August 02, 2002 10:00 AM

The nine trapped Pennsylvania miners whose story captured the nation’s attention recently have done some capturing themselves, selling the TV and book rights to their story to the Walt Disney Co. for $150,000 each, their lawyer told the Associated Press. According to the news service, the deal includes a movie for Disney’s ABC network and a book to be published by the company’s Hyperion Publishing division, said Pittsburgh-based attorney Thomas Crawford, who added that he entertained more than 120 offers for the miners’ stories. Variety also reports that, in addition to working with the so-called Quecreek Nine, Disney is also trying to secure a separate deal with one of the lead rescuers. On Wednesday, July 24, the miners were working in the Quecreek Mine when they accidentally broke through a wall that caused their mine to flood. They huddled together 240 feet underground for 77 hours, relying on each other for body heat and sharing a pencil to write their farewell letters to their families. Early Sunday morning, July 28, as a rapt nation watched on television, all nine men were pulled up alive. As several social commentators have observed, the almost miraculous success of the rescue effort served as a hopeful counterpoint to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America and the current crop of corporate scandals.

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