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Knox Mine Disaster Anniversary

From the Times Tribune:

 On Jan. 22, 1959, 12 miners died when a great torrent of water gushed into a mine near Pittston. It was later uncovered that the Knox Coal Co. management had told its workers to dig too close to the Susquehanna riverbed.

When the mine ruptured, millions of gallons of freezing water rushed over 81 people underground. Out of those, 69 were able to escape.

Audrey Calvey was barely a teenager when her father, John Baloga, died in the disaster. He was a quiet man, hardworking and dedicated to his family and church. They were close, she said. Whenever he needed to drive into town to run errands, she was always the first to volunteer. She has missed him every day for the past 54 years.

“I was daddy’s little girl,” Mrs. Calvey said. “When they came over three days later and said that the water had reached the top, that there was no hope, my house went ballistic.”

For the 50th anniversary in 2009, Mrs. Calvey crafted a large embroidery bearing the names of the 12 who died that day. She said it was a way for her to cope with her loss.

“It’s been a really traumatic experience,” she said.

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