Tuesday, July 23, 2019

17th Anniversary Of Quecreek Mine Rescue To Be Celebrated July 27 In Somerset County

The Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation will host the annual celebration of the 2002 Quecreek Mine Rescue on July 27 at the rescue site on the Arnold Farm, 151 Haupt Road, Somerset starting at 10:00 a.m.
In addition to a flag raising ceremony, the Visitors Center will be open and there will be multiple presentations on the rescue during the day.
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.
The nine miners were rescued four days later through the combined efforts of state and federal mine rescue agencies and hundreds of workers and local volunteers.
Visit the Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation website for more information.

Rock - Water - Air: A Personal Account Of The 2002 Quecreek Mine Rescue
By David Hess, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection at the Time of the Rescue
On the 15th anniversary of the 2002 Quecreek Mine Rescue, I thought it would be appropriate to write an account of the rescue operation from my perspective as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.
This is the first-time I put this very personal story of such a public event down on paper.  
I wanted to do it in part so the details don’t get lost in the future, but, more importantly, to also express how incredibly proud I am of the job the men and women of DEP did on those four hot July days 15 years ago to bring about the safe rescue of the nine miners at Quecreek.
From those in Deep Mine Safety handling the details of the rescue itself, to the water quality staff dealing with the millions of gallons of water being pumped out of the mine, our communications staff who worked around the clock with the unprecedented world-wide media attention and even our summer interns who got the experience of a lifetime, it was an outstanding example of public employees doing their jobs.  
Hundreds of people from DEP and other state agencies were involved, working along with our federal counterparts and the entire Somerset community, to achieve a single goal, knowing, the entire time, the odds were not on our side.
What follows is my story of how we all converged on the Arnold Farm in Somerset County 15 years ago and were witness to what I can only call a miracle.
Click Here to read the whole story.
My thanks to Gov. Mark Schweiker, Joe Sbaffoni, David La Torre and Bill Arnold for providing comments on this article in draft and for remembering some details I was hazy on after 15 years.
(Photos by Commonwealth Media Services and the Department of Environmental Protection.)
Related Links:
-- Click Here to watch a video produced by the Commonwealth Media Services documenting the critical decisions made during the rescue effort.
-- Click Here for the DEP Commemorative Booklet “Nine for Nine” with lots of photos from each phase of the rescue and the names of key DEP players. 
-- Click Here for the DEP Timeline Of The Quecreek Mine Rescue.
Nine For Nine: The Quecreek Mine Rescue In 2002

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