Rescuers Work Against Time and Odds For Miners

By: T.J. Winick, ABC News
By: T.J. Winick, ABC News

Rescuers in Utah are working against time--and against the odds, trying to get to six coal miners.

The men remain missing deep underground after a cave-in on Aug. 6.
Rescue teams are set to drill a third hole into the Crandall Canyon Mine, exactly a week after six coal miners were trapped after an early morning cave-in. They haven't been heard from since.

"We've had a once in a lifetime disaster here," said Bob Murray, Crandall Canyon Mine Co-owner.

Over the weekend, a high-resolution video camera detected a seven-and-a-half foot opening in the mine, but two feet were buried under rubble.

"We were able to see a tool bag, chain and other equipment that you would expect to see underground, but no sign of the miners," explained Richard Stickler, with the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

On Sunday in Huntington, Utah, it was not hard to imagine what the faithful were praying for.

"It's a day of heavy hearts for all of the miners who are gathered today," one priest said.

But following the families' own briefing with mine officials it was clear that almost a week of uncertainty is taking a toll.

"We're feeling ups and downs, grief and loss, patience and frustration, but there's so many of us together as a family that we're there to support each other," said Jose Sanchez, a cousin of one of the miner's.

Rescue teams digging underground were pulled out of the mine twice on Aug. 12 because of "bounces" or shifts in the ground.

Because of safety concerns and heavy debris, those crews are only a third of the way to the trapped miners.


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