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Last Updated: Friday, 10 August 2007, 22:23 GMT 23:23 UK
Three killed in US mine accident
Gibson County Coal mine, Indiana
No other workers were missing after the Indiana mine incident
Three people have died in a mine accident in southern Indiana, police have said, in the second mining incident to hit the US this week.

It is not known how many people were in the mine at the time of the accident.

The incident occurred at an air shaft under construction at about 1100 (1700 GMT). A coroner has been called to the scene, local television reports said.

Separately, in Utah, six miners are missing 1,500ft (457m) underground after a mine collapsed on Monday.

It is not yet known whether they are still alive.

'No explosion'

The three Indiana construction workers died in a basket used to transport people along a 600ft (183m) air shaft being built at the Gibson County Coal mine, Detective Mike Hurt said.

Bob Pond, from Frontier-Kemper Constructors, which was drilling an air shaft for the mine, confirmed the deaths.

US map

Union officials said the three people killed were construction workers at the mine, not coal miners.

No other workers were missing after the incident, near the city of Princeton.

The cause of the accident was still unclear, but police said no explosion had occurred.

Recovery crews were working to remove the bodies from the shaft.

The mine's owner, Alliance Resource Partners, is investigating the incident.

Still hopeful

In Utah, rescuers have not found any signs of life after sending a microphone down a borehole in the hope of contacting the six miners missing at Crandall Canyon coal mine near Huntington.

But Richard Stickler, head of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, said workers drilling the 1,800ft (550m) borehole may have missed the cavity where the men were believed to be trapped.

"There's no reason to lose hope. There are certain possibilities that these miners are still alive," Mr Stickler said.

A larger hole that could accommodate a camera, food and water is expected to be finished in the next 12 hours.

Tests carried out at the site showed the air quality was good, the mine's co-owner, Bob Murray, told reporters on Thursday.

Mr Murray said it could take at least another four or five days to bring the men out.

Rescue teams have been drilling round-the-clock through a mountain above the mine to reach the men, who include three Mexican citizens.

The group is thought to be 3.4 miles (5.5km) from the mine entrance, 140 miles (225km) from the capital, Salt Lake City.

Graphic showing layout and approximate location of trapped miners

Drill reaches Utah mine chamber
10 Aug 07 |  Americas
Rescuers resume Utah miner search
09 Aug 07 |  Americas
Two die in US mine roof collapse
14 Jan 07 |  Special Reports
US mining safety under scrutiny
05 Jan 06 |  Americas

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