US Coal Mine Explosion Kills 25 in West Virginia

World | April 6, 2010, Tuesday // 10:24
Bulgaria: US Coal Mine Explosion Kills 25 in West Virginia The number of fatalities makes this the worst US mine disaster since 1984. Rescue efforts have been suspended. Photo by wordpress.com

Twenty-five miners are now known to have died and four are missing after an accident at a West Virginia coal mine.

The accident was caused by an underground explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine some 50 km south of Charleston in the eastern US.

The blast happened around 1900 GMT, said the mine's owner Massey Energy Company, cited by the BBC.

The number of fatalities makes this the worst US mine disaster since 1984. Rescue efforts have been suspended.

Safety officials said rising methane gas levels had heightened the risk of another explosion.

The operation would resume as soon as conditions allowed, Massey Energy said.

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Tags: coal mine, West Virginia, explosion, death toll
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