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 Post subject: Cherry Mine Disaster
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:51 pm 
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Location: Anthracite Region of PA
Today marks the 103 year anniversary of the 1909 Cherry Mine disaster in Cherry Illinois, which claimed the lives of 259 men and boys. The mine which at the time was stated to be the safest in the country and claimed to be fireproof, caught fire and resulted in the worst coal mine fire in US history and the third worst coal mine disaster. Dispite the massive loss of life, twenty men would survive a week underground before being rescued.

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 Post subject: Re: Cherry Mine Disaster
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:58 pm 
That sounds like the Titanic, does it not? A supposedly unsinkable ship sinks, and a supposedly fireproof mine catches fire.


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 Post subject: Re: Cherry Mine Disaster
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:28 pm 
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Yep. Kind of ironic.

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 Post subject: Re: Cherry Mine Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:27 pm 
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That's interesting. I didn't know there was much coal that far north in Illinois. I would have figured in was in the southern third.

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 Post subject: Re: Cherry Mine Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:27 am 
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Doug wrote:
That's interesting. I didn't know there was much coal that far north in Illinois. I would have figured in was in the southern third.


Yes, I've noticed several times in the past there are some old mines that can be seen from Amtrak trains west and slightly south of Chicago. I've seen a couple on the southwest side of Joliet, I think, and then it seems like I saw one from the California Zephyr, too, that passes on the BNSF ex-BN, nee CB&Q line a little further north.

When I first saw them, I didn't know what they were 'cause I didn't realize that there was coal that far north, either. All that is left are the tailings piles.

On the Cherry Mine disaster, I have been reading the book Trapped which my daughter bought and was reading. It is a rather gripping tale but I found it somewhat lacking in mining terminology. One thing is clear. Like the Titanic, this should never have happened. There were unbelievable mistakes made by both management and the workers. On the case of the workers, it is my guess that many of them were working when they were just plain too tired and were just not able to think.

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Fred M. Cain


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 Post subject: Re: Cherry Mine Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:12 am 
Is Trapped a good book? I think that I saw it in the bookstore down town, so I'm looking for another opinion before I spend $25 of my hard earned allowance.


Last edited by Miner Dave on Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cherry Mine Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:15 am 
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Fred,
I've read the book about a half dozen times and the part that gets me is how the twenty men and boys could survive that long and still walk out of that mine. It's a good read for anyone who is interested in mining, heroics and survival. It hits home on a personal level because the author had relatives that where there when it happaned.

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 Post subject: Re: Cherry Mine Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:03 am 
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chemistry1969 wrote:
Fred,
I've read the book about a half dozen times and the part that gets me is how the twenty men and boys could survive that long and still walk out of that mine. It's a good read for anyone who is interested in mining, heroics and survival. It hits home on a personal level because the author had relatives that where there when it happaned.


Yes, that really was amazing! Kinda like those guys in Chile a couple of years ago although I don't think that was a fire. It's difficult to fathom how anybody could survive at all in a burning coal mine!

I guess I was a little disappointed that there weren't more pictures taken inside the mine. But when you stop and think about it, it's easy to see why. That was 1909! People working in mines didn't carry i-Phones with them to shoot stuff with!

It would be really neat if part of this mine could be reopened and restored and made safe as a memorial or something and actually take people down there on tours. I know that will never happen but it's interesting to think about. It really wouldn't be impossible by any means - just horribly expensive. Who would even go on such a tour?

I would - in a heartbeat!

Regards,
Fred M. Cain


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