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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Further Coverage of Mine Rescue Accident

Aired August 17, 2007 - 04:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


TONY HARRIS, ANCHOR, CNN BREAKING NEWS: And good morning again, everyone. If you are just joining us, we are following breaking news out of Utah.
About eight hours ago now, we started seeing ambulances at the site of the Crandall Canyon mine in Huntington, Utah. That's where six miners have been trapped for 11 days now.

What we know is, an apparent underground seismic bump happened while rescue teams were inside the mine. Nine people were inside at the time. Three people died, six others injured.

We, of course, have crews at the mine's command center and at one area hospital where the majority of the injured were taken.

Let's start with the most recent information. About four hours ago, the Mine Safety Health Administration held this news conference.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

RICH KULCZEWSKI, MINE SAFETY HEALTH ADMINISTRATION: ... confirmed there were nine injuries. Of the nine, one was fatal. I can't give you any - we're not going to give you any names.

At 6:35, there was an underground bump.

I will also tell you that, of the nine injuries, two were MSHA personnel.

All miners and MSHA personnel have been accounted for. We did an accounting before anyone left the mine property. They were also all checked out by EMTs.

We expect to provide you with a more thorough briefing later this evening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any idea when?

KULCZEWSKI: I would hope within the next hour, but that's flexible still.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was the fatality an MSHA person or a miner?

KULCZEWSKI: It was a miner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what about the conditions of the other injured - the condition of the others injured? We heard that some of them may have serious injuries. Can you talk about that?

KULCZEWSKI: I don't know specifics. They're various - everything from some chest injuries to, you know, just touch and scrapes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us about what actually happened inside the mine?

KULCZEWSKI: They're determining that now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have (UNINTELLIGIBLE) been identified?

KULCZEWSKI: Yes, they have.

(END VIDEO)

HARRIS: OK. And here is what Utah Governor John Huntsman released about 90 minutes ago. Let me read it to you here.

"There is nothing more selfless than giving one's life while rescuing another. We have witnessed a remarkable act of selflessness. Whatever happens from now on, all I ask on behalf of all Utahans is that we have no more injuries. We have been through enough.

"We must ensure from this day forward every lesson learned here will go towards improving safety in mines - not only in Utah but throughout the United States. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families."

Let's get you to CNN's Dan Simon, who has been on this story from the very beginning. And Dan is at command center in Huntington.

And Dan, let's start with what we absolutely know for certain. And that's the fact that the rescue effort has been suspended.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT, HUNTINGTON, UTAH: It has been suspended, Tony. We know that all the rescuers who were inside the mine trying to conduct this operation, they were evacuated shortly after this seismic bump, which occurred at 6:35 p.m. local time here in Utah.

We are standing right in front of this road. This is the road that leads to the mine. It's about two miles away.

We continue to see cars go to and from the mine, despite the fact that, at least we are told, that all the rescuers have been evacuated.

Tony, as you mentioned, this operation really began about 11 days ago, when the six miners who were going about their daily business, doing their job mining coal, they experienced - according to Mr. Murray, Bob Murray - were in the middle of an earthquake, although that hasn't been proven.

Anyway, there was some sort of seismic activity in that mine. They were trapped. They've been trapped for the past 11 days.

And ever since then, there's been a 24/7 operation to try to pinpoint the location of these miners and to rescue them.

Well, that operation was proceeding today and this evening, when all of a sudden you had what has been described as a significant seismic bump. Some walls basically caved in on nine people, three of whom ultimately lost their lives.

HARRIS: Yes.

SIMON: Just a tragic situation unfolding here, Tony.

HARRIS: Hey, Dan, before this horrific event and the loss of life connected to it, were the rescue workers making - what kind of progress? How would you describe it?

SIMON: Agonizingly slow, I think is the best way to describe it. You know, who would have thought it would take all this time to go about 2,000 feet, Tony?

That's how significant this initial seismic activity was last Monday - so significant that basically the walls imploded, and there was really no way to progress through that mine.

