapped in a pocket of air in the dark, cold, water filled mine.  They were rescued four days later through the combined efforts of state and federal mine rescue agencies and hundreds of workers and volunteers.
Online Video: Quecreek Mine Rescue: Critical Decisions
Download: DEP Commemorative Booklet "Nine for Nine" (large file)
Miners, Rescuers Gather On 10th Anniversary Of Quecreek Rescue