SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The nine miners and people that helped rescued them are revisiting the Quecreek Mine site 20 years after they were trapped.
People from all across the country will visit the site Friday and will continue with more activities on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to see rescue presentations and hear first-hand experiences of the rescue.
All are welcome for Saturday’s events. There will be food trucks, children’s activities, raffles and giveaways. You can view the full itinerary here.
“The fact that everyone that came here checked their ego at the door. And said whatever it takes, we’re gonna make this rescue happen,” Bill Arnold, owner of the farm where the rescue was made and now director of Quecreek Mine Rescue, said. “Guys that would normally be competing with each other for jobs were helping each other when they were broke down. Everyone brought their A-game.”
Rather than boasting about their own efforts, the miners had more to say about their rescuers and the Somerset community. They became trapped after the mine flooded.
“They’re the heroes,” rescued miner, Ronald Hileman, said. “They’re the ones that got us out of there [with] the endless hours that they put in 24/7 for that many days. They’e the heroes. Without them, we wouldn’t be here.”
The rescue happened just 10 months after the plane crash in Shanksville – just a 20 minute drive from the rescue site – during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Former Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker, who famously stayed at the site during the entire rescue to help in any way he could, gave his own remarks on the efforts of the miners and rescuers during a speech on Friday.
“We’re gonna help our neighbors,” Schweiker said. “You are family. That’s why. Just want you to know that.”
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After visiting the site Friday and Saturday, the rescued miners will then be honored Sunday at the Pittsburgh Pirates game for Miner’s Night. The miners will throw out the first pitch and t-shirts into the crowd.