So, rescuers - more than 100 of them - have been trying to carve out a path to reach these miners, and so far have been unsuccessful, because the conditions in the mine have been so treacherous.

HARRIS: Do me a favor. Paint us a bit of a word picture. We'll throw up whatever video we have that supports this.

For those of us who have been watching this and certainly haven't had your vantage point, describe that area around - you're in the Rocky Mountains. And what - are you in a mountain that's bordered by canyons? Can you sort of give us a view of that area around this operation, the Crandall Canyon mine?

SIMON: Well, first of all, it is a very beautiful area. It's very scenic. But quite literally, you're in the middle of nowhere.

As a matter of fact, I can't even use my cell phone here. I can't get a signal, it's so remote. And that has been a problem from day one for this operation, because, after all, the miners have no way to communicate with the outside world - no cell phones ...

HARRIS: Great point.

SIMON: ... no walkie-talkies.

So, in terms of where we are, we are 140 miles south of Salt Lake City, about 20 minutes from the nearest town, a town called Huntington. This is a mining community.

Mining is the lifeblood for this area, and this mine has been in operation for many years. The present owner, Bob Murray, he's owned it for about one year.

HARRIS: OK. Dan Simon for us. Dan, appreciate it. Thank you. Our Gary Tuchman is the only national reporter that's been allowed inside the Crandall Canyon mine. He's been in Utah since the initial mine collapse 11 days ago now.

He talked to our Anderson Cooper just a short time ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: What is a "mountain bump," and what does it feel like?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT, HUNTINGTON, UTAH: Mountain bump occurs, Anderson, when the pillars - the coal pillars that support the top of the mine - experience weight, and they literally explode from the weight above.

There's a lot of weight above this mine. This is a very deep mine, particularly compared to Appalachia.

You know, when you're talking about Sago, you were talking about the miners being trapped about 200 feet below ground level. These miners are trapped 1,800 to 1,900 feet below ground level, so there's a lot of mountain on top of it.

So, this type of mountain - and particularly mountains out West - are vulnerable to mountain bumps.

It feels, Anderson - it does feel like an earthquake, what you would imagine an earthquake to feel like. I guess which is especially relevant now, considering the other big story we're covering in Peru talking about that.

But it's frightening in that way, that you feel the mine shaking. And you also hear like a - it almost sounds like a concussion bomb as we hear during war. It just went "boom!" and shook.

And I thought coal was going to start falling down. That's how powerful I thought it was, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) from (ph) the mine. Bob Murray, the owner of the mine, told us this was a relatively small one. But this is something they've been experiencing since this rescue has been taking place.

It's important to point out that there was a full two days - if I'm not mistaken, Tuesday and Wednesday - where they stopped all activity inside the mine, because they were getting so many of these mountain bumps, and it was considered too dangerous for the miners to be there.

And none of us could (ph) prove (ph) that. We realized that the mountain bumps were happening and that it was dangerous and these guys were taking risks. But now to hear that this has happened, it just - it really feels like a nightmare.

COOPER: We're actually going to rack up Gary's piece. You're seeing images from - some of the images that Gary had taken days ago, when he got access to the mine. We're going to actually show you that piece in entirety.

And in that piece, you will actually hear this mountain bump. You will hear it and get a sense of what it feels like, what it sounds like.

Let's roll that piece.

GARY TUCHMAN, CRANDALL CANYON MINE, UTAH (voice-over): We entered the Crandall Canyon mine through the same tunnel the six trapped workers went through.

A three-mile journey in a small truck that would take about a half-hour in utter darkness. We passed rescue workers in their vehicles on the way to our ultimate destination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right there is where the rescue effort is going on.

TUCHMAN: This is as far as we could go. This is where the mine collapsed.

The six trapped miners are believed to be tantalizingly close. But with tons of coal separating them from us, this was an unusual opportunity to see how much work rescue workers still have.

You're looking at the effort to drill into the coal and rock to rescue the six men. The machine is called a continuing mining vehicle and has a spinning drum on the front of it with lathes.

