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Archive for Saturday, September 1, 2007

Search for 6 miners indefinitely suspended

September 1, 2007

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— Federal officials have indefinitely suspended efforts to find six men trapped for nearly four weeks inside a coal mine after a robotic camera failed to provide any useful information, an attorney for the men's families said Friday.

"They said, 'We've exhausted the options that we know about,'" said Colin King, an attorney serving as a spokesman for all six families.

Allyn Davis, a regional director for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, told the families that the robotic camera was successfully dropped down the fourth of seven holes bored into the mountain, but that it quickly became stuck in the mud as it moved over piles of debris, King said.

Officials also could not retrieve the camera and had to leave it stuck about 50 feet from the surface, he said.

"They didn't rule out the possibility of an eighth hole, but (Davis) really didn't give any indication that they were seriously considering it. Not unless somebody came forward with new information," King said. "(Davis) said, 'We've done all we can do.'"

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