Rescuers Rush to Save 3 Trapped Ky. Miners

Relentless rain, flooding cut off their exit this morning
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2011 3:39 PM CDT
A Cadillac is seen in floodwater from the Ohio River in Paducah, Kentucky.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Three coal miners are trapped in a Kentucky mine after relentless rain and flooding cut off their exit early today, reports NPR. The miners were able to safely reach high ground within the Jellico No. 1 mine, and officials above ground have been in communication with them via phone, says a mining safety spokeswoman. Rescuers said late this afternoon that they were "hopeful we can bring them out in about three hours, but [there are] no guarantees." None of the miners sustained injury, and pumping has begun to lower the water level considerably.

Flood water began pooling about 180 feet into the mine’s entrance when a diversion ditch failed to direct water elsewhere following a minor collapse, reports Northern Kentucky News. The Bell County area received between 4 and 6 inches of rain in five hours after a long line of thunderstorms rolled through overnight, and a flash flood warning has been issued until tomorrow. (Click to read about other flooding problems caused by Mother Nature.)

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