Search teams forced from West Virginia mine once more

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Montcoal, W.Va. (AP) - This time, it wasn't the dangerous gas
levels that forced search teams to leave a West Virginia mine.

They left after encountering smoke, which prompted fears of fire
and another explosion.

It's another setback in the search for four miners missing since
the nation's worst mine disaster in about two decades. Monday's
blast killed 25 other coal miners.

This is the third time that rescuers have had to pull back after
making their way about 1,000 feet below the surface and about five
miles into the mine.

Gov. Joe Manchin says there's still a sliver of hope that there
might be survivors.

There have been no signs that the four missing miners are alive,
but authorities and their families are hoping that they somehow
made it to an emergency chamber stocked with four days' worth
oxygen, food and water.

One refuge chamber was found empty. Officials say rescuers may
not be able to get to the second one, and may have to inspect it
with cameras.

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