Rescue efforts continue in Utah Coal Mine collapse

by Lorie Hirose

NBC News

Rescue efforts continue in Utah, where six coal miners remained trapped deep underground.

The mine owner and rescue leaders say they are moving as quickly as possible without jeopardizing the safety of rescuers, but it could take several days before workers reach their stranded colleagues.

By midmorning Tuesday rescue crews had only moved 310 feet closer to the six trapped miners.

"It will take ladies and gentlemen, three days, if everything goes right to get to these miners. At that time we will know if they are alive or dead," said Robert Murray, a co-owner of the mine, and president of Murray Energy Corporation.

The miners are buried 1500 feet underground beneath rock and debris.

No one has heard from them since the shaft collapsed early Monday morning.

Rescue teams plan to use special sensors to see if they can detect any sounds coming from the miners.

"It's a rudimentary means of communication...we are just hoping to hear a response," explained Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration District Manager Al Davis.

On Tuesday miners reported for their regular shifts, but this time they are on a mountain with a mission to help rescue crews reach their trapped colleagues.

Julie Jones' son and husband both work in the mine.

They got home safely, despite the danger.

"This is what we do. You guys want electricity. This is how you get it," said Jones.