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Do you want to get a glimpse of the real miners’ life? All you need to do is wear a pair of rubber boots, a durable coat and a miner’s lamp. Because, where else than under the ground can you see, hear and feel what was felt by the men and women who did this hard work for several decades, day after day.
The work of a miner is no joke, but a difficult job instead. In such mines where the oil shale layer is deep underground, like the Kohtla mine, it sometimes happened that it was necessary to track down a lost calf or buck that had slipped into the tunnels.
Closed wagons were used for transporting miners at the beginning and end of each shift to and from their workplaces in various stations. Tunnels reached as far as up to 6 kilometres, making these trips last for up to 20 minutes and what else could you do during that time than play cards with your buddies in the lamplight.
There were also occasions where rats were found to consume the sandwiches brought along by miners for lunch. It was always vital to keep one’s eyes and ears open in the mine because large chunks of limestone could break away and fall from the ceiling during mining or the speeding oil shale train could hit someone careless in the narrow corridors.