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More West Virginia Coal Mine Problems


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Fire Erupts in W.Va. Mine; Two Missing By LAWRENCE MESSINA, Associated Press Writer

23 minutes ago




MELLVILLE, W.Va. - Fire broke out in an underground coal mine in southern West Virginia late Thursday and two workers were unaccounted for, authorities said.




The fire was reported at the Aracoma Coal Co. in Mellville, about 60 miles southwest of Charleston.


Jeff Gillenwater, a spokesman for the mine's owner, Massey Energy, said the blaze began on a conveyer belt inside the mine and the mine itself was not on fire.


"It is not a raging fire. It is a belt line fire that caused smoke in the coal mine," Gillenwater told The Logan Banner newspaper. "There are two individuals we are currently trying to find in the coal mine."


Gillenwater said there is clean air in several sections of the mine. "These two guys know this coal mine well, and we're just hopeful mine rescue finds them quickly," he said.


Mine rescuers, emergency crews and representatives of the state Miners Health Safety and Training Office were at the scene.


"All resources are either at the mine or on their way to the mine site," said Lara Ramsburg, spokeswoman for Gov. Joe Manchin.


State police said they were responding to an incident at the mine but would not give details.


The blaze occurred less than three weeks after an explosion at the Sago Mine in Upshur County killed 12 miners.


The sole survivor of that blast, Randal McCloy Jr., 26, remained hospitalized Thursday in a light coma at a hospital in Morgantown.

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