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Quecreek Mine Rescue Site and Visitor's Center

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art (State Historical Landmark)


The Quecreek Mine Rescue took place July 24-28, 2002 in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Miners accidentally dug into an abandoned mine which caused flooding. Of the eighteen miners, nine were able to escape while the other nine were trapped underground for over 77 hours. All nine miners were were rescued successfully. The site is now open to visitors to see where and how the miners were rescued. There is also a memorial named the Monument for Life which honors the men and women who helped save the miners.

Bringing the miners up from the mine
Rescue shaft number 2 after the first broke
The rescue shaft which brought up the nine miners from 240 feet below
Rescuers working to bring the miners to the surface
the actual rescue capsule used to bring the miners up now located in the visitor's center.


     On July 24, 2002, eighteen coal miners at the Quecreek Mine in Somerset County Pennsylvania  accidentally dug into an abandoned mine, the Saxman Mine. Around 50 million gallons of water rushed in and flooded the room at around 9pm. Eighteen miners were 240 feet underground and in danger. The miners were split into two groups of nine at the time. The nine miners in the 2-Left panel escaped around 9:45pm and called 911 immediately. Emergency personal were at the site by 10:30pm and families were waiting to hear news of their loved ones. Around 11:30 rescuers were making calls to find a drill that would make a big enough hole for bring the men to the surface. They found one in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

      The first attempt to help the miners was to slow the flooding by pumping pout water and to drill a hole down to the trapped miners for air. When the drill arrived from Clarksburg it was put to use at once. The drill got to about 105 feet when it broke. It was brought back up but a piece was stuck in the hole. After 18 hours drilling began again with a 26 inch drill bit. A second hole had been started as a backup as well. The drill bit for the second hole broke and was in progress of being fixed when hole number one broke into the mine. 

     After the drill broke into the mine air tests were taken to see if airlock was needed but they were equal and it would not be needed. Communication was then sent down to the mine. All nine miners were in good condition except for one with chest pains. The 8½-foot high steel mesh escape capsule was then lowered to the miners with supplies. The miner with chest pains was the first to arrive on the surface at around 1am on July 28th. The rest of the miners would come up with the heaviest first and the lightest being last. At around 2:45am all miners were safely brought to the surface.

The site where the drilling rescue occurred is now a memorial park open to visitors and includes all the capped shafts drilled to save the miners, a 7-foot bronze statue of a miner, and the Monument for life Memorial.  The Visitor's Center houses numerous artifacts from the rescue to include the miner's clothes, the rescue capsule used to bring the miners to the surface, and an NBC television van used to cover the rescue.   


Cheney, Jim.  "Discovering Hope at Somerset County's Quecreek Mine Rescue Site."  Uncovering PA.  July 25, 2015.  Accessed December 13, 2106.

Various Reporters.  "'All Nine Alive!'  The Story of the Quecreek Mine Rescue."  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  August 2, 2002.  Accessed December 13, 2016.

151 Haupt Road
Somerset, Pennsylvania 15501
Phone Number
(814) 445-5090
April 1-October 31: 11am-5pm; November-March: by appointment
  • Labor History
  • Local History Societies and Museums
  • State Historical Societies and Museums
This location was created on 2015-11-13 by Sarah Parlock .   It was last updated on 2016-12-13 by Clio Admin .

This entry has been viewed 833 times within the past year


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