Publisher description for Last man out : the story of the Springhill Mine Disaster / Melissa Fay Greene.


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Counter The miners of Springhill, Nova Scotia, walked into the mouth of danger daily, riding down into recklessly constructed mine Number 2. Of the one hundred seventy-five men on the afternoon shift of October 23rd, 1958, seventy-five never walked out.

Propelled by the angry force of the earth's gases, the mine's three levels hurtled upwards, pinning men against the ceiling. Miners were instantly buried. Limbs, trapped between timber beams, endured the pressure of broken ground. Scattered moaning became a chorus in the surrounding darkness. Two groups of miners survived amid the debris, huddling in the coal dust, awaiting rescue. Days passed, though it seemed an eternity. They were close do death.

Above ground, photojournalists covered the tragedy and television crews made this ordeal the first nationally televised disaster. Then one group of men was found. The next day, another group was rescued. The nineteen miners became celebrities--their lives exploited and embellished.

Melissa Fay Greene discovered the records of this forgotten drama and, in stunning prose and detail, re-creates the stories of those lost and found. Here she offers history filled with adventure, loyalty, and the heroism of the miner's code.



Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Springhill Mine Disaster, Springhill, N, S, , 1958