Crews continue to fight Consol mine fire
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More than a million gallons of water have been pumped into Consol Energy's Blacksville No. 2 deep mine in the Pittsburgh coal seam on the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border in an effort to extinguish the underground fire that has been burning there since Tuesday, company officials said today. The fire has idled 650 coal miners.
Borehole cameras have been placed in three locations, but officials said they have not determined the precise location or size of the fire.
Smoke was first spotted coming from the Orndoff shaft, which is used primarily as a ventilation shaft, near Wayne in Greene County, Pa. on Tuesday afternoon. All 121 day-shift underground workers were evacuated without injury through the Kuhntown portal, Consol officials said. The area where the fire is believed to be located is not in the active working section of the mine.
Consol officials began pumping water into the Orndoff shaft on Thursday afternoon, then followed up with pumping additional water into a borehole near that shaft early this afternoon. A second borehole has been drilled into the mine, which lies approximately 1,000 feet below the surface, and will be cased, grouted and operated as a monitoring location, according to company officials.
Borehole casing designed to protect groundwater is being installed in a third borehole, which will be used to pump additional water into the mine. A fourth borehole pierced the mine this morning, according to Consol officials, while drilling continues on a fifth location and drilling will begin on a sixth borehole tonight.
First Published March 15, 2013 6:23 pm