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April 7th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Trapped miners don't respond to rescuers

(CNN) – A bore hole was drilled early Wednesday into the area of a West Virginia coal mine where four miners, unaccounted for following an explosion Monday, are expected to be found, Gov. Joe Manchin said.

Pipes were lowered into the hole, and officials banged on the pipes in an effort to contact those underground, but there was no response, Manchin said.

The hole punched through about 4:15 a.m. ET, the governor said. Two more holes were under way, and a fourth is planned.

"There's a sliver of hope, but we know that the odds are not in our favor," West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin told CNN.

"Everyone's going to cling to the hope of a miracle," he told reporters. "That is the true agony of this."

One drill bore down 1,100 feet to open a 6-inch hole in a ceiling of the mine, said Chris Adkins, CEO of Massey Energy Co., owner of the Upper Big Branch South Mine where Monday's fatal blast occurred.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Ashley Collins

    I have a question this morning on the news John Roberts said these safety rooms were inflatable rooms like the inflatables on planes so with that much rock,coal, dirt, beams and everything else above them and with the amount of force in which it would come down would one of those areas be able to hold up without being flattened or punctured?

    Also do they have locating devices that each miner wears so when something like this happens they will know where they are? If they do not why don't they?

    April 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  2. Ed Bartlett

    Why is there not any telephones or two-way radios installed in the "Safe Areas" of the coal mines? The owners have taken time to install water, air and food; why not phones or radios?


    April 7, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  3. Neil Woofter

    I would like for someone to ask both the Gov. of W. Va. and the Congressman where they have been over the past 5 years when this coal company continued violating mining standards set for by the government time after time and their was no consequences nor fines imposed. The fines always come after the deaths and investigations and 30 days later its back to business as usual. These poor miners can't pull the plug as the Gov. suggested in his interview or they would be dismissed as disgruntled employees and he knows that. These serious violations should be addressed and action taken before there are deaths occur but that never seems to happen. Just fly over the state of W. Va. someday and see what the coal companies that strip the coal have done to the beautiful state I once knew.

    April 7, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  4. Amanda

    Thank you for your excellent reporting from West Virginia. And thanks especially for the interview with Rep. Rahall this morning.

    I have a special plea to you and John King and all the fine political reporters at CNN–please keep the bright light of journalism shining on West Virginia during the upcoming congressional races.

    Your interview with Rahall today should tell you why. We need you desperately.

    Our local media is not experienced enough in journalism to handle this kind of story, and we need the light of truth very much. Our reporters are generally just out of college and on their way up and out.

    We need journalists who will talk about how elections are purchased and for what reasons, and who can knit all the pieces together and show it to the residents who are otherwise in the dark. Please consider it.

    Thank you.

    April 7, 2010 at 9:25 am |