There have been a lot of innovations and advances made over the last 30 years in mine safety. One time when all of the resources available were used to rescue a group of miners was in July 2002 at the QueCreek Mine in Lincoln Township, Somerset County Pennsylvania.
Black Wolf Coal Company accidently dug into a abandoned mine and flooded the room that was being mined with an estimated 50 million gallons of water.
The Quecreek Mine was right next to the Saxman ñHarrison Mine number #2, and the Saxman mine was flooded. When workers in the Quecreek Mine dug accidently into mine 2 then the water flooded in.
The Quecreek mine was a room and pillar mine, with pillars that supported the ceiling and floors. The Saxman mine was at a higher elevation than the active Quecreek mine so when it was penetrated the water came flooding in.
Nine miners became trapped 240 feet underground when the flooded mine dumped all the water into the Quecreek mine. It occurred at 845pm on Wednesday July 24, 2002.
The miners used the mine phone system to tell another group of nine miners nearby what had happened and to get out immediately. Water continued to rise on July 25th, and the nation was gripped and worried about the fate of the nine brave miners.
Rescue efforts began immediately and it was not known if they would reach the miners in time. The water was pumped out by the millions of gallons, several industrial diesel pumps were brought in and worked overtime.
Air was pumped in, and the nation held its breath while rescuers desperately tried to reach the trapped miners. At one point a drilling rig broke and there was an 18 hour delay before it could restart. After a 77 hour wait, the nine miners were finally rescued.
At 245am on July 28th, after several days the last of the nine miners were successfully rescued.