Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sago, WV Mining Disaster

January 2, 2006
In Fond Memory of The Miners

Thomas P. Anderson
Alva Martin Bennet
tJim Bennett
Jerry Groves
George Hamner Jr.
Terry Helms
Jesse L. Jone
sDavid Lewis
Martin Toler
Fred Ware Jr.
Jack Weaver
Marshall Winans

Sago Baptist ChurchRt. 2, Box 386ABuckhannon, WV 26201
Contacts: Reverend Wease Day and his wife Sandy

Thirteen coal miners were trapped after an explosion inside the Sago Mine in West Virginia. The cause of the explosion is unknown. Click through the timeline to read the progression of events according to Roger Nicholson, Gene Kitts and Ben Hatfield, representatives of International Coal Group, which owns the mine.

6:31 a.m

.An underground explosion causes a power outage at Sago Mine as two crews entered the mine to resume production after the holiday. All 13 members of the first crew are trapped.

6:40 a.m
.Surface workers receive a call from the second, six-person, crew reporting the power outage. The crew begins to exit the mine. Nicholson says the mine superintendent headed underground shortly afterward to investigate and ordered the dispatcher to begin the notification process. The mine superintendent made it about 9,000 feet into the mine before encountering dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and turning around.
5:00 p.m
.Bulldozer and drilling crews arrive on site and begin survey operations to determine the best drilling location.
5:51 p.m.An eight-member rescue team enters the mine accompanied by a coal company foreman. The team tests the air about every 500 feet and has to disconnect the power to the phones they use to communicate with the surface before each test in case there is any combustible gas present.
6:23 p.m.First rescue team reports from 1,000 feet into the mine that carbon monoxide and methane levels are within normal range.
6:30 p.m.A second rescue team enters the mine. Several other teams remain on standby.
8:30 p.m.Drilling equipment is on site over miners' expected location, about 2 miles from the mine's entrance and 260 feet below the surface.
10:30 p.m.Drilling is scheduled to begin. Coal company officials said they will drill a small-diameter hole to provide fresh air. It is expected to take four to six hours to reach the miners' expected location.
10:30 p.m.Drilling is scheduled to begin. Coal company officials said they will drill a small-diameter hole to provide fresh air. It is expected to take four to six hours to reach the miners' expected location.
4:30 a.m.Drilling of a hole to provide fresh air to trapped miners has begun, officials announce in a news conference
6:50 a.m.Drilling begins on a second hole that will be used to install air quality monitoring equipment.

7:42 a.m.No signs of life have been detected at the mine, says Ben Hatfield of the International Coal Group. A camera dropped through the completed drill hole showed little damage to the area but no survivors. Air tests returned “discouraging” results, with dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the area where the trapped miners were thought to be.

10:30 a.m.Rescuers reach 10,200 feet into mine; miners believed to be trapped between 11,000 feet and 13,000 feet from entrance.
11:20 a.m.Rescue teams move ahead of the search robot, which officials believe has become bogged down in muddy conditions
5:00 p.m.Ben Hatfield, president of International Coal Group, says rescue teams are 1,000-2,000 feet from where the miners are trapped, and that distance should be closed within 5 hours. Officials say they don't know the cause of the blast, though it resembled a methane explosion
9:10 p.m.Ben Hatfield announces that the body of one of the miners has been found in a mine car. Rescue crews are still searching for the remaining 12 men.
11:49 p.m.Church bells ring as reports first indicate that 12 miners have been found alive.
2:14 a.m.One miner, Randal McCloy, is rescued and taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition after being trapped underground for nearly 40 hours.
2:30 a.m.Hatfield informs family members at the church that all but one of the miners are dead, contrary to earlier reports that 12 were found alive. 2:44 a.m.Miners' relatives begin to tell reporters including CNN's Anderson Cooper that they had been told all but one of the miners were dead.