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'All Nine Alive!' The story of the Quecreek Mine rescue

Sunday, August 04, 2002

A drama that captivated the world for five days ending July 28 unfolded in bucolic Somerset County, not 13 miles from the horrific end of Sept. 11's Flight 93, where heroism had no witness and death was the only outcome.

The Post-Gazette
'All Nine Alive!' Staff

Reporting and writing
Caroline Abels, Bob Batz, Jr., Michael A. Fuoco, Tom Gibb, John Hayes, L.A. Johnson, Cindi Lash, Steve Levin, Jim McKay, Johnna A. Pro, Milan Simonich, Anita Srikameswaran

John Beale, William Campbell, Matt Freed, Annie O'Neill, Martha Rial, Darrell Sapp, Bill Wade

Ted Crow, James Hilston, Stacy Innerst, Daniel Marsula, Steve Thomas

Print Page Design
Bill Pliske

Maddy Ross, Mark Roth

Photo Editors
Dave LaBelle, Doug Oster

Audio Samples

One of the many songs inspired by the Quecreek Mine drama is "Nine Men Down: The Ballad of the Quecreek Miners" by Gerard Rohlf of Edgewood. Click the links below to hear a short excerpt or the entire 5+ minutes of Rohlf's ballad recorded at Wilkin Audio Productions, Greensburg. Note: Download times may vary depending on your Internet connection.

Gerard Rohlf
"Nine Men Down: The Ballad of the Quecreek Miners - 29 second excerpt"
( 466K MP3)

Gerard Rohlf
"Nine Men Down: The Ballad of the Quecreek Miners - 5 min.19 sec."
( 5MB MP3)

Download MP3 players at:
Real Player
Windows Media Player

This time, heroes were evident above and below the earth's surface, and the outcome lifted a veil of darkness from the trapped miners and, at least for a while, from a world trapped by grim news.

Now the miners are home, Geraldo and his TV crew have moved out, the rescuers are back at their day jobs, investigations have begun, and it might seem that there is nothing more to say.

But, as the following story reveals, what really happened in those desperate hours was more breathtaking than we knew.

Chapter One
The miners

Chapter Two
Somerset and coal

Chapter Three
The breach

Chapter Four
The rescue begins

Chapter Five
Desperate to survive

Chapter Six
The rescue continues

Chapter Seven
The media converges

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine
Up, safe and sound

Chapter Ten
The Aftermath

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