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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
How US mine tragedy unfolded
On 2 January 2006 an explosion at the Sago coal mine in West Virginia left 13 miners trapped for more than 42 hours. A desperate rescue mission followed, but ended in tragedy for almost all the anxiously waiting families when news their loved ones had been found alive was reversed hours later. It emerged only one had survived.

SAGO MINE BLAST AND RESCUE ATTEMPT
graphic
1: At 0626 local time on Monday power fails at mine, apparently because of explosion in Two Left. Six-man crew heads back to surface to raise alarm, but 13 others trapped.
2: Explosion occurred in disused and sealed section of mine, which has extensive network of shafts because coal extracted from "rooms" with "pillars" of coal left to support roof. Blast possibly caused by lightning reaching build-up of methane gas.
3: Late Tuesday rescue teams, working in difficult conditions amid high levels of deadly carbon monoxide gas, find body of man who had been working on coal conveyor belt 11,250ft (3,429m), or 2.1 miles (3.4km), from mine entrance.
4: Transporter vehicle, abandoned by 12-man crew, is found 700ft (210m) from body. Rescuers drill small holes down from surface to expected position of trapped miners. Tests show poor air quality, although camera reveals tunnel intact.
5: At 11:45 pm All but one of trapped miners found dead behind heavy cloth barricade, put up in attempt to keep out carbon monoxide-laden air, 1,900 ft into the Two Left section.

SOURCES: AP; AFP; Reuters; United Mine Workers of America




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