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Willow Creek Mine Explosion and Fire

Update for Monday, August 7, 2000
The mine remains sealed at the portals. Mine air sampling from tubes installed through the earthen seals, at the fan housing and at 2 boreholes continues. The mine atmosphere remains in the explosive range near the portals. No means of sampling the mine atmosphere at the longwall face is available at this time.

Sealing of the fan housing and belt structure in portal No. 4 was improved in an effort to minimize air leakage. A staff of MSHA personnel, involved in gas analysis, are on-site around the clock monitoring the mine atmosphere behind the seals.

Mine personnel have started flooding the longwall gob area in an effort to cool the area where fire was originally observed. This process will take many days to complete.

MSHA's accident investigation team is continuing their investigation.