It cuts into the coal, rock and other debris that is mixed in from the mine collapse, and then deposits it on the back of what's known as a shuttle car, which can transport 12 tons of coal at a time. The coal is sent on a conveyor belt outside the mine, and the process continues over and over and over again, far below the surface of the earth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where the damage is here, we're about 2,000 feet deep.

TUCHMAN: But the process had to stop for almost two days, because of seismic activity that has shaken up the mine and made it too dangerous for rescue workers.

The work to get to the miners originally ...

(END VIDEO)

HARRIS: We're going to bust out of this piece and get you now to the Castleview Hospital in nearby Price.

This is Governor John Huntsman.

JOHN HUNTSMAN, GOVERNOR OF UTAH, PRICE, UTAH: ... some of the greatest communities anywhere in the United States of America. I'm here with county commissioners, a couple of great mayors from Price and Huntington, a member of our House of Representatives. And I just want to express our deep, deep sense of sadness and condolences to the families of the three miners who were lost. I just had the honor and privilege of being with some of the families in the hospital. These are good people. These are great people.

And as I reminded them, and as we were discussing earlier, there is nothing more selfless than giving your life in pursuit of saving another. And that's exactly what we witnessed tonight - loss of life by those who went in the mine, whose sole purpose was to save the lives of others, and in so doing lost their own lives.

So, we've asked already people in the state and in this country - and throughout the world, in fact - to offer prayers and thoughts for the family members. And now at this point, we ask for a few more. We just ask for a few more.

I want to thank our local communities here, who have come together in a most remarkable - I'm not going to say unprecedented, because they've come together before. There is a sense of strength and resiliency in our communities here that is just awesome, and something that makes me, as governor, very, very proud.

It is a strength, mayors, that will sustain us over the next couple of days and, indeed, the weeks and months ahead, as we sort through what has happened and discuss with MSHA and the company where we go from here.

Now, all we can say is this. It is from tragedy and adversity that we expect to become stronger and better. And I don't think anyone wants the lives of these heroes tonight to be lost in vain. It is from their lives and their experiences - indeed, the experiences of the past week-and-a-half - that we're going to become better and smarter and safer.

And all I would say, as it relates to what MSHA or anyone else is going to do in the next couple of days, is, whatever it is, we as a state don't want anymore injuries. We've had enough.

And all I would say to Congress and to the regulators is, let's use these experiences over the last many days as examples and lessons for how we can begin to do things in the future a little bit better. I think this is a defining moment for the history of mining, and we all expect to come out of this better and smarter and safer.

Please continue praying and holding the families and loved ones of these lost miners in your thoughts and prayers.

Meanwhile, we will look forward to meeting with MSHA tomorrow morning, and the company, to get word on what they expect to do in the hours and the days ahead - again, with a focus like never before on workplace and worker safety.

Thank you all for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor, you've mentioned you just met with the families. The last update we had was that these three rescue workers that were here were in serious condition.

Can you add anything else to that? Were you able to get any kind of feel of how they're doing?

HUNTSMAN: I can't add anything to that.

I will tell you that the head of the nursing staff, who I just spoke with, and some of those who are on the hospital staff have pulled together in a most remarkable way. And they say that this hospital has come together as an emergency response team like never before.

And we as a community and we as a state are mighty proud of what they are doing in the face of this adversity and these difficult conditions that they've experienced.

We're going to hear more about the conditions of those involved, I'm sure, as soon as that information is available.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could you give us a little bit of insight as to what the search and rescue efforts are going to be now, immediately, from this point - you know, within the next few hours?

HUNTSMAN: MSHA is leading those search and rescue efforts. I think that the underground mining is going to cease for the time being.

Again, I mentioned earlier that, whatever happens, we want to make sure that there are no more injuries. We've been through a great deal as a state the last several days.

And the drilling continues on the fourth drill. And from what I heard from Richard Stickler earlier, we're going to learn more about that in the next 24 to 48 hours.

