Twenty-Five Miners Dead in West Virginia Underground Blast

"MONTCOAL, W.Va. -- Twenty-five miners were killed Monday after a huge explosion at a Massey Energy mine in Raleigh County, the worst mine disaster in the United States in more than a quarter-century.

Four miners remained unaccounted for, officials said at a 2 a.m. press conference. Rescuers were pulled out of the mine early Tuesday morning because of dangerously high levels of methane and carbon dioxide.

The rescue teams searched past the point where they were endangering their own lives, said Kevin Stricklin, administrator for coal at the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. They reached the first of two rescue chambers in the mine, he said."

Ken Ward Jr., Gary A. Harki, Kathryn Gregory report for the Charleston Gazette April 5, 2010.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010