UPDATE, March 21:
Efforts to seal off the underground mine fire continued on Thursday, March 21.
The company is using a combination of nitrogen and water to combat the underground fire. They will begin injecting a material called rocksil through the surface boreholes to set up a temporary seal, in an attempt to decrease the oxygen levels.
Once the area is sealed, rescue teams could enter the mine sometime as early as next week.
UPDATE, March 19:
The following statement has been released by an MSHA spokesperson:
Workers continue to monitor gases in the mine atmosphere. The level of CO is decreasing. As of this morning, 11.4 million gallons of water have been induced and 6.2 million cubic feet of nitrogen have been injected into the mine. Material to install remote seals is expected to be delivered to the mine tonight or tomorrow morning.
CONSOL Energy says it still doesn't know when it will be safe to send workers back inside the Blacksville No. 2 mine. The mine straddles the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border.
CONSOL removed 120 workers last week after a fire broke out and smoke began pouring from the Orndoff shaft in Wayne Township, Pa. Spokeswoman Lynn Seay said on Monday that 15 boreholes have been drilled to tackle the fire. Two are being used to pump in water. Others are being used monitor both the fire and the atmosphere, to remotely install plugs, and to inject nitrogen and deplete the oxygen that helps feed the fire.
Gas levels spiked in the mine spiked over the weekend. CONSOL said the Kuhntown portal building was evacuated for 12 hours until safe levels were restored.