SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Thursday, July 28, marks 20 years since the miracle at Quecreek Mine when nine miners trapped in a flooded shaft were pulled to safety.
Just 10 months after Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Somerset County, taking the lives of 40 passengers and flight crew on September 11, 2001, the community was desperate for a miracle.
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The miners were trapped for 77 hours after waters from an abandoned mine flooded their shaft 200 feet underground. Mark Schweiker was governor at the time and stayed on the scene during the entire rescue.
abc27’s Dennis Owens recently spoke with Schweiker about the rescue.
“For me, it was the power of families and reuniting families. I mean think about it, they had 77 hours of hell and anxiety not sure if their husband or brother would come back to the surface alive. To see them reunited would be a second example of the uplifting nature of that. I think that on an emotional level we were all changed and stronger and really saw the virtues of teamwork,” Schweiker said.
Eight of the nine members are still alive today. Dennis Hall died in May of this year. The site of the rescue is now a museum dedicated to the miners and all of the people who helped bring them out of the shaft alive.