Gov. Wolf Recognizes October 30 As Mine Rescue Day In Pennsylvania; 51,523 Fatalities Have Occurred In PA Mines Since The 1870s

On October 30, Gov. Tom Wolf issued a formal proclamation recognizing October 30, 2019 as Mine Rescue Day.

 Preventing coal and non-coal mining accidents and responding to them takes the combined efforts of industry, the DEP Bureau of Deep Mine Safety and the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

It begins with designing and permitting safe mines by the Bureau of Deep Mine Safety, continuous mine worker training and certification by industry and DEP, and continuing inspections by DEP and MSHA to help insure safe working conditions.

Responding to mine accidents also takes teamwork between mine workers, industry, DEP and MSHA, as with the 2002 Quecreek Mine Rescue.

The reason for all the hard work to prevent mine accidents and fatalities is Pennsylvania’s coal mining history.

From 1870 to 2018 there have been 31,121 fatalities in Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal mines.  In just one year-- 1907-- there were 708 fatalities.  In 2018 there was 1 fatality.

From 1877 to 2018 there have been 20,402 fatalities in Pennsylvania’s bituminous coal mines.  In just one year-- 1907-- there were 806 fatalities.

51,523 fatalities is reason enough to be prepared.


Mine Rescue Day

October 30, 2019

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania is steeped in mining history spanning breadth of the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, miners put themselves at risk every day, facing explosions, collapses, and seismicity. Many in the mining community have been called upon to rescue miners trapped by mine fires, explosions, roof falls, inundations of weather or harmful gases, and other emergency conditions in coal, metal, and nonmetal mines; and

WHEREAS, the number of times that mine rescue teams have placed their own safety and lives at risk to save others during our mining history is staggering. Many times, these rescuers travel miles in dark underground mine workings filled with debris and poisonous and explosive gasses after devastating disasters trying to find missing miners or recover those who did not survive; and

WHEREAS, mine disasters in the early years of the 20th century led to the creation of the U.S. Bureau of Mines in 1910. While we have made significant progress over the years, the need for mine rescue preparedness is far from over; and

WHEREAS, this past, present, and future group of dedicated Americans who place their own lives at risk to save others are worthy of recognition and honor.

THEREFORE, I, Tom Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, recognize October 30, 2019, as MINE RESCUE DAY and encourage all citizens to recognize the courageous mine rescuers who have given of themselves to bring safety to others.

GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, this twenty- first day of October two thousand nineteen, the year of the Commonwealth the two hundred forty- fourth.

Tom Wolf, Governor

Click Here for a copy of the proclamation.

Visit DEP’s Bureau of Deep Mine Safety webpage to learn more about efforts to reduce mine accidents in Pennsylvania.

(Photo: Gov. Schweiker helping to carry out the last miner rescued during the 2002 Quecreek Mine Rescue.)


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[Posted: November 4, 2019]


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