National

Apr 9, 2010 8:18 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Rescue crews back in mine to look for survivors

Searchers desperately hoping to find up to four survivors of a mine blast that killed 25 went back underground early today, while workers above pumped nitrogen into the earth to flush out dangerous gases that have kept rescuers at bay.

The search teams were wearing oxygen masks and carrying four spares on the slim chance the men had made it to airtight emergency rooms, and were waiting to be saved more than three days after the nation's deadliest mine disaster in decades.

Air holes drilled into the Upper Big Branch mine have ventilated lethal carbon monoxide, highly explosive hydrogen and methane -- which has been blamed for the explosion -- but not enough to make the atmosphere safe. So, nitrogen tankers are being used to flush the gases.

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