And I do believe that the above-ground drilling is going to be the best source of information and intelligence over the next couple of days, as the experts with MSHA figure out how to handle the below- ground situation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor, if that borehole yields no signs of life, will you push for the underground operations to cease altogether, given the dangers to (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

HUNTSMAN: I am pushing for that to cease right now unless MSHA and others can guarantee that it can continue safely with all involved. I think we need to be very, very careful.

Now, this is an MSHA call. I'm speaking as the governor of this state. And I'm speaking representing lots of people who care deeply about the safety of our workers in these communities. And we'll expect to hear tomorrow morning about the below-ground efforts.

But whatever happens, we're going to want to ensure that it is done safely. And that may take a little while.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have an active role or input in this decision? Or is it strictly up to MSHA?

HUNTSMAN: Well, MSHA is managing the rescue efforts. I've been down here many, many days from the beginning - eight days in a row. And now I'm back.

And I mentioned to Richard Stickler on the phone earlier tonight that, whatever happens must be done with the consideration of workers, first and foremost, and the safety of those who want so desperately, we understand, to find those miners alive and well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And where were you when the call came in about this evening's - or last night now - (UNINTELLIGIBLE) cave-in?

HUNTSMAN: I was with my family, a couple of hours away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And (UNINTELLIGIBLE), just coming (ph) from a governor's perspective, is there anything within these last 11 days that you would be calling for as far as changes when (ph) you (ph) respond to a mining accident?

HUNTSMAN: You know, I think it's premature to offer specifics in that regard.

There's going to be a thorough investigation. And I suspect that Congress is going to want to play a role, as well.

All I ask is that the loss of lives and the injuries and the families that have been impacted not be in vain, that we learn something from what our state has been through, that makes not just mining in our state of Utah, but throughout the country - and indeed the world - better and safer.

If we learn no lessons at all, I think this will have been in vain. And that is totally unacceptable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you give us (UNINTELLIGIBLE) timeline for what are the next steps within the next 24 hours?

HUNTSMAN: Well, I'll be meeting with MSHA early tomorrow morning. And I suspect that after that they'll be having a news conference, and they'll be laying out exactly what their intentions are.

Again, under the law they lead this effort, and they are responsible for overseeing the rescue. And we will look forward to hearing more from them, knowing everything they do about the conditions and what they've experienced the last few days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor, will you push for any sort of an oversight review of this, any sort of investigation on what happened to lead up to those miners being in the mine this evening after a series of pretty volatile shakes in that mountain?

HUNTSMAN: I have been told by MSHA that there will be a thorough investigation, a comprehensive investigation, and that this ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or will you push for one independent of MSHA?

HUNTSMAN: Well, I have asked that the state be part of whatever they do. That, to my mind, is independent. And I suspect there will be other parties who will want to be involved.

Whatever is done, we need to make sure that we learn from what has gone on, to make us better and smarter and safer. But I don't want to jump to any premature conclusions.

This will be investigated thoroughly from start to finish. And we're going to learn a lot. And I want to hold open, as a state, any policy options that might be helpful as we go forward.

Traditionally, once you get into the mine, it is the work of MSHA. We do worker safety and we do the environment, and I think we do both very, very well.

I think it was back in 1977 with the Surface Mining Act that all responsibilities were given to the federal government.

Now, does that need to be reviewed and reconsidered? I think everything needs to be reviewed and reconsidered at this point. We're not going to want to leave any stone unturned in pursuit of better workplace safety and protecting our workers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you could clarify something (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I was just hearing from our (UNINTELLIGIBLE) someone who (UNINTELLIGIBLE) here.

Are just two miners being treated here now? Because the last (UNINTELLIGIBLE) was three. Did you actually (UNINTELLIGIBLE) families of three miners, do you know?

HUNTSMAN: Well, I don't want to divulge the specifics. Does anyone have any information on the numbers?

I think we'll let the hospital. I think they're very good at relaying that information when they feel the time is right. And I don't want to in any way preempt that, so we'll wait for them.

