Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: PelletstoCoal On: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:58 pm

Intresting Article in the Scranton Times (Sunday) this morning. Take a look.
Had to be a one scary workday.


http://www.scrantontimes.com/articles/2009/01/18/lifestyles/sc_times_trib.20090118.f.pg1.tt18knoxcommem_s1.2227393_fea1.txt
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


http://www.scrantontimes.com/articles/2009/01/18/lifestyles/sc_times_trib.20090118.f.pg1.tt18knoxmine_s2.2227397_fea1.txt
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


frank
PelletstoCoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman DVC-500

Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: Pa Dealer On: Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:12 pm

I remember watching some video on this event, kinda scary watching that whirlpool in the river suck down railroad cars. Theres a drainage tunnel (Jeddo tunnel) in the valley that drains flooded undergrond coal mines in the Hazleton area. Spits out tens of thousands of gallons a day of yellow sulfer water.

R.Y
Pa Dealer
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 DF
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM DF 520
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker

Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:42 am

I live just about 2 miles upriver from where that happened.

Theres a drainage tunnel (Jeddo tunnel) in the valley that drains flooded undergrond coal mines in the Hazleton area


You're lucky it's only mine waste. If there wasn't houses in the way you could see the Butler mine tunnel from my porch. Some Jackass had a garage about 2 or 3 miles from the river and they were dumping all kinds of toxic waste into a borehole on the property. they got caught and it was only a short time later that waste made it's way into the river discharged from the tunnel. That was back in the late 70's early 80's. Hasn't been any major events in a decade or two that I'm aware of but they still monitor it 24/7.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite


Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: Pa Dealer On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:19 am

Richard S. wrote:I live just about 2 miles upriver from where that happened.

Theres a drainage tunnel (Jeddo tunnel) in the valley that drains flooded undergrond coal mines in the Hazleton area


You're lucky it's only mine waste. If there wasn't houses in the way you could see the Butler mine tunnel from my porch. Some Jackass had a garage about 2 or 3 miles from the river and they were dumping all kinds of toxic waste into a borehole on the property. they got caught and it was only a short time later that waste made it's way into the river discharged from the tunnel. That was back in the late 70's early 80's. Hasn't been any major events in a decade or two that I'm aware of but they still monitor it 24/7.




There was a problem like that at a landfill in my area years ago.
Pa Dealer
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 DF
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM DF 520
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker

Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: Sting On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:11 pm

If the hole in the river bottom was sealed 50 odd years ago

Did coal production resume? :?:
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: PelletstoCoal On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:34 pm

To my knowledge, that disaster pretty much ended deep mining in the wyoming valley, say wilkes-barre to scranton, I know they were strip mining and possibly a slope mine or two, but deep mining came to abrupt hault. Others on the forum have more knowledge about current production than I do. Maybe they could offer more info.

frank
PelletstoCoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman DVC-500

Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:38 pm

Sting wrote:Did coal production resume? :?:


Deep mining was finished after that, strip mining continues but there isn't really a lot of areas around here where it's possible because houses sit on top of much of the coal. Even before the Knox mine disaster they were pumping water out of them. The Knox mine disaster didn't cause the collapse of deep mining as it was declining way before. What it did do was put an abrubt exclamation point on the end. The pumps they did have in place could not keep up with the new influx of water, as I understand it they continued to mine backwards robbing the pillars as the water rose.

It's been said you could walk from Pittston(maybe even Scranton another 10 miles to the north) to Nanticoke completely underground which is the entire length of the Wyoming Valley and about 10 miles in length. All these mines were interconnected and the breach of the river was almost as far upriver as it could possibly be. Chris Murely or Mike could provide a lot of good information on this.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: Chris Murley On: Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:11 pm

sorry already posted what i know about it on the other thread before i saw this one.......

50th Anniversary of the Knox Mine Disaster

what i said about scranton being a seperate basin, there is a large anticline in moosic called the moosic saddle. it seperates the 2 basins. this is the reason for the old forge borehole. its at the end of the basin and drains from carbondale to oldforge. the rest of the northern field (wyoming basin) is drained through several outfalls there. most companies had been robbing, or second mining long before this as almost all of the virgin coal was mined by the large collieries long ago. how ever theres still tons of pillars you can take a few skips off of. political inside corruption in the coal companies, and water (not from the knox) was the primary reason for the end of deep mining in the northern field..... for now....... ;)
Chris Murley
 

Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: HarryE On: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:39 pm

All of the reasons expressed in this thread for the demise of deep mining in the northern field are valid, but the most important reason was the loss of markets. By 1960, a good number of homes and commercial customers in the northeast had switched to fuel oil, which was cheap and didn't require constant attention. In 1958, my father had a new oil burner and boiler installed and out went our Iron Fireman stoker and boiler. I hated that oil burner! But many people considered that progress: no more shovelling coal into the furnace or filling the hopper and carrying ash cans up the cellar stairs. In 1961, the Tennessee Gas Pipeline into the northeast was completed. The readily available supply of natural gas drove another nail into the coffin for anthracite.

