New Images Offer Hope at Mine

After sounds, emergency camera detects space of fresh air
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 16, 2007 5:56 AM CDT
This image made from video provided by Murray Energy Corp. shows a camera being lowered into a mine shaft during rescue efforts at Huntington, Utah on Monday, Aug. 13, 2007. Six coal miners were trapped...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hours after rescuers in Utah detected noise from the collapsed mine, images from a videocamera lowered into the disaster site offered a glimmer of hope, the AP reports. Although the camera did not pick up the miners, it did film a ventilation curtain used to ensure workers have access to good air. Behind the curtain would be a pocket of fresh air, where they could be waiting.

"There was no damage at all. The roof is intact; no ribs have outburst. The floors are in place—it looked just as it did when we mined it," mine owner Bob Murray told the AP late last night. "If the men went in there, they could be alive." Drilling on a fourth hole, prompted by the sounds detected yesterday, will begin today. A rescue after 10 days is unlikely but not impossible: last year miners in Australia were pulled to safety two weeks after their work site collapsed.