Three dead, others hurt in cave-in during mine rescue effort

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Three rescue workers are dead and six hurt after a cave-in at the Utah mine where six men were trapped by a collapse last week.

Authorities say Thursday night's cave-in was caused by a mountain "bump," which refers to pressure inside the mine that shoots coal from the walls with a great deal of force. Seismologists say the same kind of event caused the first cave-in at the Crandall Canyon Mine August 6th.

Thursday's "bump" showed up as a magnitude 1.6 seismic event on instruments at the University of Utah.

It's not clear what the rescuers were doing at the time. They've been drilling holes from the top of the mountain and tunneling through a debris-filled entry to the mine.

Utah's governor says there's nothing more selfless than someone giving their life in pursuit of saving someone else.

Jon Huntsman says that's what happened last night at Crandall Canyon Mine, where three rescue workers were killed in a cave-in as they tried to locate six men missing underground for more than a week. Their fate remains unknown.

Six other workers were hurt in last night's seismic event, called a "bump." That happens when coal under pressure shoots out from the walls of a mine. Seismologists say a similar event caused the August 6th cave-in.

The rescue effort has been suspended for now. Governor Huntsman says whatever happens next, his state has "had enough" and doesn't want to see any more injuries.

The fate of the six miners trapped some 1,500 feet underground is unknown.

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