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Consol says Blacksville mine fire "trending favorable"

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By John D. Oravecz
Monday, March 18, 2013, 5:54 p.m.

Consol Energy Inc. said on Monday that conditions in the closed Blacksville No. 2 mine on the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border are “trending in a favorable direction” as it injects millions of gallons of water and nitrogen underground to put out a fire.

The Cecil-based mining company said its team drilled 15 boreholes, with one positioned directly over the fire. As of Monday morning, more than 9.2 million gallons of water and 2.3 million cubic feet of nitrogen had been injected, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Last Tuesday, Consol shut down the mine, idling 650 workers, after it safely evacuated 121 workers through the mine's Kuhntown portal, about 15 miles south of Waynesburg in Greene County.

On Saturday, the team detected elevated gas levels in the mine, which Consol said was expected. As a precaution, the Kuhntown portal building was evacuated for about 12 hours until gas levels were managed back to a safe level.

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