The United States Mine Safety and Health Administration
issued a report on July 24th citing faulty maps as a cause for the Quecreek
Mine (See Map 1
) disaster in June 2002, where nine miners were trapped
for 4 days until rescued through the narrowest of bore holes through which
they were lifted to safety.According to the report, "The primary cause
of the water inundation was the use of an undated and uncertified mine map
of the Harrison No.2 mine that did not show the complete and final mine
workings.Using this map led to an inaccurate depiction of the Harrison
No.2 mine workings on the Quecreek #1 mine map required by the Mine Safety
and Health Administration and on the certified mine map submittedto the
State of Pennsylvania during the permitting process.The root cause of
the accident was the unavailability of a certified final mine map for Harrison
No.2 mine in the State of Pennsylvania's mine map repository."
(Map 1 - Click for larger Map)
The accident occured exactly one year from the date of the report, on
July 24, 2002.The miners were trapped inside the mine when water broke
through the working face of the No.6 entry (See Maps 2 and 3).
Water cut off escape from the 1-Left panel (See Map 4).A 6.5 inch
drill hole was sunk immediately to facilitate air and communication with
the trapped miners.
(Map 2 - Click for larger map)
(Map 3 - Click for larger map)
(Map 4 - Click for larger map)
A 30-inch rescue hole was drilled to the depth at which the miners
were located on July 25th.Drilling conintued until the early morning of
July 27th when the miners were rescued using the Mine Safety and Health
Administration's mine rescue capsule (See Photos 1 & 2)..The
first miner reached the surface at 12:55 a.m., Sunday, July 28, 2002, and
the last arrived at 2:45 a.m..For the complete report, download it here
(7 Mb).See more maps and photos taken during the rescue here.