Alabama mine explosion kills workers

Christopher McLaughlin

A terrible mine explosion at the Jim Walter Mine in Brookwood Alabama killed three miners and left ten missing.
The explosions took place at the nations deepest coal mine at approximately 5:15pm on September 23. According to CNN, there were 32 people in the mine when a cave-in occurred, and hit electrical equipment, which then ignited methane gas, and triggered the fatal explosion.
Six of the 32 people were in close vicinity of the blast, and only three were able to actually escape. The other three were stuck more than three miles from the main elevator and about 2,000 feet from a ventilation shaft.
After the explosion, ten miners raced in to help rescue their co-workers but also became trapped after a second blast was sparked off 45 minutes after the initial one. This caused a second wave of rescue workers to force their way into the collapsed mine and search for the missing victims.
Unfortunately, the affected area of the mine was unable to be reached due to numerous fires and a strong presence of methane gas.
The mine was opened and began operation in 1978 and produced low-sulfur coal that is often burned in power plants. The mine itself is the deepest vertical shaft coalmine in North America, which plunges to 2,140 feet below the earth’s surface.
The company who operates the mine stated that if the deaths of 13 miners were confirmed, it would then become the worst mine-related loss of life since 1984. An air compressor caught fire and killed 27 coal miners around the Orangeville area in Utah.