Miners Still Trapped in Eastern Kentucky; Could Be Freed Tonight

by Erica Peterson on June 20, 2011

Three miners remain trapped in an eastern Kentucky coal mine after flooding, but officials are working to free them.

Energy and Environment cabinet spokesman Dick Brown says officials outside the mine have been speaking with the miners on telephones and the prognosis is positive.

“We’re very optimistic that the three miners will be brought out safely sometime this evening,” he said. “We’re just waiting really for the water to recede far enough so the rescuers can get to them and help lead them out safely.”

The miners were trapped early this morning by rising flood waters. Since then, federal, state and coal company officials have arrived on site and are pumping 1100 gallons of water a minute out of the mine.

The mine is in Bell County, and is owned by Bell County Coal Corporation, a subsidiary of James River Coal.

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