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Hope all but extinguished at Utah mine

HUNTINGTON, Utah – A mine company attorney said Monday that safety experts believe drilling a bigger hole and sending a rescue capsule into the coal mine where six men have been trapped for two weeks is impossible because the mountain is too unstable.

“It’s an unsafe activity,” Murray Energy Corp. lawyer Chris Van Bever said, commenting a day after relatives of the six miners pleaded for rescue efforts to continue.

Van Bever said there had been no decision yet to call off the rescue effort. Decisions about drilling a rescue hole and continuing with other rescue activities were being made jointly by federal and company officials in consultation with mining experts, he said.

The capsule had been considered a last option since three rescue workers were killed and six others injured Thursday as they tried to tunnel through rubble-filled mine passageways.

Family were outraged Sunday after grim officials said the missing miners may never been be found.

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