Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

WV State News

March 14, 2013

Efforts continue to battle Pa.-W.Va. mine fire

PINE BANK, Pa. (AP) — Consol Energy crews were continuing to fight a fire in an underground coal mine that straddles the West Virginia-Pennsylvania border.

Smoke began pouring from a shaft at the Blacksville No. 2 mine in Wayne Township, Greene County, Pa., on Tuesday afternoon. More than 120 day-shift workers got out safely, and Consol spokeswoman Lynn Seay says none will return to work until the mine is considered safe.

Federal Mine Safety Health Administration officials say more than 250,000 gallons of water had been pumped into the mine through a bore hole drilled on Wednesday, and four more holes were being drilled at a rate of 87 feet per hour. The holes are 1,000 to 1,200 feet deep to reach the mine.

The mine employs more than 500 workers and produces coal for power plants.

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