SOMERSET (KDKA) — Tuesday marks 10 years since the amazing rescue at the Quecreek Mine where nine men trapped in a flooded mine for days were safely pulled back to the earth’s surface.
He was the third man lifted out of the flooded Quecreek Mine. Ten years later, Tom Foy still gets emotional thanking all those who rescued him and his eight fellow miners.
“Because wouldn’t been for them, we won’t be here today,” Foy told KDKA’s Jon Delano. “It’s all you can say.”
Delano: “A lot of folks were praying for you guys.”
Foy: “It was that. Yup.”
Foy has nothing but praise for all those who pinpointed where they were 240 feet underground and how to rescue them.
“They had some smart cookies [who were] figuring all this stuff out,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it after I came out.”
On the site is a replica of the mine shaft in which the nine Quecreek miners waited to be rescued. It’s on higher ground and incredibly claustrophobic, but here they waited for 77 hours until they were rescued.
Standing next to the rescue capsule at the new Quecreek mine rescue visitors center, Foy recalled that rescue day.
“It was around 46 to 48 inches high from the ground up to the roof. And what they did, they got things latched there now, but they just slid this up and you’d get the guy, help him inside, and they’d stand up, put the gate back down, they’d hoist you up.”
And once he broke through above ground.
“All I seen was lights,” said Foy. “Hell of a good feeling.”
Although the mine entrance is a mile and a half away, it was at Dormel Farms that the eyes of the world were focused as rescuers pinpointed nine trapped miners.
Owners Lori and Jim Arnold have turned it into a museum.
“And it is here to preserve the artifacts of the Quecreek mine rescue and celebrate the inspirational story, again, for generations,” Jim Arnold said.