West Virginia Mining Tragedy
MONTCOAL, W.Va. – Rescue teams planned to search again Tuesday for four workers missing in a coal mine where a massive explosion killed 25 in the worst U.S. mining disaster in more than two decades, though officials said the chances were slim that the miners survived, and the search may not be able to start again until evening.
The suspended rescue mission would resume after bore holes could be drilled to allow for toxic gases to be ventilated from's sprawling Upper Big Branch mine about 30 miles south of Charleston, state and federal safety officials said.
Chances of finding survivors get slimmer with each passing hour and there was a total of 31 miners in the area at the time of the blast.
At this point in time the cause of the blast is unknown and even though the article notes that "Massey subsidiary Performance Coal Co. has a history of violations for not properly ventilating highly combustible methane gas", there will be time to look at that issue later.