Faulty Maps to Blame for Quecreek Mine Disaster

By Directions Staff

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.

(Photo 1)

(Photo 2)

Published Friday, August 15th, 2003

Written by Directions Staff

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