West Virginia Coal Mine Disaster

A collapse and fire on Monday at the newly reopened Ashford Coal Mine, near Charlston, purchased last year by Wilder Mining Co. Inc., is believed to have claimed the lives of at least sixty-two workers just weeks after resuming operation. Twenty-three other miners are unaccounted for and believed to be trapped, but were outside of the area of the initial fire. The mine had been closed in 2004, following an accident at a nearby coal mine which caused the bankruptcy of the previous mining company.

It is expected to be several days before help can reach the trapped miners if the fire remains contained, and may be months before the fires die down enough to investigate the initial collapse.

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