Thank you all very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

HARRIS: And there you have it, a news conference from Governor Huntsman - a news conference that we didn't expect. We thought we would get it, and then it was called off.

And there we go, as the governor is making his way inside the Castleview Hospital in Price, Utah, to visit with the families of the injured miners and rescue workers who are being treated there.

We didn't expect a news conference, and then there was quite a bit there that was covered by the governor. First of all, you heard him say that the underground rescue effort will cease for the time being. And then he set a pretty high bar for those underground efforts resuming once again, and basically saying that it is certainly up to MSHA to make the final call on it, but that he does not want to see these efforts resume until he is convinced they can take place safely.

We will talk more about what came out of this news conference with the governor in a moment, but quickly I've got to get to break. We'll be back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUNTSMAN: I am pushing for that to cease right now, unless MSHA and others can guarantee that it can continue safely with all involved. I think we need to be very, very careful.

Now, this is an MSHA call. I'm speaking as the governor of this state. And I'm speaking representing lots of people who care deeply about the safety of our workers in these communities. And we'll expect to hear tomorrow morning about the below-ground efforts.

But whatever happens, we're going to want to ensure that it is done safely. And that may take a little while.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: All right. Let's - boy, it's first thing in the morning, 2 a.m., nearly 2:30 a.m. there in Huntington and Price, Utah. Comments just a moment ago from the governor of Utah, John Huntsman.

Pretty significant, Dan Simon. And Dan, pretty significant, I think, for a news conference that we didn't expect, to hear the governor come out and say, look, yes, the operation, as you've been reporting, Dan, look, it's going to cease. And I'm going to set the bar pretty high for its resumption.

SIMON: Yes. I think you had to expect that almost right away you would have officials come out and say that the mining underground, this rescue operation has to come to a halt, because you simply cannot have more incidents like this occur, Tony.

I think what is going to happen - this is speculation totally on my part - I think that you will continue to have the drilling on the side of the mountain. That will continue. That is a safe operation to take place.

But until crews or MSHA can go in there and definitively say, look. We're not going to have any more casualties. We're not going to have any more injuries down in the mind. We really need to stop this and prevent any more tragedies like this from taking place.

HARRIS: But the reality of it is, how can Richard Stickler, or how can Bob Murray guarantee something like that?

You've been there since the very beginning. This operation has been stopped several times, because of these bumps.

SIMON: Yes. You really cannot predict it, Tony.

I don't know if it requires bringing in people down there who have more expertise in working in these conditions. I don't know if it requires bringing in a different kind of machinery to protect the rescuers when they're down there, or different materials to shore up the mine.

I think all of that really needs to be decided. And while they're doing that, no question about it - at least as you heard from the governor of this great state of Utah, that it's his preference that this operation comes to a screeching halt.

HARRIS: Yes, and interesting. So, you've got multiple forces at work here.

Clearly, it feels like what the governor is saying is that, "Richard Stickler, the ball is in your court squarely. You need to make a decision here. And look, the bar is being set. You need to be able to assure me and the people in this state and in these communities here that you can go about this effort, if that's what you choose, and do it safely and guarantee, as much as you can issue up a guarantee, that you can perform this operation safely."

And yet, we also know that there are people in the community that wants some sense of closure here and want this rescue effort to move forward.

SIMON: There is going to be an enormous amount of pressure on Mr. Stickler to halt this operation. There just has to be, because clearly, you can't have any more of these catastrophes to take place. You've already had two major catastrophes.

Let's just think about this. Eleven days ago ...

HARRIS: That's right.

SIMON: ... in all likelihood, you had one of these major seismic bumps occur for these miners when they were going about their daily jobs. And then for these rescuers all these days later, you had another one.

And this one probably was not as significant as the first one, Tony, and you have three fatalities.

HARRIS: Yes, good point. Dan Simon. Dan, if you would, stand by.

Let's get to Kara Finnstrom now. Kara, interesting. We didn't think we would hear from the governor. We thought we would hear from him, then the news conference was called off. And then we get to hear from the governor.

