Earthquake Traps 6 Coal Miners Near Huntington, Utah

The 6 miners are trapped insiden the GenWal mine which is about 15 miles west of Huntington, Utah, or 120 miles south of Salt Lake City –Reuters.

KSL-NBC Utah reports: “Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guyman tells KSL Newsradio he’s not sure how far into the mine the miners are, but it’s at least 2,000 to 3,000 feet. The group is believed to be together in one area.”

Locator map. Six miners were trapped Monday, Aug. 6, 2007, when an underground coal mine collapsed less than 20 miles from epicenter of a minor earthquake, authorities said. (AP Graphic)

The BBC reported:

A coal mine has collapsed in the US state of Utah, apparently trapping some six miners, media reports say.

The collapse is believed to have been triggered by a 4.0 magnitude earthquake on Monday morning about 97 miles (156km) from Salt Lake City.

The AP has this:

The Genwal mine reported a “cave-in” at 3:50 a.m., an hour after the magnitude 4.0 earthquake, the Emery County sheriff’s office said. “Rescue workers are on scene trying to locate six miners that are unaccounted for,” the sheriff’s office.

ABC4 says, “The miners are were believed to be 1,500 feet below ground, about four miles from the mine entrance… Rescuers were within 2,500 feet of the miners. The mine is in the Manti-La Sal National Forest.”

UPDATE: ABC4 has more on the rescue operations. Officials say the miners have enough water and oxygen to last several days, 1,500 feet below ground. Rescuers were 1,700 feet away from the trapped miners. There was no way to contact the trapped miners.

KSL.com is reporting on a major setback:

There is a setback tonight on the rescue efforts. Robert Murray, President of Murray Energy Corporation, said that the most direct route that they were planning to take to go through the mine itself, to clear out the debris, and reach the miners has failed. They say there is just too much debris. Now, they plan on drilling in from the top of the mountain. They’re going to bring in a helicopter in the morning, drop the equipment and start drilling down to where they believe the miners are. They’re also actually digging a road with a bulldozer. They are getting other mining equipment up there to drill down. It could take two to three days to reach the miners.

UPDATE 2: (Tuesday AM) This is not good…
CNN reported that mining crews are going to start drilling through the top of the mountain which could take days to reach the miners. The rescue workers found “impassable conditions” when they tried to reach the miners through the shaft.

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