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Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by I. Dunjic, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. I. Dunjic

    I. Dunjic Guest

    Milenko Kindl Cvrcko

    HUNTINGTON, Utah (Reuters) - Rescuers have heard no signs of life from
    six miners trapped for five days in a Utah coal mine after sending
    down a microphone, but remain hopeful the men are alive, a U.S. mine
    safety official said on Friday. ADVERTISEMENT

    Richard Stickler, head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration,
    said the 1,800-foot (550-metre)-deep bore hole through which the
    microphone was lowered may have missed the area of the mine where the
    men were believed to be.

    "At this point, the thing to do is continue on our plan, maintain our
    hope," he told a news conference.

    The six men have not been heard from since Monday when part of the
    Crandall Canyon Mine near Huntington, Utah, collapsed.

    Rescue crews have removed the microphone and will lower a survey
    instrument to pinpoint the drill hole's location in the mine, Stickler

    Initial tests taken through the 2-1/2-inch (5-cm) bore hole of the air
    in the mine showed it could sustain life but later readings indicated
    lower oxygen levels, suggesting they may have hit a sealed-off area of
    the mine and not the area they had intended to reach, he said.

    A second, 9-inch (23-cm) hole that will enable rescuers to lower a
    camera into the mine -- and could provide a way to give the miners
    air, food and water if they are still alive -- is still being drilled
    but officials would not say when they expected it to be completed.

    Officials earlier had said they expected the larger hole to punch
    through into the mine late on Friday or early on Saturday.

    Rob Moore, vice president of mine co-owner Murray Energy, said
    directional drilling devices used on the 9-inch hole gave it a better
    chance of hitting its target.

    Robert Murray, chairman of Murray Energy, said earlier on Friday that
    it would take at least another four to five days to clear the fallen
    rock and coal and reach the miners with an opening large enough to
    pull them to safety.

    Officials say the men could potentially survive for weeks in an
    underground chamber if they were not killed by the initial collapse.

    Murray has insisted that an earthquake triggered the mine's collapse
    but geologists dispute that, saying that shaking recorded by their
    instruments was caused by the cave-in.

    Controversy has also risen over reports that the miners were engaged
    in a dangerous operation called "retreat mining" when the shaft
    collapsed -- though Murray has denied that such a technique was being

    Retreat mining involves supporting the mine's roof with a column of
    coal, then removing those pillars and allowing the shaft to collapse
    as miners move to safety.

    The Crandall Canyon Mine is on a high desert plateau some 140 miles
    south of Salt Lake City, in what is known as Utah's "castle country"
    because of the towering rock spires that dot the bleak landscape.
    I. Dunjic, Aug 11, 2007
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