And I guess it was pretty obvious, he was on his way inside the hospital to meet with the families. KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT, PRICE, UTAH: Very impromptu. Actually, he was on his way out.

HARRIS: On his way out, OK.

FINNSTROM: Although he wouldn't share any details of - yes, on his way out - he wouldn't share any details of what he may have learned about the condition of those rescue workers in there. But he did say he had met with the families inside. And it looks like he may actually be going back inside, as well, now.

But he came out, spoke with us briefly, and as you just mentioned, really called for an end to this until the security of these rescue workers can be ascertained.

And he actually went a step further when we asked him whether, as the leadership of the state, felt anything could be done differently or would be pushing for any reforms. And he said it was premature to really speak to that too specifically.

He said, not only would the state leadership be taking a look at this, but Congress, he felt, would be taking a look at what went wrong here and what might need to be changed in the way of mine safety.

HARRIS: Well, that's not it. It ...

FINNSTROM: But he did say that ...

HARRIS: Yes, but Kara, that's not ...

FINNSTROM: Pardon?

HARRIS: Kara, that's not it.

FINNSTROM: But he did say that...

HARRIS: Yes. But, Kara, that's not - Kara, that's not it. He also mentioned that, he asked a question that we could follow up on. And I know you heard it: Should MSHA have the last and final call on workplace safety and safety issues?

FINNSTROM: Right, right. Yes, he was -- you could tell, you know, he feels that these rescue workers are in danger. And he has clearly felt that all along. You know, from the beginning, we've heard that. We've heard that from MSHA; we've heard that from the mine operators. They've been - they said they've been very cautious. You know, every couple of feet they've gone in, they've stopped, they've...

HARRIS: Yes.

FINNSTROM: ... you know, really kind of supported this mine - put in wire fence, put in support beams. That's why it has been so slow. You know, in 11 days we've only gotten about a third of the way to where these miners are believed to be trapped. But even with all of those precautions, obviously, it wasn't enough. HARRIS: Kara Finnstrom -- and you believe the governor may actually be going back in to the hospital at this point?

FINNSTROM: You know, I'm looking around to see. I haven't seen him drive off yet, so I'm not sure what his plans are.

HARRIS: Well, I know if you can, you will grab him for us.

FINNSTROM: I will keep you updated.

HARRIS: I know you will grab him if you can. Kara, appreciate it; thank you.

FINNSTROM: Yes, we do hope to get him back here.

HARRIS: OK, Kara, thanks.

Once again, a seismic bump happened Thursday evening at the Crandall Canyon Mine. A rescue team was inside. Three people are dead; six are injured. We've been hearing from our crews, but our affiliates are also on the scene.

KTVX spoke to one witness about that bump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was off duty; I had just finished my shift and was leaving the bathhouse when Costa (ph) and all the bosses started yelling about a balance that had happened and caved in the mine. They knew about five miners that had been buried. And by the time we were leaving, one they had in their truck and was beginning CPR.

KTVX CORRESPONDENT: What else could you see in there? Did you see people pulled out of the mine?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, we didn't actually get to see anybody pulled out of the mine. All we got to see was all the preparations and the rescue crews rushing in to get everybody out as fast as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED KTVX CORRESPONDENT: And what about you - were you taken away from there? Or were you allowed to stay there as this crisis was happening over there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, me and my cousin offered our help, but they said there is nothing we could do, we weren't trained for the situation. So we should just head home and wait it out and get rest for our next shift.

UNIDENTIFIED KTVX CORRESPONDENT: Now, Don (ph), you were saying that you were working there; you were off shift. Did you experience any commotion inside the mines this afternoon, as well?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I was, you know, mostly just in the beltline doing stuff like shoveling. I didn't really get that close to the base since I'm not that an experienced miner.

UNIDENTIFIED KTVX CORRESPONDENT: But you didn't - from what you were hearing this afternoon, there was no talk of other miners coming in and coming out, talking about balances?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, we just stayed all busy, and when the shift was over, we left.

