Three miners trapped in Kentucky coal mine due to high water

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 20, 2011 1:03 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky (Reuters) - A state official said that three miners were trapped by high water in an underground coal mine in southeastern Kentucky on Monday.

"They're fine, they're safe," said Dick Brown, spokesman for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. "We have rescue teams there putting pumps into place to remove the water."

Brown said he expects the miners to be rescued later this afternoon.

The flooding in the mine near Middlesboro, Ky., which is owned by the Bell County Coal Corporation, was caused by an overnight rainstorm that dumped 4-6 inches of rain in the area, Brown said.

The miners are in an elevated area above the water, about 600 feet from the entrance. They are in phone contact with the mine's command center, Brown said. Brown said his office was contacted about the incident at about 8:30 a.m. on Monday.

(Writing by Mary Wisniewski; Additional reporting by Steve Robrahn in Louisville; Editing by Greg McCune)