updated 7/17/2004 12:08:44 PM ET 2004-07-17T16:08:44

Five miners who narrowly escaped a 2002 coal mine accident that trapped nine others in a flooded tunnel for three days have sued the mine’s owners and operators, alleging they knew or should have known of the dangers.

The miners allege that they suffered from post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression and shock and have spent money on medical care.

The miners were part of a crew that escaped as millions of gallons of icy water surged into the Quecreek Mine, 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, on July 24, 2002, after they were warned by another nine-man crew deeper in the mine.

Nine fellow miners became trapped after they accidentally cut into an adjacent, abandoned mine, relying on maps that showed the old tunnel was about 300 feet away.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, was filed July 7 in Allegheny County Court on behalf of Barry Carlson, Douglas Custer, David Petree, Ryan Petree and Lawrence Summerville and their wives.

The lawsuit mirrors suits filed last year by seven of the nine trapped miners.

Among the defendants are PBS Coals, which owns the Quecreek Mine; Quecreek Mining Co.; and Musser Engineering Inc., which helped prepare the mine maps.

Vincent J. Barbera, an attorney for PBS Coals, declined comment on the lawsuit, saying the company hadn’t received a copy.

The miners’ attorney, Sayde J. Ladov, was out of town Friday night and unavailable for comment.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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