Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois on August 28, 1963 · Page 12
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August 28, 1963

Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois · Page 12

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Alton, Illinois
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Wednesday, August 28, 1963
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Page 12
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as, im EVEfttMG fELfiGRAPtt Trapped Miner Tells Story of His Ordeal Men. David fefflft sot , hunger Hud mm Wilts fot two weeks mote Urfttftftrati tft t , syfvjulta mine, fhtttfte retold hfo itory in an exclusive As- Ptess Article. t, IMS, Associated By Al toM to The AMM«lftted HA&LETON, Pa. (Af») Thefe were times when we saw people that weren't there and lights that weren't there nnd doors that weren't there. , /Imagine seeing a door Hke a regular house door down 1ft the bottom of a mlnel There, was a time we heard rain and It really was rain coming down the drainage pipes and We thought the water would back up and Hood the mine and drown us. ; And whlje it was raining, 1 got mad—I ; must've been off my rocker a llltle-jand 1 yelled at Davey, "Davey, I'm going home. I'm going alone if you don't want to come." But, of course, I wasn't going anywhere. Not then. We were still mole than 300 feet down. We still hacj'ia week to go before wc : could stand and walk again, not just sit and crawl, before we could breathe clear air again and see real i light again, ' At the Beginning But maybe I better start at the beginning. That's the only way can get It clear in my own mind. So much got so mixed up later we couldn't tell day from the night or Monday from .Sunday. That first day, that Tuesday, Aug. 13, I went to work about 7:15 in the morning.-II was a nice sunny day. I had no special thoughts, no hunches about some- tiling bad. It was just an ordinary working: day. • We-,that's David Fellin, Louis Bova and me—we got down in the hole about'7:30 and by'8 we hac filled the first buggy (a small wagon carrying coal to the surface). We were on' the'bottom of the mine, in a tunnel, where the sump water collects. Dayey and me were on-the right side of the shaft and/LpUls was on-the left, separated* by the buggy tracks. Louis rapped three times for the buggy to go up and it went up and dumped the coal. Coming down, it gof'only half way down That's when the big rumble started. And all hell broke loose. The timbers on the wall next to us caved in and the timbers on the celling above us came down. We just managed to step aside in time as the big chunks, of. wood..anc coal and stone fell wildly arounc —were lost under the pile fexcept or a mason hammer and a hatchet. The hammer broke mm afterward. All we had was a Hatchet to cut our way over the junk. We started crawling around iff the dark looking for a way ml We were lost. But we kept trawling around like that for a), most six days looking for a way out. fa Keep Warm To keep warm, I'd sit with my egs spread and Davey would sit between my legs with his back to me and I'd breathe on his back and neck. Ait lite time we're rook* tig back and forth, also to keep warm. Then Davey would switch and do the same for me. We'd do this for 5 or 10 minutes at a Ime. Then we'd stop but only for five minutes, say, because then we'd be cold again. Most times t felt/like about 30 degrees above zero. To keep warm, we'd sleep face to face with our arms around each us. Lights ,00 Out We could',,'See. Louis on the dthei side until the power line to ou work lights broke. For the nex couple of- hours we .could ,see _ iittle.ai'o^ij'd^s.with the lights-on our helmets;.;' Bui .Wen .they •burnecK'our!-'Our matches wouldn .burp do^yn here 1 . That was the ! e.nd;.of Jlght for the next. 5% days • /.$ th'a| first' hour and a half wel'jusl;-' sat there against tin WaHfwhile the ^debris piled highe jbefAWus'in-lhe tunnel. The rum 'of ing from- the cave-in lasted tha Ipjtg. /The're, were others la^cr.. ' : ;I^ho)iaved ."for.