Gov. Joe Manchin says he is hoping for a miracle that four missing West Virginia coal miners will be found alive after a blast killed 25 people.
Manchin's comments came early Tuesday morning as rescue crews prepared to begin drilling bore holes into Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine in southern West Virginia in the hopes of locating the miners.
The four had not been located before dangerous levels of methane gas forced rescue crews out of the mine.
An explosion Monday afternoon rocked the remote coal mine with a history of safety problems. It's the worst U.S. mine disaster since 1984.
The cause of the blast was not known but safety officials say the operation has a history of violations for not properly ventilating highly combustible methane gas.
President Barack Obama is offering his condolences and any necessary federal help.