Rescuers 500 Feet From Miners

Crews have drilled to within 500 feet of where the miners are thought to be
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2007 7:52 AM CDT
The Crandall Canyon Mine operates at the bottom of a deep canyon on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007, northwest of Huntington, Utah. Six coal miners have been trapped since Monday. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Rescue crews have drilled to within 500 feet of where the trapped Utah coal miners are thought to be. The small hole—2 1/2 inches in diameter and now down to a depth of 1,000 feet—would allow a communication line to be dropped. A larger hole—now at 100 feet—would allow food and water to be lowered down.

Owners guess that both holes should be finished within 48 hours. Meanwhile, work has resumed on tunneling an underground escape route for the miners. Mine owner Bob Murray has backed off his original claim that the men could survive for weeks. "The oxygen depends on the size of the cavity they are in," he says.