-:Louis but .there was;'no^answer. Aft^r a while wi started'crawling over the debris A1J our tools—the picks, the bars the shoyels and our lunch pail oth,er. We'd sleep maybe a half tour and then the cold would wake us and we'd start rocking igaln to get some circulation. I'd sleep. I'd wake up. And I'd see all kinds of lights and the ictual figures of people. They now ell me these were hallucinations but the crazy thing is that Davey would see these things the same] time I did. The lights and the figures always were in front of us but the more w.e crawled toward 'them the further away they got. For example, I saw this man, or Uie dark shape of a man with a light on his helmet. I yelled, "Show me some light over here! Over here!" Davey saw him too, but the shape of the man got smaller and smaller as we crawled toward him and then he was gone altogether. Worst Day The fifth day was the worst. I think that was the closest we came to death. That's when it started raining and we could' hear it coming down the drainage .pipes and we 'thought we'd be drowned. Thank God it rained only about 20 minutes. But in .that time..! started running around wild. That's when I saw a door, just like, a regular house door. "Davey;"' I ; yelled, "let's go there." I crawled as fast as I- could toward it but suddenly I found Work lights were lowered on a cord. Later they sent us flashlights. That first hole was Just for food nod communications. The next day they started drilling a 12-Inch hole. We could hear it above. But this drill hit a sulphur balMhat't as hard as a diamond—so they quit trying In this post. The next day we could hear them drilling again and they Roxana District Bus Schedule Announced ROXANA *** Roxana School District tentative bus schedule, starting Sept. nounced. The myself bumping into just another piece . of timber. That's when I got the bruise under my eye. I was so frightened, I just went wild. I crawled like mad away from Dave and fell into some kind of hole. For a while—maybe 2C or 30' minutes—we lost contact. Then L found myself Celling loud as I could and.,the' echo, camq bouncing 'back at "me: "Davey I'm going, home! I'm going alone if you don't want to come." And Davey said, "Now, wait jiow wait, Hank..We'll go togeth- >IV" ".:• ""•;'". "/.-.'-.'•"'' .He was trying' to steady me down. And as I got a little calmer I' said,' "Davey, how come they're not trying to get us out? How come'they're not trying to get us out, Davey?" And Davey said, "I don't know Hank. I don't know." For the first two days, we didn't touch the lousy sulphur water. But then we couldn't hold out. At first it tasted" bitter but it got better or seemed better. Not Hungry Hungry? That's the screwy part CRAMPED QUARTERS Henry Throne, 28-year-old coal miner imprisoned two weeks in a coal mine with two other miners, spreads his hands in a Hazleton hospital as he told or the mine "ceiling kept getting lower and lower." (AP Wirephoto) <ept shoring up the ceiling with imber and as we did the ceiling kept getting lower until on the of It. Although I had only a glass of milk and two cups of coffee before I went into the mine Aug. 13, for some reason I didn't think much about it for the first five days. Maybe I was too concerned about getting out and just concentrating on that. But suddenly early in the sixth day, suddenly I got so hungry I ate some bark from an old timber. It tasted terrible. Other times we just sucked the water out of the bark. ' In the first few days I could tell, looking at my fluorescent watch, what day it was. But down there in the' dark I got all mixed up about morning and night and finally the days themselves. On about 3:15 of probably the sixth ' day—don't' ask me if it was a.m. or p.m.—I heard Louis holler out. This was the first and only time we heard him.: He yelled, "Davey and Hank, where are you? This is Louis. I got a light. I'll drop it five feet in front of you." It sounded like it was .coming from above. Now, this was real. I'll admit other things were imagined. But this was real. I actually heard Louis. -But.,, we, couldn't find him on his<-iight, And ; -we never heard him again. (Editor's note: At this writing, no one has, .but drilling continues.:.' :..••• '•'••.'. ••,'•;•• •' What kept us going down there?, I can only guess. It must have been .pur will power, our strong wish to get out. We prayed two or three times an hour. "Dear Lord, help us get out, .help us get out," I said aloud over and over. Slx-by-Six By about the sixth day, I figure now, we were just dbout where we started when we began looking for a way out. We were now in a chamber about six feet long and six feet wide and almost six feet high on the high side. We near us. We heard voices yelling our names from above. We crawled as fast as we coulc over the debris to the mike hang- ng from this first six-inch hole, We kept ^yelling, "Here we come, lere we come," as we crawlec over to that hole. Up on the surface they asked us what we needed and soon we got clothes and hamburgers and soup and coffee. We weren't cheering yet. We were far from certain ol jetting out then because so far only a six-inch hole had reached us. We've everything you need for home improvements and repairs! Lumber of. all kinds'in all di- m«njton» for «y«ry plac« and purpose. Priced right. Free delivery. ' / .