Given the sub-surface conditions, I don't think that deep mining can ever return to the northern field. Though some posters contend that only the pillars are left to mine, every old miner that I talked to years ago claimed that there were huge quantities of virgin coal left in the ground. In fact, the coal under central city Wilkes-Barre was never mined by general agreement of the mine owners.
HarryE
 
Other Heating: natural gas

Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: Chris Murley On: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:15 pm

"Given the sub-surface conditions, I don't think that deep mining can ever return to the northern field. Though some posters contend that only the pillars are left to mine, every old miner that I talked to years ago claimed that there were huge quantities of virgin coal left in the ground. In fact, the coal under central city Wilkes-Barre was never mined by general agreement of the mine owners."


well we have seen the sub surface conditions in over 100 abandoned mines for just about every major city in the northern field and have never seen any virgin coal, just robbed out areas, and some pillars that can be fired off. however there was a bunch of virgin coal yes, but it will never be seen again as its under water, water that can never be pumped out.
Chris Murley
 

Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: HarryE On: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:40 pm

Chris, I don't know what mines you explored, but the miners that I talked to worked at Loree, Lance, Woodward, Payne's and HarryE (my nom de plume) and Maltby shaft. All of these mines were working at the time of the Knox break-in. The mines didn't work all of the time (the mine schedules were published in the newspapers) and employment was way down from the peak but I can remember what seemed like endless trains of coal moving along the Bloomsburg branch of the DL&W railroad.

All of this activity stopped after the Knox disaster. The DL&W lost its big profit generator and was forced to merge with the Erie Railroad in 1960 in order to avoid bankruptcy. If the mine owners could have gotten a decent price for their coal, the mines could have been rehabilitated. But anthracite had to compete with cheaper fuels and the fading markets could not support the industry.
HarryE
 
Other Heating: natural gas

Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: Chris Murley On: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:44 pm

well, we have seen some loree and maltby workings but like i mentioned its all above water, and where there is coal left is all under water now. workings that are not financially feasable or safe to pump out. and like you said, with the advent of natural gas and fuel oil, coal was on a major decline anyway. this just twisted the knife that was already in our back. also the coal companies were so corrupt in how they operated this brought it all to the table and there was alot of collapse after the knox disaster. however there is still a bit of coal available to mine up here if you know where to look, dont be surprised if you see a slope or 2 pop up in the next few years ;)
Chris Murley
 

Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: HarryE On: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:30 pm

Chris, your observation about the corruption and malfeasance of the mine operators is correct. When the original WASP owners controlled the mines, they made sure that the pillars were set in place (although they could have treated the workers better). When anthracite demand declined, certain other groups gained control of the mines and rather than follow sustainable mining practices, they had no qualms about robbing the pillars as was the case in the Knox mine.

In the case of Glen Alden Coal Co., a financial manipulator named Meshulam Riklis was able to gain control and he then milked the corporation for all that it was worth. That bum is still around. Glen Alden was left an empty shell.
HarryE
 
Other Heating: natural gas

Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: billw On: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:49 pm

I don't know much about mining but I have a question about the mines that were flooded. The river broke through and flooded everything that was interconnected but the breach was permanently plugged. I remember seeing pictures of the diversion dam built in the river so construction crews could properly fill the breach. So if the original breach is sealed why couldn't coal mining continue in the area if they pumped all of the water out and stayed away from the river? I know it's not economically feasible at this point but could it be done?
billw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 520
Stove/Furnace Model: GOODBYE OIL COMPANY

Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

PostBy: Chris Murley On: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:42 am

well there are several problems and the one major one stopping it is you can no longer mine under residential areas..... i.e. the entire northern field. second, that water is now creating a hydrolic pressure that is limiting subsidences. third, if you could mine under residential neighborhoods the public would have a fit and make like miserable. fourth, mine operators are now required to fix any subsidences they cause on the surface and are responsible for them. i wouldnt want that risk! and the finally, when the knox broke in it didnt flood the entire basin, only about half of it. now its all full of water since the pumps have been shut off, going on 50 years next year. ground water filled up the mines and now it would be so economically unfeasable youd have to sell coal for around 3 grand a ton. think of it this way, the mines are a big swimming pool. throw a garden hose in there, that resembles the ground water entering the pool. now put a pump in the bottom that keeps up with the hose to keep the pool (mines) dry. now, shut down the pump for a few years. what happens, the pool fills up. now throw that pump back in there and try to pump the pool down, and remember that hose is still there keeping it full! see the point, you cant pump the mine pool down without enormous investment, and if you did..... the ground would be hateful! plus, another point, what if there is a collapse keeping millions of gallons back. well if you go deep and find this collapse and reopen it, you are in a world of trouble. so theres a few of the reasons.......
Chris Murley