April 7th, 2010
09:07 PM ET

Official: Air inside mine appears safe

[Updated at 9:30 p.m.]  "We've seen a steady drop, a slow drop," Kevin Stricklin, an administrator for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, told reporters about the concentrations of the three explosive gases. "The numbers now indicate that we're out of the explosive range."The decision to send rescue teams inside will be made if samples taken from the bottom of the mine confirm the initial results, he said.

"Our first intent is to look for the four miners that are unaccounted for," he said.

Six five-person rescue teams were on standby and ready to move, he said.

If an explosive mix of air or heavy smoke is discovered inside the mine, the rescue teams would be pulled from the mine and nitrogen gas would be poured into it in an attempt to make the atmosphere inert, he said.

[Posted at 9:07 p.m.] Air samples taken from the mine where 25 miners were killed Monday are no longer explosive, a federal official said late Wednesday.

If further samples taken from the bottom of the mine confirm those results, rescue teams would be prepared to enter the mine and look for four unaccounted-four miners, said Kevin Stricklin, an administrator for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Post by:
Filed under: U.S. • West Virginia
soundoff (No Responses)

Comments are closed.