Anorak News | It’s The Pits

It’s The Pits

by | 29th, July 2002

”’THEY were hauled out of the earth one by one, covered in a black sludge of coal dust and dirty water, raised to the surface in a yellow metal cage amid cacophonous applause,” writes the Independent.

”I know there’s beer in here somewhere”

It’s not a description of the genesis of New Labour – that never would have earned applause – but a report on the heroic rescue of nine miners who spent three days trapped 240ft underground in the Quecreek Mine in Pennsylvania.

They’ve been dubbed the ”Miracle Miners”, and considering that ”the drama that had taken place above ground since the men became trapped” sometimes bordered on farce, it truly is a miracle that all of them made it out of the pit alive.

”We were told at first that the rescuers were making good progress, then we learned that the bit on the drill being used to bore a rescue tunnel had broken,” says the paper.

”We were told that the rescuers had located the broken bit and were lifting it out, only to then be told an hour later that the broken bit had been dropped.”

The near tragedy only occurred in the first place because the miners ”inadvertently broke into an abandoned, water-filled mine that maps they had been given showed to be 300ft away”.

Eventually, however, all nine were winched out of the mine safe and sound, to the relief of their tearful relatives, the rescuers and the watching world.

”What took you so long?” one of the miners joked, before he and his colleagues were taken to hospital to be fed on doughnuts and coffee.

”Several asked for beer,” writes the Indy, ”but doctors would not allow it because of the danger of dehydration.” Homer Simpson would have been proud.

Posted: 29th, July 2002 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink