Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Wunder von Lengede

On November 7, 1963, 11 German miners were rescued from a collapsed mine after surviving for 14 days, an event that became subsequently known as the Wunder von Lengede ("miracle of Lengede") and attracted worldwide media attention.

The miners were initially trapped in the Klärteich 12 of the ore mine Lengede-Broistedt, near Salzgitter, on October 24, 1963, after half a million of mud water had flooded the mine and the tunnels between the 60 and 100 m levels; out of 129 workers, 79 managed to rescue themselves during the first few hours, and although it first seemed as if there was no hope left for the other 50, one of the biggest and most dramatic rescue missions in the history of mining began after 7 more miners were found 23 hours after the catastrophe.

The efforts paid off; three more workers were found alive on November 1, and two days later, contact could be established with another group of 11. After a few more days of drilling, this group was also brought to safety again on November 7, after being trapped for two weeks; the remaining 29 workers died.

The disaster attracted considerable media attention; Chancellor Ludwig Erhard personally visited the mining site, and almost 460 journalists were present when the last miners were rescued. In 2003, a television film titled "Das Wunder von Lengede" in two parts was produced by German TV station SAT.1, written by Benedikt Röskau based on the memories of one of the rescued miners, directed by Kaspar Heidelbach and starring Heino Ferch, Jan Josef Liefers, Günther Maria Halmer, Heike Makatsch, Axel Prahl, Uwe Rohde, Armin Rohde and Thomas Heinze. It was shown on TV for the first time on November 9/10, 2003.

External links