For five days in July 2002, the world's attention was focused on the fate of nine coal miners trapped 245 feet underground in western Pennsylvania, not 13 miles from the horrific end of September 11's Flight 93. Seven hours into their afternoon shift, a machine they were operating suddenly broke through a wall, unleashing a torrent of water from an adjacent abandoned mine. With the miners out of sight and the aboveground heroics largely shielded from view, the drama that captured the public imagination was far from complete. Their desperate struggle to survive as the water continued its inexorable rise was played out in cramped darkness. The final, heart-stopping moments provided the storybook ending, but the real story was yet to be told—until now. The miners are home, the rescuers are back at their day jobs, investigations have begun, and, as the story inside All Nine Alive reveals, what really happened in those desperate hours was more breaktaking than we knew.
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