Mine evacuated due to fire, smoke and carbon monoxide - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Efforts to fight fire in Penn. mine continue

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The Mine Safety and Health Administration has released an update on the emergency work at the Blacksville No. 2 Mine in Pennsylvania where a fire forced miners to evacuate.  According to the release on Thursday, March 14, Borehole No. 1 now at a depth of 907 feet. MSHA expects that the drill will intersect the mine this afternoon. Borehole No. 2 is down a depth of 45 feet. Holes No. 3 4, and 5 are all in the preparation stages.

Water is still being trucked to a borehole and dumped into the mine. The mine operator, CONSOL, is also in the process of laying a water line from a pond near the Orndoff fan to Borehole No. 1. After the first Borehole intersects the mine and a camera is used to look underground, water will be dumped into the mine from the pond.

Recent handheld readings indicate that Carbon Monoxide in the shaft is at 370 parts per million.

Consol, UMWA, state of WV, and MSHA are all maintaining presence around the clock and are working together to gain control of the fire.

Efforts to put out a fire at the Blacksville No. 2 mine in Pennsylvania are ongoing.  As of Wednesday, March 13 at 2 p.m. the first of three boreholes was drilled at the location where the fire that forced and evacuation of the mine was believed to be located.

The second borehole was being drilled down wind of the suspected fire area later in the day on Wednesday.  That hole will be used to monitor and determine the condition of the fire.

Leaders with the Mine Safety and Health Administration said a third hole, drilled about 300 feet from the first one was planned according to a release on March 13.  The MSHA release also indicated that 250,000 gallons of water had been put into the mine since midnight on March 13.

At the time the release was issued the company, CONSOL, was installing an 8-inch hose line to a 1,000 gallon a minute pump.  They expected that the line should be completed by the time the first borehole reached the mine.  MSHA also said that nitrogen is still be injected into the sealed area.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration announced that a coal mine in Pennsylvania had to be evacuated on Tuesday, March 12.  According to a release, carbon monoxide and smoke was detected coming out of the Orndoff return shaft at around 2 p.m.  It happened in an down wind area of Consolidation Energy Inc.'s Blacksville No.2 mine, located near Kuhntown, Pa.

The underground mine was evacuated, including three personnel who were working in the area of where the fire appears to be located. MSHA Coal Mine Safety and Health personnel were at the mine doing inspection work and issued a 103(k) order.

Mine personnel did the initial exploration and were later replaced by mine rescue personnel. However, they were forced to withdraw from the mine because of thick smoke and heat. All of the miners and personnel were accounted for by 5:15 p.m.

The cause of the fire is unknown.  MSHA's Mine Emergency Operations Unit has also responded and a meeting took place to determine the next course of action.

This mine employs approximately 650 miners, is represented by the United Mine Workers of America, and produced approximately 3.2 million tons of coal in 2012.

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