6 trapped in Utah coal mine after quake


 
 

Paul Foy | | Tuesday, August 7, 2007


HUNTINGTON, Utah - Six miners were trapped by a cave-in Monday at a coal mine five miles from the epicenter of a small earthquake, authorities said.

By midday Monday, eight hours after the underground cave-in was reported, rescuers were trying to reach the miners. They had not had any contact with them.

Officials were also trying to determine which came first, the earthquake or the collapse.

The Genwal mine reported that the mine had caved in at 3:50 a.m., an hour after the magnitude 4.0 earthquake was recorded, the Emery County sheriff's office said. It is possible they happened less than an hour apart if there was a delay in reporting the collapse.

"Rescue workers are on scene trying to locate six miners that are unaccounted for," the sheriff's office earlier Monday.

The miners were believed to be 1,500 feet below the surface, about four miles from the mine entrance, said Dirk Fillpot, a spokesman at the Mine Safety and Health Administration in Washington. It was not known what kind of breathing equipment the miners had.

Rescuers were within 2,500 feet of their presumed location, he said.

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