11th Anniversary Quecreek Mine Rescue July 27
The 11th anniversary of the Quecreek Mine Rescue in Somerset County will be held on July 27 starting at 10:00 a.m. at the Arnold Farm, site of the 2002 rescue operations.
Bill Arnold, Executive Director of the Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation said the anniversary will be low-key after the major celebration held last year to mark the 10th anniversary.
Online Video: Quecreek Mine Rescue: Critical Decisions
“The rescue was a miracle, there’s no other way to describe it,” said Arnold. “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.”
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.
“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.
Today more than 10,000 visitors a year visit the rescue site looking to learn more about the "Quecreek Miracle." The site became part of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Historical Marker Program in 2006. The site also an affiliate of the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh in 2010.
“Since the first year after the rescue we were overwhelmed by all the interest—we just ran a dairy farm before all this,” said Arnold. “We are grateful for all the help we receive from the public, our community and many public and private agencies to present the site to the public.”
The Quecreek Mine Rescue site is just 11 miles from where the September 11, 2001 crash of Flight 93 which cost 40 passengers and crew their lives.
"These two events-- the tragic crash of Flight 93 and the miracle of rescuing nine trapped miners at Quecreek-- represent the extremes of our human experience," said Arnold. "The loss of innocent life, but the heroism of the passengers as they fought for their lives. The shock of the accident that flooded the Quecreek mine and the miracle of the rescue."
The Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that relies on support from the public to educate the public about the rescue and to maintain and operate the mine rescue area and a visitors center.
Contact the Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation or make a donation by writing: 151 Haupt Road, Somerset, PA 15501, calling 814-445-4876.
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