Apr 8, 2010 11:26 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Gases force crews to abandon W.Va. mine rescue

Rescue crews who'd been hoping to find four missing miners in a West Virginia coal mine have had to turn back.

Officials say they ran into an explosive mix of gases in the area they needed to search.

They're holding out slim hope that four miners were able to get to a safety chamber after the explosion that killed 25 others on Monday.

The searchers had made it to within about 1,000 feet of the chamber -- not close enough to determine if anyone had made it there.

A federal mine safety official says he's hoping crews will be able to get back into the mine in a few hours, after a bigger hole is drilled to allow fresh air in.

He says the families of the dead and missing understand the need to pull the rescuers out.


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