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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 1/19/2006 7:48:52 PM EDT

Fire Erupts in W.Va. Mine; Two Missing 12 minutes ago

A fire erupted in an underground coal mine in southern West Virginia late Thursday and two workers were unaccounted for, authorities said.

The fire was reported at the Aracoma Coal Co. in Mellville, about 60 miles southwest of Charleston, said Lara Ramsburg, spokeswoman for Gov. Joe Manchin.

"There was some type of fire in the deep mine," Ramsburg said. "There are two workers that are currently unaccounted for."

She said she could not confirm an earlier report that the fire involved a conveyer belt that moves coal from the mine to the surface.

Mine rescuers, emergency crews and representatives of the state Miners Health Safety and Training Office were at the scene, she said.

"All resources are either at the mine or on their way to the mine site," Ramsburg said.

State police said they were responding to an incident at the mine but would not give details.

A man who answered the telephone at Aracoma Coal's Mellville office hung up.

The blaze occurred less than three weeks after an explosion at the Sago Mine in Upshur County killed 12 miners.

The sole survivor of that blast, Randal McCloy Jr., 26, remained hospitalized Thursday in a light coma at a hospital in Morgantown
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