11 Men Trapped in Lehigh Coal Mine - Monday, September, 27, 1915

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Post By: Den034071 » Sat. Sep. 26, 2015 9:57 am

Monday, September, 27, 1915, a lil after noon a blaring whistle screamed at Fosters tunnel in Coaldale, PA. The sound brought terror to every woman & child in Coaldale. Likely a cave in or gas explosion. The news spread like wildfire in town. A miner fired a shot up the chute which opened old flooded workings. 1000's of gallons of water broke thru carrying timber, plank coal & silt, flooding the gangway 300 feet. Somehow the 11 men managed to climb to a higher chute waiting the unknown. Immediately the Colliery boss formed a plan to get to the men. Some 150 men, volunteers, doctors & nurses came to Fosters Tunnel. A miners unwritten law is "Never leave a buddy behind". Family's kept a vigil day & night at the mine, but still no news. Worked progressed slowly as the gangway was compacted with debris & an overturned mine car, & water still pouring in. By the third day many gave up, they thought the miners were drowned or dead from gas. On the fourth & fifth day work went on, no sounds or voices of the entombed men were heard. On the sixth day the rescurers paddled a raft up the gangway yelling "hello, hello. A faint answer , "we're here, we're here" The rescuers screamed, "They are alive, yes alive." All the men were weak but slowly brought down the chute, then carried out on stretchers. Some 5000 people greeted them with a thunderous roar as they exited the one by one. Church bells rang. Fosters tunnel has been closed since 1938. I walk there in mushroom season. I was born & raised here & proud to be a "Coalcracker". Jack
Last edited by Richard S. on Sat. May. 06, 2017 9:52 am, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Moved to the history section.

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Post By: Hambden Bob » Sat. Sep. 26, 2015 10:26 am

Thanx,Jack ! As usual,Your stories of Anthracite's Storied Past keep us All well grounded in the Present !

Mining sure isn't a Luxury Cruise ! :gee:

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Post By: freetown fred » Sat. Sep. 26, 2015 3:29 pm

Nice ending Jack, thanx for the post my friend.

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Post By: McGiever » Sat. Sep. 26, 2015 3:29 pm

One hundred year anniversary... With a happy ending! :)

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Post By: Scottscoaled » Sat. Sep. 26, 2015 3:32 pm

Great Story! Thanks, Jack :D

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Post By: samhill » Sat. Sep. 26, 2015 6:09 pm

Good story for sure, to bad not all turn out for the good so let us never forget the lives that are lost.

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Post By: stovepipemike » Mon. Sep. 28, 2015 8:08 am

It has to be the brotherhood shared among the miners to keep the rescue going when some gave up. I don't doubt that it still exists 100 years later. Thank You for the story. Mike

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Post By: coalminerfarmerbob » Mon. Sep. 28, 2015 4:23 pm

This is why today we are required to drill exploratory bore holes in advance of the intended next cut of coal to be fired. It is much easier to plug a one and half inch hole than have this happen.

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Post By: lsayre » Mon. Sep. 28, 2015 5:50 pm

Heart and soul touching 100 year old story there Jack! Thanks for sharing it. Amazing ending.

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