Chronology Of Events PA Mining Accident

A chronology of events in the mining accident near Somerset, Pennsylvania:

Wednesday, July 24:

  • 9 p.m.
    Nine miners become trapped 240 feet below ground inside the Quecreek mine after breaking into an adjacent, abandoned mine. The Quecreek mine is flooded with 50 to 60 million gallons of water.

Thursday, July 25:

  • 3:30 a.m.
    Rescue workers hear tapping from the area where miners are trapped.

  • 11:30 a.m.
    Tapping heard again.

  • 2:30 p.m.
    A drill rig large enough to bore a rescue shaft arrives from a West Virginia mine.

  • 6 p.m.
    Crews begin drilling tunnel to reach miners.

Friday, July 26:

  • 2 a.m.
    Drill bit becomes stuck in rock about 100 feet down and breaks.

  • 11:10 a.m.
    Digging with new equipment begins on another shaft about 75 feet from the first.

  • 4:45 p.m.
    Broken bit is removed from the first rescue tunnel.

  • 8 p.m.
    Drilling resumes on first rescue shaft.

Saturday, July 27:

  • 3 p.m.
    Tunnel reaches depth of 224 feet, less than 20 feet from chamber where miners are trapped.

  • 7:30 p.m.
    Gov. Mark Schweiker announces "We're on the verge."

  • 8 p.m.
    Drilling in first rescue shaft stopped briefly at 227 feet to fix problem with compressed air drill.

  • 10:20 p.m.
    Drill in first rescue shaft breaks through into mine chamber 240 feet underground; workers remove equipment used to pump compressed air into the chamber and begin to tap on pipes, listening for response.

  • 10:50 p.m.
    A line of rescue workers lower a telephone and green light into smaller shaft adjacent to drilling site.

  • 11 p.m.
    Smiling rescue workers begin to give thumbs-up signs and hug.

  • 11:35 p.m.
    Gov. Mark Schweiker confirms all nine miners are alive.

Sunday, July 28:

  • 1 a.m.
    First miner pulled from rescue shaft.

  • 2:45 a.m.
    All nine miners pulled out alive.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)