Six miners trapped in Utah mine after possible earthquake

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Monday, August 6, 2007

Locator map of Salt Lake City, Emery County and Huntington

At least six miners are trapped approximately 1700 feet underground in a coal mine in Utah after portions of the shaft collapsed. The mine is owned by Utah American Energy and is close to the town of Huntington, Emery County, 160 km south of Salt Lake City.

Robert Murray, The CEO, President, Director and owner of Murray Energy and the owner of Utah American Energy, said during a press conference at 5:00 p.m. (eastern time), an "earthquake caused the collapse at about 3:00 a.m. (mountain time)."

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recorded what is allegedly a magnitude 3.9 earthquake at 2:48 a.m. (mountain time) on Monday morning 21 km (13 miles) east, southeast of Mount Pleasant, Utah, but the director of the USGS seismology stations Walter Arabasz, says that no earthquake caused the collapse.

Murray states that at least "two mining machines will be brought in to clean out the debris" at the beginning of the collapse and that he will "spare no expense" in rescuing the men.

"We have four rescue teams working to free the trapped miners. We will try four ways to get to the miners which include drilling 1,700 feet from the top of the mountain. We will also drill a hole" in a neighboring mine shaft sealed in 2004 after it was finished being mined that is "about 100 feet from the miners."

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