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All rescue operations cease at the Crandall Canyon mine


One of the drilling rigs returns from drilling the bore holes in the rescue operation for the trapped Crandall Canyon miners on the north end of East Mountain. The rig is seen here at Flat Canyon.

All efforts for a rescue of the trapped Crandall Canyon coal miners came to an end on Aug. 31. Rich Kulczewski from the Mine Safety and Health Administration announced at a press conference that all rescue efforts have been exhausted and the drilling of bore holes would cease.

The six trapped miners have been within the confines of the Crandall Canyon mine owned by UtahAmerican Energy, Inc. since the morning of Aug. 6. Around the clock rescue efforts have been ongoing since that time. On the evening of Aug. 16 another seismic activity came into play which resulted in the injury of six miners and the death of three rescuers. Since that time the underground efforts were deemed too risky by experts. Above ground rescue efforts continued with the drilling of additional bore holes. These bore holes yielded no additional information about the fate of the trapped miners. Hopes were raised when a robotic camera was brought to the drilling site. It was put into one of the larger bore holes and was within 10 feet of the mine, when it couldn't progress any farther.

The camera was able to get into the mine through hole number four. Images from that hole came back with the mine shaft having a lot of water and mud and the roof in the area was sagging and was a lot worse than was originally expected. MSHA had concluded at this point that the miners were not alive. Those missing miners include: Brandon Phillips, Kerry Allred, Don Erickson, Carlos Payan, Manuel Sanchez and Luis Hernandez. MSHAs investigation into what caused the cave-in began on Sept. 4 and officials say it will go on for many months

On Sept. 15, there will be a celebration of heroes concert and the featured performer is Collin Raye with an appearance by Karl Malone. Charley Jenkins who has appeared twice at the Emery County fair will also entertain. This celebration will take place at the Canyon View Junior High school and will begin at 3 p.m.

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