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Trapped: The 1909 Cherry Mine Disasterby Karen Tintori
Synopses & Reviews
On a chilly Saturday morning in the fall of 1909, four hundred and eighty men plunged into the depths of the Cherry Mine in Illinois as they had numerous times before, But this day would be different. At lunchtime, a small fire erupted in the inner recesses of the mine shaft and soon burned out of control. Despite the miners' heroic efforts to save their comrades, many sacrificing their own lives rushing in and out of the blackness, more than half of the men would be either burned to death or buried alive by nightfall. When officials sealed the mine, effectively entombing those still trapped underneath in an effort to contain the blaze, hope for survivors was slim. Miraculously, twenty men emerged alive from the once-raging inferno one week later when the shaft was unsealed. All of these miners — dead and alive — would forever be part of the legacy of the worst coal mine fire in U.S. history.
"Trapped" is the riveting account of a tragic day, which inspired the first U.S. worker's compensation laws and hastened much needed changes labor practices in the coal industry. Karen Tintori relates the intimate and devastating details of the Cherry Mine disaster with compassion and conviction, sharing with readers the human drama played out within this historical event. The story, inspired by one intriguing sentence that stayed with a seven-year-old girl long into adulthood — "Your grandfather survived the Cherry Mine disaster" — began Karen Tintori's search for her family's role in this horrible tragedy. Along the way, she uncovers a compelling story of victims, survivors, widows, orphans, townspeople, firefighters, reporters, and mine owners, each playing a part in this harrowingdrama.
Inspired by a refrain of her girlhood — "Your grandfather survived the Cherry Mine disaster" — Karen Tintori began a search for her family's role in the harrowing tragedy of 1909. She uncovered the stories of victims, survivors, widows, orphans, townspeople, firefighters, reporters, and mine owners, and wove them together to pen Trapped, a riveting account of the tragic day that would inspire America's first worker's compensation laws and hasten much-needed child labor reform.
On a Saturday morning in November of 1909, four hundred and eighty men went down into the mines as they had countless times before. But a fire erupted in the mineshaft that day and soon burned out of control. By nightfall, more than half the men would either be dead or trapped as officials sealed the mine in an attempt to contain the blaze. Miraculously, twenty men would emerge one week later, but not before the Cherry Mine disaster went down in history as the worst ever coal mine fire in the U.S. — and not before all the treachery and heroism of mankind were revealed.
A riveting account of the 1909 fire that ravaged the "safest" coal mine in the United States, claimed 259 lives, and inspired the country's first worker's compensation laws. A story that still resonates today.... The St. Paul Mine at Cherry, Illinois, was the most modern mine of its time; declared fully fireproof, it seemed destined for a long and profitable future. On November 13, 1909, 480 men and boys descended into the mine. At lunchtime, a small fire that started on a hay wagon rapidly turned the mine into a raging inferno. The fire killed 259 miners; hundreds of woman and children were left destitute. A week after the mine was sealed, twenty-one workers miraculously emerged from the sealed mine. Karen Tintori's grandfather was among the survivors. In Trapped, Tintori offers a compelling "you-are-there" report on the tragedy and its aftermath. She follows the miners, the firemen and civilian rescuers, and the mine owners, politicians, and newspapermen who covered the disaster, and recreates the highly charged trial, which led to the enactment of the nation's first worker's compensation laws. In the tradition of books like The Perfect Storm, Young Men and Fire, and Fire on the Mountain, Trapped is an engrossing combination of fast-paced action and unforgettable portraits of heroes and villains, of defenseless victims and courageous survivors.
About the Author
andlt;Bandgt;Karen Tintoriandlt;/Bandgt; worked in journalism and public relations before becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Michigan with her family.
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