Down in the Sago mine

February 23, 2013

You guys know my penchant for lost-at-sea stories, and this one, about the 12 miners trapped in a West Virginia mine a few years ago, is in that same vein. Only one survived.

It’s riveting:

Some men stick their noses into their lunch pails to take a breath of air from home. […] > They sit with their backs to the walls, waiting for the sound of three dynamite blasts on the surface. Your training tells you to wait for that, then to start pounding on the roof bolts. You keep pounding until you hear five shots above, which means they have located you with seismic gear and are on their way. A sticker inside your hard hat tells you all that, and you have read it a thousand times. The crew listens. There is an occasional noise outside the curtain – mostly the falling of concrete blocks and other debris. Otherwise, it is dead quiet.

and devastating:

Tell all I’ll see them on the other side. I love you. It wasn’t bad. I just went to sleep. I love you.

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