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Alleged Copper Scavengers Lost in West Virginia Mine

One man emerged and said his friends were still alive
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2018 6:33 PM CST
An abandoned mine in Utah.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(Newser) – Rescue teams in West Virginia on Wednesday continued to search for three people believed to be lost in an abandoned coal mine, KTRK reports. “I want my daughter out,” Randy Williams, father of Kayla Williams, tells ABC News. Kayla Williams, 25; Erica Treadway, 31; and Cody Beverly, 21, reportedly entered the Rock House Powellton mine in Clear Creek early Saturday to illegally scavenge copper wire. “It’s worth money,” Randy Williams says. “You can go into a mine and make $1,000 a day.” A fourth person in the group, Ed Williams, escaped from the mine on Monday. He reportedly told rescuers that the others were alive and still in the mine. Williams has reviewed a map with authorities in an effort to figure out exactly where the rest of the group might be, reports ABC.

The rescue effort began Sunday afternoon, per a press release from the governor’s office, with four rescuers entering the mine and searching until their progress was blocked by water. On Tuesday, according to USA Today, rescuers removed standing water from one mine entryway and pumped fresh air into the mine. On Wednesday, two teams of rescuers focused on two portals into the mine. Rescuers, "need to be moving a little faster," Randy Williams tells ABC. “From the beginning I’ve said we needed to use all the resources available to us,” Gov. Jim Justice said in the press release. “We are praying they can be found quickly and brought out to safety.” A criminal investigation is pending, officials say, but the rescue effort remains the priority. (This man was trapped in a restaurant grease vent for two days.)

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