UPDATE: 25 dead in W.Va. mine blast, worst since 1984 - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: 25 dead in W.Va. mine blast, worst since 1984

WHITESVILLE, W.Va. (WKOW) -- People are gathering near the site of the deadly mine explosion to remember the victims and pray for four missing miners.

Bishop Michael J. Bransfield called on congregants Tuesday to pray that the mine's condition will improve so a team of rescuers can search for the miners. They went missing after a huge underground explosion killed 25 of their colleagues.

Bransfield urged congregants to call for more safety measures to protect miners in the future.

The bishop says West Virginia miners put their lives at risk every day.

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MONTCOAL, W.Va. (WKOW) -- Drills are in place to release highly combustible methane at a West Virginia mine where 25 people have been killed and four miners are still missing.

Gov. Joe Manchin said at a news conference Tuesday crews will not continue their search efforts until officials figure out if the mine is safe to enter.

Crews have been bulldozing an access road so they could drill 1,000 feet into the earth to release gases and make it safe to try to find the four. They were feared dead after the Monday afternoon blast.

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JULIAN, W.Va. (WKOW) -- Massey Energy executives say a carbon monoxide alarm was the first warning sign of trouble in the coal mine explosion that left at least 25 people dead.

Massey Energy chief Don Blankenship said Tuesday mine crews were checking on the alarm when they discovered an explosion deep in the mine.

Rescue efforts are currently on hold because of elevated methane and carbon monoxide readings. To help ventilate the mine, crews will try to drill three holes more than 1,000 feet, though Blankenship says he doesn't believe that can happen by Tuesday.

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MONTCOAL, W.Va. (WKOW) -- It could be Wednesday night before the first hole can be drilled to rescue four coal miners trapped after an explosion Monday.

Gov. Joe Manchin held a news conference Tuesday afternoon and said he will have hope of a rescue.

Crews are right now bulldozing an access road so they can drill 1,000 feet in to find the missing miners that are feared dead.

Authorities blame methane gas for the explosion that killed 25 coal miners, the worst mining disaster in over 20 years.

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MONTCOAL, W.Va. (WKOW) -- West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin says at least 11 of the 25 workers killed in an explosion at a coal mine have been identified. There are still 14 people unidentified and another four missing.

Rescue teams had to be pulled out of the mines due to dangerous levels of methane and CO. Crews have begun drilling to clear out the high gas levels from inside the mine so the rescue teams can continue their search.

Authorities say this will continue to be an active rescue mission with the hopes of retrieving the victims.

NMassey Energy says since the Sego Mine explosion, safety procedures have been upgraded to include airtight chambers and escape routes. If miners can reach those areas, they can survive up to four days.

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MONTCOAL, W.Va. (AP) -- It could be evening before rescue teams resume a search for four workers missing in a West Virginia coal mine where a massive explosion killed 25 people.

They have to wait until bore holes can be drilled so toxic gases can be ventilated from the area where the miners may be. Officials say the chances for survival are slim.

Gov. Joe Manchin says he is hoping for a miracle that the four missing miners will be found alive.

The four had not been located before dangerous levels of methane gas forced rescue crews out of the mine.

The cause of yesterday's blast isn't known but safety officials say the operation has a history of violations for not properly ventilating highly combustible methane gas.

President Barack Obama is offering his condolences.

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MONTCOAL, W.Va. (AP) -- Gov. Joe Manchin says he is hoping for a miracle that four missing West Virginia coal miners will be found alive after a blast killed 25 people.

Manchin's comments came early this morning as rescue crews prepared to begin drilling bore holes into Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine in southern West Virginia in the hopes of locating the miners.

The four had not been located before dangerous levels of methane gas forced rescue crews out of the mine.

An explosion Monday afternoon rocked the remote coal mine with a history of safety problems. It's the worst U.S. mine disaster since 1984.

The cause of the blast was not known but safety officials say the operation has a history of violations for not properly ventilating highly combustible methane gas.

President Barack Obama is offering his condolences.

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MONTCOAL, W.Va. (AP) -- Safety officials say chances are slim of finding four workers alive in a West Virginia coal mine where a blast killed 25 in the worst U.S. mine disaster in more than two decades.

Toxic gases chased rescue teams from the mine early Tuesday.

Safety officials say some miners were killed by the blast Monday afternoon while others died from breathing toxic air.

Kevin Stricklin, an administrator for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, says the situation for those missing was dire but rescuers would try to go back after the mine was ventilated. Gov. Joe Manchin says families are still hoping for a miracle.

Massey Energy Co.'s sprawling Upper Big Branch mine about 30 miles south of Charleston has a history of serious violations involving its plan for ventilating combustible methane gas.

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MONTCOAL, W.Va. (AP) -- Massey Energy says 25 workers have been killed in a West Virginia coal mine explosion in the worst U.S. mine disaster since 1984.

An explosion Monday afternoon rocked the remote coal mine with a history of safety problems.

Rescuers had been trying to get to at least 10 miners they thought were trapped.

However, the rescue has been halted even though officials say four men were still unaccounted for early Tuesday.

In 1984, 27 were killed by a fire at Emery Mining Corp.'s mine in Orangeville, Utah.

 

27 News Continuing Coverage:

Victims of mine explosion named, remembered

Sen. Rockefeller demands answers regarding mine explosion

Obama gives condolences to families of dead miners

 

 

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