-. Acoustical ceiling tiles absorb noise, make horn* qul«t«r. Decorative end plain, few ••wags 1 ' , l **ir l*F MMf fJE* :W<*5 L ? ,jfc3fteB&' &xmm ,^a»im^ : ^ • ii «wwac^3S*^ *# %*' Everything for exterior and interior painting and finishing. Wide variety ,pf cols". Top .quality. f+&& SPRINGMAN " LUMBER COMPANY 1101 E, Prwlway 4*W5W **2^*- ,'-f «'• —J ' ^'t " J >> last day we had only 18 inches be- .ween our heads and the roof ol he tunnel. Then suddenly on the sixth day came the miracle. We hadn't icard that first drill coming down First tiling we knew a microphone was dropped down a hole got deep enough but they missed us on direction. Move Drill They moved the drill a few feet and this time, thank God, they reached us with the first 12-inch hole, the first escape hole. This was 10 days and 6Vi hours after the cave-in that trapped us. And MOW it was Monday, Aug. 26, It was 6:01 p.m., they told Us and the big reamer that was widening the hole to 18 Inches was only six Inches over us. Twenty minutes later that big gorgeous reamer broke through! I yelled ijp, "Send a line down. I'm coming up." Finally, the coveralls and har nesses came down and we put them on. 1 greased Davey's shoulders and arms and hips and he did the same for me. And now it was around 2 a.m. and I was being hauled, up slowly. They stopped me two or three times and it seemed forever. Then they started again and I was spin nlng. Finally, there it'was—the surface, the air, the people. '• As the air hit me, I felt dizzy and fell into that basket-typo stretcher. I was thinking, "I'm out now, I'm out now," and cried for the first time. While I was down there the, asked me if I'd go back to wor] in the mines. I said I would. Bu I'm.not. I guess I'm afraid. I'l work anywhere except in a mine Until now, I never went t church more than a couple o times in my life. Now I'll go regular. I want to keep thanking God INDIANS CLAIM TOPBKA ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP)— The Kaw Indians want a chunl of Kansas' capital city. Thei tribal council is drafting a for mal claim to the federal govern ment to 23 tracts of land on th; Kansas River which the Indian; contend was never legally sur rendered to the United States. A substantial portion of the capital city of Topeka stands on the property. Boys' Sport Shirfs of Warm FLANNELETTE Reg. 1.00! 3 Days Only! 60. Colorful plaids^and checks of pie-shrunk cottoti. flannel. Sport collar has staysij may be worn * open or closed, 6 to 16. 3 days! -7 3 Days Only.' Famous 10 C CANDY BARS Choose from famous bars like Hershey Milk Chocolate or _ Almond, Milky Way, Mars, Fori A 1 -ever Yours. Pay Day, Snickers, 3 Days Only! Reg. $2.33J LUNCH KITS with VACUUM BOTTLE i 97 CompUtt Flat or dome-top metal kiu; also vinyl-covered kit), Designs include TV characters. Vi-pint vacuum bottle. Sale priced! OHt y Boys' Crew Socks...,.,. .4 pr. Westinghouse Clock-Radio. *. .14,99 Teen Padded Bras, M 30 36 74* Nylon StreUh Headband IV Velvet Hair Bows •. 3 on a card, 27* West Third at Plata , Qpen BfwflftyB'FrWayi Till 8 p.m, We VuiUUUo Purk 'n Shop Tickets S. S. KRESGE COMPANY ..•W-yililSi < :''i )•(, , , J 3, has been an- bus transportation oes hot apply to students who ve one and a half miles or less •om the schools, it was said. School day schedules: kinder- arten, 8:45 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:to 3 p.m.; primary (through rade 2), same ns kindergarten; ntermediate (grades 3 through , 8:45 a.m. to 12 noon and 12:45 o 3:15 p.m.; Junior High, !) a.m. o 3:55 p.m. and Senior High a.m. to 3 p.m. The bus runs are as follows: Ugh school, Rosewood Heights, 3us 8, Rosedale and Airline, 7:40 .m.; Westerholdt, 7:42; Bert, 7:3; Dell, 7:44, Ninth and Airline, :45 and arrive high school 7:50. Bus 12, Audubon Acres, 7:38; Old Oak road, 7:39; First and Lin- emvood, 7:41; arrive high school :55. Bus 15, Ninth and Woodland, :30; Rosewood Lane and Ninth, :32; Circle Drive and Ninth, 7:4; East Haller and Ninth, 7:35; Center and Haller, 7:37; Sullivan :22; Haller and Ninth, 8:23; Cen- Ninth and r and Mailer, 8:25; Mrline, 8:27; Airline and North- nd California, 