Consol Energy says mine fire may be out
Consol Energy Inc. said on Thursday that it believes it extinguished an underground fire in its Blacksville No. 2 mine on the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border.
Analysis of mine atmosphere readings showed that gas levels remain steady and oxygen levels continue to fall. The Cecil-based mining company had been pumping water into the mine through two boreholes and nitrogen by using two other boreholes to reduce oxygen levels.
Consol said it completed a plan to re-enter the mine, which the Mine Safety and Health Adminstration, state and United Mine Workers officials were reviewing.
Consol spokeswoman Lynn Seay said once the mine is sealed, the atmosphere inside will be monitored over the weekend to determine when it is safe to go inside.
Consol said it completed drilling six to eight other boreholes for the insertion of walls to isolate fire from sources of oxygen. MSHA had said the level of carbon monoxide was decreasing. As of Tuesday, 11.4 million gallons of water and 6.2 million cubic feet of nitrogen had been injected into the mine.
The company shut down the mine on March 12, idling 650 workers, after it safely evacuated 121 workers through the mine's Kuhntown portal, about 15 miles south of Waynesburg in Greene County.
Blacksville No. 2 employees are being notified that they are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits and their benefit plan remains in effect. Consol said it is working to put employees back to work as soon as possible.
John D. Oravecz is a staff writer forTrib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7882 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.