Rescuers finished drilling a second, larger hole Saturday into a Utah mountain but remain unable to find the six miners trapped underground since Monday.
Initial attempts to feel a video camera through the 22-centimetre- wide hole showed a "survivable space," according to federal Mine Safety and Health Administration chief Richard Stickler.
The new hfollows a smaller hole with a diameter of 6 centimetres that was drilled faster and completed on Friday. That effort into a different location also failed to establish contact with the missing men.
The coal mine is located in Huntington in the Rocky Mountain state of Utah.
After the new hole was completed Saturday, rescuers first clanged on the metal drill bit stretching 540 metres below the surface in hopes of getting the attention of any surviving miners. Repeated attempts produced no response.
"Three blows on metal through rock is easily heard," Stickler said. "Unfortunately, we did not get any response."
Similar attempts to use sound and also a microphone lowered into the mine proved unsuccessful on Friday after the smaller hole was drilled.
The mine owner and authorities insisted that they remained hopeful of finding the missing men alive.
Air tested from the underground pocket reached on Friday proved unbreathable, and fresh air is now being pumped through the smaller hole. The mine section reached Saturday was found to contain enough oxygen to support life.
Rescue teams continue digging through a collapsed tunnel toward the miners, who are believed to have been 6.5 kilometres from the entrance to the vast mine at the time of Monday's accident. Progress in that effort remains frustratingly slow, mine owner Robert Murray said Saturday.
Murray insists that an earthquake was the cause, but geologists believe that their seismological equipment picked up the tunnel's collapse, which was then registered as ground motion.
Last Mod: 12 Ağustos 2007, 10:26