Late this evening a search for 13 miners trapped hundreds of feet underground by an explosion, which had been looking increasingly hopeless, paid off.
TALLMANSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) – Twelve miners caught in an explosion in a coal mine were found alive Tuesday night, sending family members streaming from the church where they had gathered during the nearly two-day ordeal. Joyous shouts rose of “Praise the Lord!”
Bells at the church rang out as family members ran out screaming in jubilation. Relatives yelled “They’re alive!”
“They told us they have 12 alive,” Gov. Joe Manchin said. “We have some people that are going to need some medical attention.”
Rescue crews found the body of a 13th miner earlier Tuesday evening and said they were holding out hope that the others were still alive, even as precious time continued to slip away.Considering that air quality tests showed carbon monoxide levels four times the maximum safe level earlier in the day, the most of the families who had been praying for nearly two day got their New Year’s miracle. Of course, our prayers and sympathies go out to the family of the lone fatality. If details about where contributions to the family of the deceased miner are made available we’ll publish those…
Video on the rescue efforts.
Update: 11 of 12 Miners Reported Alive Are Dead
TALLMANSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) – In a stunning and heartbreaking reversal, family members were told early Wednesday that 11 of 12 trapped coal miners found were dead – three hours after they began celebrating news that they were alive.
The devastating new information shocked and angered family members, who had rejoiced with Gov. Joe Manchin hours earlier when a rumor began to spread that the miners were alive. Rescue crews found the first victim earlier Tuesday evening.
“About the confusion, I can’t tell you of anything more heart-wrenching than I’ve ever gone through in my life. Nothing,” Manchin said.
The sole survivor of the disaster, identified by mining officials as 27-year-old Randal McCloy, was hospitalized in critical condition early Wednesday, a doctor said. When he arrived, he was unconscious but moaning, the hospital said.