UNIDENTIFIED KTVX CORRESPONDENT: So you were hustled out before any ambulances, before any of these workers were able to come out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we were told just to go home and wait it out.

UNIDENTIFIED KTVX CORRESPONDENT: This must be a tough experience for all of the rescuers out there, for those. How are you feeling right now, knowing that some of these folks are hurt because of the rescue attempt?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, it just makes you think about what you are doing in life and what could happen to you -- and mining, how dangerous it is. And you are worried about all of those other people because of their families and what they are leaving behind. It's just really hard to think about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: A mining community - everyone knows someone who is connected to that mine. We want to give you something of an explainer on these so-called bumps. Dan Simon talked to our severe weather expert, Chad Myers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I just spoke to an official with the Utah Natural Resources. She just arrived at the scene. She told me that there was a bump or some significant seismic activity in the mine and some rescuers were injured.

Of course, Mr. Murray has been talking about these bumps and these episodes of seismic activity all week. And, apparently, there was another episode just a short time ago. And, of course, there have been some injuries - still trying to get some more information, though.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Dan, keeping on what you are talking about, we are actually showing the seismic activity on a graph right now. Chad Myers is joining us now, the severe weather expert.

Chad, what are we looking at?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: What we are looking at is a halicore (ph). This is kind of a seismic recorder, but this is a digital one that they put on the Internet. And the San Rafael Swell, about 50 miles from the mine itself, had a couple of bumps today - one about four hours ago. This one here not big enough to get bigger than a 1.0 on the magnitude, so it didn't show up on USGS (ph).

But we got digging down in to the halicores (ph); we found one about four hours ago. And that one right there - that bump - was about 6:39 p.m. local time, Utah time, so 8:39 Eastern Time. And that was the biggest and the last bump that was around that mountain and around that halicore (ph). So this is the one that we are assuming they are talking about. It is a fairly large bump. It lasted about a minute. Every lining you see here is one minute, so the biggest shake, Anderson, was about 20 seconds, and then it just rumbled for another 40 seconds. But that is the one that caused this bump.

COOPER: And, Chad, what is the black bump that's above that?

MYERS: Same thing. This is four hours ago. And what they do, Anderson - I'll come across here. This is 15:00, 16:00, this is local time. So we are talking about this black line is the first 15 minutes of that hour. The red line is the next 15 minutes of that hour. The blue line is the 30 minutes. So this is 30, 35, all the way over to about 45 minutes. And then the black line is the hour, right on the hour itself. So the reason why that one is black and that one is blue is only because of what 15 minute period it fell in during the hour - that's all.

COOPER: So this was at 6:39 Utah time, you are saying?

MYERS: Yes, it was.

COOPER: OK, that corresponds to the hospital we just talked to, who said they got -- their helicopters were dispatched around 7:00 p.m., so it would seem to correlate that the helicopters were dispatched some 20, 21 minutes after this seismic bump.

And in terms of, you know, looking at that chart, could you tell what would that feel like?

MYERS: No, you couldn't tell, whatsoever. Both of these were probably just rock bursts, little mine collapses, and so the whole mountain kind of shakes a little bit. Nothing seismic when you are talking about two plates sliding against each other. You have so much pressure from 1,500 feet of sandstone above this mine, and then all you have are these coal columns - nothing (ph) pretty big. But as they are compressing, you are breaking coal out from the middle, and that coal is shooting out, and it obviously caused some damage and injured some men there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Myers, Anderson Cooper, and our Dan Simon talking about these bumps, these seismic bumps underground.

If you are just joining us, three miners - we weren't sure for a long time this evening whether they were MSHA workers who were part of the rescue effort, whether they were miners, but we learned a short time ago from Gov. Huntsman that three miners, in fact, were killed. The miners were part of the rescue team in the Crandall Canyon Mine, trying to rescue the six trapped miners - the six trapped miners in that mine for 11 days now. But the three miners were killed as a result of one of these underground seismic bumps, that were just described by Chad Myers.

