One cold morning on January 22, 1959 the belly of the Susquehanna River broke into the Knox mine, trapping 81 men underground. The cave-in causes a giant, 150ft whirlpool to form in the ice laden river above, flooding the mines below. With all known exits cut off miners scramble to find an alternative route out and escape a cold, dark, death. On the surface rescue teams unsuccessfully attempt to plug the breach by launching train cars into the massive swirling vortex, only to witness them swallowed into the mines below.
In the wake of this tragic spectacle, the obvious question became: How could this have happened?
The drama continues through the subsequent hearings as investigators try to place blame and responsibility while a community struggles to rebuild its regional economy that the flooded mines destroyed.
Knox Mine Disaster examines this coal mining tragedy that occurred in the anthracite region of northeastern Pennsylvania and sheds light into the life of the hard coal miner. This film showcases survival through adversity -- the hope, faith, and courage needed to fight your way out of a dreadful situation.