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Utah Miners – Mine Owners Consider Calling Off Rescue & Recovery Effort – Resuming Operations

FOXNews.com – Utah Mine Official: ‘It’s Likely Miners May Not Be Found’ – Local News | News Articles | National News | US News

“Thursday night we had an awful tragedy here,” he said. “I can’t say with certainty we will be able to continue the underground efforts. The risk is too great. We just simply cannot take the unacceptable risk and put additional lives in harm’s way.”

Moore had been far more upbeat Saturday night, when he insisted the men may be alive. But he said oxygen readings and video images taken from the fourth hole had changed his mind about the miners’ probable fate. Oxygen levels in the hole are just 11 to 12 percent, incompatible with life. Normal oxygen levels are 21 percent.

It’s been a couple of days since I’ve posted about the trapped miners in central Utah, but I feel a need to write about this development.

I’ve heard the sentiment several times from different sources in the media that the trapped miners have probably passed on and considering the recent loss of life in the rescue effort, it’s probably not worth losing any more lives trying to recover those who were trapped. I can see both sides of this.

One of my roommate’s uncles was lost in a coal mine fire over a decade ago. His remains were only recently recovered. That’s understandable considering the conditions. The situation in the mine where the miners were recently trapped can be likened to this. Continuing seismic activity poses a continuing threat to any who try to reach those who were trapped.

I can also see the side of the miners’ families who want to have their loved ones back, even if only to bury them.

The one place where I have serious problems with the events which are unfolding in Utah is this:

If tunneling doesn’t restart, part of the mine will have been turned into a tomb. Despite that, Moore said there is recoverable coal in other parts of the 5,000-acre mine, and the company expected to resume operations at some point. He said he didn’t discuss that prospect with family members.

I don’t know what the community thinks about this, but I can tell you what I think. If the mine becomes a tomb, let those interred there rest in peace.

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