Daniel J. Beam helped to save eight men from drowning, Wilkesville, Ohio, July 11, 1993. Eight miners were working in a distant area of an underground coal mine when millions of gallons of water from an adjoining, abandoned mine began to flood the corridors of the working mine. The miners were alerted to the situation and ordered to evacuate. They proceeded on foot toward the nearest elevator, unaware of the extent of the flooding ahead of them. After a fire boss left, on foot, to get them to change their course, Beam, 46, mine supervisor, agreed to take a mine trolley more than three miles to the far end of the mine, where the miners and fire boss were expected. When Beam reached that point, the men had not yet arrived, and he was unable to determine their location or the advance of the floodwater. Rather than flee himself, Beam waited 50 minutes before the fire boss and miners appeared. They boarded Beam’s trolley and another one that was available and rode toward an elevator, en route picking up another fleeing miner. As the group proceeded, a power outage forced them to abandon the electrical conveyance, and they continued on foot. When one of the men restored power to the trolleys, Beam turned, ran into the path of the advancing floodwater, and took a trolley to the others. They resumed riding to the elevator, which they took to the surface of the mine shortly before floodwaters reached the bottom of the elevator shaft.
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