Mine Rescue Crew Has to Turn Back

Dangerous gases force delay in mission
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 8, 2010 11:20 AM CDT
Mine Rescue Crew Has to Turn Back
A miner's gear is displayed with a banner during a candlelight vigil Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Dangerous gases forced rescue crews to temporarily abandon the search today for four coal miners missing since Monday's explosion. Rescuers had been working their way through the Upper Big Branch mine by rail car and on foot, but they had to turn back because of an explosive mix of gases in the area they needed to search. They hope to try again later today after a bigger hole is drilled to allow fresh air into the mine.

The rescuers made it to within about 1,000 feet of an airtight chamber with four days worth of food, water and oxygen where they hoped the miners might have sought refuge. They did not make it far enough to determine if anyone had made it to the chamber. (More miners stories.)

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