Monday, September, 27, 1915, a lil after noon a blaring whistle screamed at Fosters tunnel in Coaldale, PA. The sound brought terror to every woman & child in Coaldale. Likely a cave in or gas explosion. The news spread like wildfire in town. A miner fired a shot up the chute which opened old flooded workings. 1000's of gallons of water broke thru carrying timber, plank coal & silt, flooding the gangway 300 feet. Somehow the 11 men managed to climb to a higher chute waiting the unknown. Immediately the Colliery boss formed a plan to get to the men. Some 150 men, volunteers, doctors & nurses came to Fosters Tunnel. A miners unwritten law is "Never leave a buddy behind". Family's kept a vigil day & night at the mine, but still no news. Worked progressed slowly as the gangway was compacted with debris & an overturned mine car, & water still pouring in. By the third day many gave up, they thought the miners were drowned or dead from gas. On the fourth & fifth day work went on, no sounds or voices of the entombed men were heard. On the sixth day the rescurers paddled a raft up the gangway yelling "hello, hello. A faint answer , "we're here, we're here" The rescuers screamed, "They are alive, yes alive." All the men were weak but slowly brought down the chute, then carried out on stretchers. Some 5000 people greeted them with a thunderous roar as they exited the one by one. Church bells rang. Fosters tunnel has been closed since 1938. I walk there in mushroom season. I was born & raised here & proud to be a "Coalcracker". Jack
Last edited by Richard S.
on Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Moved to the history section.