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Generations of Energy Special Report: Knox Mine

It was an event that changed coal mining in our region. The Knox Mine Disaster is etched in the minds of people who grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Now, a native is trying to bring this story to new audiences. Eyewitness News Anchor Drew Speier talked to the film maker on why he's preserving this piece of local history in a special generations of energy report.
 On that fateful day in 1959, the coal mining industry was changed forever. 81 miners were trapped underground in Port Griffith, when the Susquehanna River broke into the mine. L.A. Film Maker David Brocca wants to tell their stories.
  "I mean this is a story of real life villains, real life heroes, corruption, mafia, and it just had all the elements of a great story, and on top of that it really happened in this area.

Brocca is directing the feature length documentary, "Knox Mine Disaster." Even though he grew up in West Pittston, just down the river from where the disaster happened, he never knew much about it.
 
 "Anyone over 50 is like really into it. they are just like omg somebody's actually doing this story justice and they can't wait to see it. and then people under 50 are like I've never heard of this." said Brocca 

Brocca wants to bridge that generational gap ... he also wants to honor the men who led others to safety ... as well as the 12 who never made it out.

  "Heroes are born, they're made, and there were gentlemen in that mine that became heroes that day."

Brocca turned to Eyewitness News to get the original film reels from that day. He restored 80 reels at the University of Southern California Film School. The documentary will explore why the coal industry crashed ... but Brocca stops short of saying it single handedly ended coal mining.

  "It was already on a decline. so the Knox Mine Disaster was more or less the nail in the coffin."

He hopes people will learn from the tragedy.

  "In this area, the Knox Mine Disaster is scripture. you go out of this area, no one knows about it. and I really feel it's important that other people hear about it." Brocca added "And spread the word so that we learn from our history and not make the same mistake twice."

 Brocca plans to release "Knox Mine Disaster" on th 56th Anniversary of the historic event: January 22nd, 2015. 
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