7:40; Airline anc Sullivan, 7:42; Woodland and 'tfnth, 7:45; Berry Road anc Ninth, .7:47; arrive high school 7:55. Kendall Hill Area South Roxana — Wanda - Ken dall Hill and Edwardsville Road Bus 17, Kendall Hill subdivision 7:30; Chaney, 7:33; Crane, 7:35 Wanda, 7:37; Hedge Row atii Madison, 7:39; Rose and High, 7:41; Biltmore and Michigan, 7:42; Indiana and High, 7:43; arrive high school, 7:52. Bus 14, Barton Lumber, 7:35; Variety store, 7:38; Hunter's corner, 7:39; Binney's corner, 7:41 arrive high school 7:50. South Wanda area, Bus 16, Rock Hill, 7:25; Wagon Wheel, 7:50; arrive high school 7:55. Junior High, South Roxana, Bus 17, Rose and High, 8:29; Biltmore and Michigan, 8:30; Michigan and High, 8:31; High and Poag, 8:33; High and Smith, 8:34, arrive junior high 8:45. Rosewood Heights, Bus 5, Woodland Drive, 8:20; Rosewood Lane, 8:21; Circle and Ninth, noor, 8:28; Berry Road, 8:32; ar- •ive junior high 8:45. Bus 8, Audu- jon Acres, 8:35; Linden, 8! 36; Old Oak Road, 8:37; Rosedale nd Airline 8:40; arrive junior Igh 8:50. Bus 12, First and Lln- emvood, 8:38; Vaughns Hill ubdivision, 8:44; arrive junior Igh 8:50. Bus 15, Airline and Veslerholdt, 8:32; Airline and Sullivan, 8:35; Sullivan and Cali- ornia, 8:40; Airline and Bert, :42 and arrive junior high 8:50. South lioxttna South Roxana, Bus 14, Variety lore, 8:32; Hunter's corner, 8:;G; Binney's corner, 8:40; arrive unior high 8:50. Kendall Hill- Sdwardsville road, Bus 11, Ken- lall Hill subdivision, 8:30; Wll- ons, 8:32; Cranes, 8:32; school ihelter, 8':33; Andersons, 8:37; Vanda, 8:40; Hollis, 8:42; Eich S:43; Losch, 8:45; Wasman Lane :47 and arrive junior high 8:55 Elementary schools, kindergar ten through sixth, Rosewooc Heights and Glendale Gardens fius 8, Betfy Mad, 8: Mi NlHth ind Woodland, 8:05; Ninth and Rosewood Lane, 8:0t; Rosewood school, 8:12; Glendfile Gardens, :1S, Edison Burbank school, 8:25. Kendall Hill and EdwardsVItle Road, Bus 14, Wilsons, 8:00; Sheler on Edwardsvllie road, 8:02; Kendall Hill subdivislort, 8:05; Central school, 8:10; Burbank school, 8:20. Wanda and South Roxana, Bus 11, Anderson's 8:00; Wanda, 8:03; Eich, 8:05; Wagon Wheel, 8:08; Losch, 8:11; Missouri and Wilson, 8:14; South Roxana school, 8:16; Missouri and Herbert, 8:18; Sinclair and Herbert, 8:19; Sinclair and Billmore, 8:20; 27; Central Burbank school, 8:school, 8:30. South Roxana, Bus 12, Rose and High, 8:15; Michigan and High, 8:17; Poag and High, 8:19; Smith and High, 8:20; Burbank school, 8:25; Central school 8:30. Bus 16, Rock Hill, 8:12; Centrt 8:24; Lv. Hevers, 8:40; Burbank school 8:45. Musters Men Meet ROXANA — The Masters Men of South Roxana Bethel Free-wil Baptist Church met Monday evening at the church and Gordon Spcrry, program chairman, lead a discussion on "Teen Age Delinquency." ^^ 4^% 4 '** "V Dr. DcrJwr ••':• -"•-'• If J.>* Presidency ST. LOUIS (AP) » A Mltteati minister, who was the. PWsRlttUofl party's i960 presidential &tittt\- date, said today he will flol ba the party's standard bearer ,itt 1964. Dr. Rutherford L. Decker, J59, pastor of the Temple Baptist Church, Kansas City, said he flft,ly plans to give the convention's key. note address Thursday. The Prohibition party will meet for the 24th consecutive tiffle Thursday and Friday in St. to choose their 1964 candidates president and vice president.' ' Anyone Fof Tea? » PWLLHELf, Wales uif! - The Queen has canceled plans to have tea with councillors of this North Wales town and they're stuck With a new tea service. .,, The $180 tea service was bought for the occasion. TO RELIEVE MISERY OF DUBLIN—Ireland will be site of a new fence factory. the BOILS - PRID SALVE Orawi, promotes healing—minor cult, icratches, brulnei, woundt. Drmwi, splinters. 3i>< and 50* fMILI REMEDY COMPANY II* t. Seventh St.-SI. toull t, M«. CAST IRON ORNAMENTAL IRON The GRAPE Pattern Ornamental cast iron is a longer lasting, decorative appointment to all homes that is sure to enhance the beauty of any home. Call or Write for Complete Information EAST ALTON ORNAMENTAL IRON 170 E. ST. LOUIS AVE. Ph. 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FROM YOUR AUTHORIZED Frigidaire Service and Sales Dealer 258 00 FRIGIDAIRE 30" RANGE 30" tlictrlt Modil RS-30-M • Big; 23-inch wide oven holds u large. turUoy t Storage galore In full- width storage tlruwor t 174 00 With Trade Open Men, & Fri, Nlr<?$ TJH 9 p, Open Men, & Fri, Hires Till 9 p.m. ^Authwmd Fiigiderue Sates and Semee" 550 E, BROADWAY HO swrff i?

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