At least seven coal miners are dead and nineteen believed trapped after an explosion at a Raleigh County, West Virginia Coal Mine:
Rescue teams were trying to locate at least 19 trapped miners in a large underground coal mine where an explosion killed seven workers on Monday, the coal company and mine safety officials said.
Nine rescue crews usually made up of six members each were at the mine that covers several square miles, but it was not clear if they had headed underground yet to pull people out, said federal Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere.
State mining director Ron Wooten said the blast that happened around 3 p.m. at Massey Energy Co.'s Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County, about 30 miles south of Charleston. The company did not provide details on the extent of the damage or if other miners had made it out on their own.
"We want to assure the families of all the miners we are taking every action possible to locate and rescue those still missing," said Massey CEO Don Blankenship, who confirmed the number of dead and missing in a statement. . . . MORE