A timeline of events following fire in the mine

By The Associated Press
A timeline of the events following a fire at the Alma No. 1 Mine, operated by Massey Energy subsidiary Aracoma Coal.
--5:36 p.m., Carbon monoxide monitors record elevated levels of the gas inside Alma Mine. Miners are ordered out about 10 minutes later. The monitor was located about 10,000 feet inside the mine and about 900 feet underground.
--5:46 p.m., 12 miners come across smoke, put on breathing gear and turn around to leave the mine.
--7:30 p.m., 10 miners, plus nine who were working in other areas of the mine, reach the surface. Two miners who were part of the 12-member group are unaccounted for.
-- 11 p.m., Rescue teams enter the mine. Teams travel two miles into the mine before reaching the area where the fire is located.
--6:30 a.m., two rescue teams move past the fire and report it smoldering. Two other teams stay behind to watch the fire until water pumps and foam gear are brought in.
--10:30 a.m., rescue teams report that the fire appears to be spreading and heavy smoke has reduced visibility, hampering search efforts.
--5:30 p.m., six mine teams are working in the mine, while 20 other teams from four states are on standby. The rescuers in the mines are finding pockets of fresh air. Ventilation is being rechanneled to enable rescuers to search other areas of the mine.
-- 11 p.m., drilling continues to reach a section of the mine 200 feet underground. Officials hope to send a signal by pounding on the steel drill bit. If they receive no signal back, the crews planned to drop a camera and microphone into the hole.
--8:30 a.m. Officials report that efforts to communicate through the drilled hole were unsuccessful. The two men did not respond to bangs on a metal pipe in the hole, and a camera and microphone lowered into the hole did not detect any sound or movement. Intense heat from the fire was creating roof falls in sections of the mine.
--1:30 p.m. Officials report that they believe they have contained the fire. Carbon monoxide levels recorded at two different locations fall to their lowest levels since officials started taking readings.
--4:45 p.m. Officials announce the discovery of Don Bragg, 33, of Accoville, and Ellery "Elvis'' Hatfield, 47, of Simon. Their bodies were found in an area where rescue crews battled the conveyor belt fire.
AP-ES-01-21-06 1815EST
Back to Mellville