50th Anniversary of the Knox Mine Disaster

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.

**Broken Link(s) Removed**

frank
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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 sulfur water.

R.Y
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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.
 
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Re: Knox Mine Disaster 50 yrs

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

Richard S. wrote: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.
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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? :?:
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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
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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.
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50th Anniversary of the Knox Mine Disaster

PostBy: bear creek burnout On: Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:29 pm

This disaster ended deep mining in the Wyoming Valley.

http://www.undergroundminers.com/knox.html
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Re: 50th Anniversary of the Knox Mine Disaster

PostBy: HarryE On: Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:59 pm

I believe that all deep mining in the Scranton area shut down as well. Huber mine in Ashley continued to operate until 1967 thanks to a grant from the U.S. Government obtained by Congressman Dan Flood. The grant was for installation and operation of high capacity pumps in South Wilkes-Barre.

Click here for the official report on the disaster.
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Re: 50th Anniversary of the Knox Mine Disaster

PostBy: Chris Murley On: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:22 pm

all mining in scranton ended in and around 1966-67. they are 2 separate mine pools. the state took over mine water pumping sometime in the early 50s I believe but shut the pumps down in november of 1960. as the mines slowly filled with water through natural ground water seepage, only the slopes and drifts on the sides of the valley remained open. this disaster didnt shut down the entire wyoming valley, although most of it was. it directly effected pittston and upper wilkesbarre. it is important to note that every gallon of water that entered knox was later pumped back out after they sealed the breach in the river except for the 2 lowest veins! there were a few mines down by huber, wanamie and nanticoke that remained open either mining higher veins or had intact barrier pillars.

more: http://www.ironminers.com/mineforum/vie ... hp?t=20059
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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.
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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
 
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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, don't 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
 
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