Update: This information was tragically updated later – 12 of the miners are dead, and only one has survived. More information on the mining disaster here
40+ hours, 1 body, and lots of fingerpointing later, CNN is reporting that the 12 remaining miners have been found alive. The one miner who died is being identified as Terry Helms, who was dropped off at a spot close to where the explosion happens, called “The Belt”.
The levels of carbon monoxide were said to be 3 times higher than what could be inhaled for even 15 minutes. So hope for survival certainly waned as the hours progressed.
The families started to change their collective demeanor from sadness to anger at the slow, tedious process that was the rescue effort. The coal company, International Coal Group, has received significant criticism for taking so long to rescue the miners. The company stated that the deadly levels of noxious fumes prevented them from moving any quicker.
West Virginians stated on television multiple times that “miracles do happen” and that they were holding out hope for all of the miners. For one family, it is still a tragedy, but for 12, a miracle truly took place in that mine.