By May 16, 2018 Read More →

237 hours in No. 8: The story of the Miracle at Hominy Falls


The Register-Herald

Jennings Lilly is one of six coal miners trapped for 10 days in the Hominy Falls mine after it flooded in 1968.
(Register-Herald photo by Brad Davis)

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Early in the morning of May 6, 1968, the miners who worked the Saxsewell No. 8 mine in Hominy Falls, Nicholas County, reported for work after a weekend off. None had the faintest clue that everything would change for them in an instant.

Boring into Big Sewell Mountain, the mine was generally shaped like an “h.” It took two groups of miners 30 minutes to reach their workspaces to begin work at 7:30 a.m.

The first group of 14 found its way to 3,500 feet into the mountain in the north mains of the mine straight from the main entry.

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A sketch shows the locations of various miners trapped in the Saxsewell No. 8 mine in Hominy Falls in May 1968. The 15 miners that were trapped and maintained communications with the outside world are those highest on the page along with Davis and Rudd. The four who were killed and the six who spent nearly 10 days trapped in the mine with no communication were located in the bottom right section of the drawing, furthest from the mine entrance.
(West Virginia Division of Culture and History)

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