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Event to link Quecreek mine rescue, 9/11

| Friday, July 16, 2010

The Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation will mark the eighth anniversary of the Quecreek Mine rescue on July 24 at the rescue site on the Arnold Farm in Somerset County.

This year the anniversary will link two extraordinary events that happened in Somerset County just months apart: the crash of Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, and the Quecreek Mine rescue in July 2002.

"These two events -- the tragic crash of Flight 93 and the miracle of rescuing nine trapped miners at Quecreek -- represent the extremes of our human experience," said Bill Arnold, president of the Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation. "The loss of innocent life, but the heroism of the passengers as they fought for their lives. The shock of the accident that flooded the Quecreek mine and the miracle of the rescue."

The anniversary program will begin at 9 a.m. with a presentation by Jeff Reinbold, project site coordinator for Flight 93, at the national memorial site. Reinbold will present an overview of plans for the Flight 93 national memorial and offer a tour of the site. Participants will move to the Arnold Farm and Quecreek Mine rescue site at 11 a.m. for the second portion of the program.

"People from all over the world have come to learn about the rescue, what coal mining is all about and how everyone worked together to save the lives of the miners," Arnold said.

On July 24, 2002, miners broke through into an abandoned shaft flooding the Quecreek Mine with more than 150 million gallons of water. Nine miners scrambled to safety, but nine were trapped in a pocket of air. They were rescued four days later through the combined efforts of state and federal mine rescue agencies, and hundreds of workers and volunteers.

More than 10,000 people visit the rescue site each year to learn more about the "Quecreek Miracle." The site became part of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Historical Marker Program in 2006. This year, it became an official affiliate of the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh.

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