We heard the governor a short time ago asking for prayers and thoughts for the families of not only the dead but also the injured, and for also the trapped miners as the effort continues. The underground - we should tell you - the underground rescue effort will cease for the time being, that from the governor. The aboveground drilling that has been going on will provide probably the best information, maybe the only information for the foreseeable future on the rescue effort moving forward.

We are going to take a break, and we will come back with more of our continuing coverage right here in the CNN Newsroom.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: CNN bringing you live coverage of the Utah mine collapse. A seismic bump last evening killed three miners and injured six others, all part of a rescue team searching for the six trapped miners.

Just moments ago, Utah's Gov. Jon Huntsman called for underground work to cease. Here he is:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JON HUNTSMAN, UTAH: I'm here with county commissioners, a couple of great mayors from Price and Huntington, a member of our House of Representatives, and I just want to express our deep, deep sense of sadness and condolences to the families of the three miners who were lost.

I just had the honor and privilege of being with some of the families in the hospital. These are good people; these are great people. And as I reminded them and as we were discussing earlier, there is nothing more selfless than giving your life in pursuit of saving another. And that is exactly what we witnessed tonight: Loss of life by those who went in the mine, whose sole purpose was to save the lives of others, and in so doing lost their own lives.

So we've asked already, people in the state and this country and throughout the world, in fact, to offer prayers and thoughts for the family members. And now, at this point, we ask for a few more. We just ask for a few more.

I want to thank our local communities here, who have come together in a most remarkable - I'm not going to say unprecedented, because they've come together before. There is a sense of strength and resiliency in our communities here that is just awesome and something that makes me, as governor, very, very proud.

It is the strength, mayors, that will sustain us over the next couple of days and, indeed, the weeks and the months ahead as we sort through what has happened and discuss with MSHA and the company where we go from here. Now, all we can say is this: It is from tragedy and adversity that we expect to become stronger and better. And I don't think anyone wants the lives of these heroes tonight to be lost in vain. It is from their lives and their experiences - indeed, the experiences of the past week and a half - that we are going to become better and smarter and safer.

And all I would say as it relates to what MSHA or anyone else is going to do in the next couple of days is, whatever it is, we as a state don't want any more injuries. We've had enough. And all I would say to Congress and to the regulators is, let's use these experiences over the last many days as examples and lessons for how we can begin to do things in the future a little bit better. I think this is a defining moment for the history of mining, and we all expect to come out of this better and smarter and safer.

Please continue praying and holding the families and loved ones of these lost miners in your thoughts and prayers. Meanwhile, we will look forward to meeting with MSHA tomorrow morning and the company to get word on what they expect to do in the hours and the days ahead, again, with a focus like never before on workplace and worker safety. Thank you all for being here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Gov. Jon Huntsman just a short time ago at Castleview Hospital in Price, Utah - that's where our Kara Finnstrom is right now.

And, Kara, those were the remarks from the governor, and then there was a brief Q & A session that followed. What came out of that? I believe you had an opportunity to get a couple of questions in.

FINNSTROM: Yes, just try to clarify with him what it is that he would like to see done here. And he really stressed that it's -- at this point, he wants to focus on the families and, obviously, how these rescuers are doing. But, at the same time, he said he doesn't want this rescue operation to go any further - and he made that perfectly clear - until MSHA can really, you know, guarantee that these miners are not going to be hurt. And the question is, how do you do that?

HARRIS: How do you do that?

FINNSTROM: They've been trying to take every safeguard they can.

Yes, I mean, they've been stomping every couple of feet, shoring up the mine, taking lots of precautions, and we're only a third of the way to where we believe these trapped miners are, within 11 days. So how do you do that? And it is going to be difficult, as well, because you still have the families of these six trapped miners that want them to proceed, that feel that maybe their loved ones could be alive. So really, it is going to be a very difficult day for this community tomorrow.

HARRIS: Kara, you have hit it. FINNSTROM: But...

HARRIS: Yes, you have really hit it. It is the push/pull that we've been hearing throughout our coverage this morning, and you've been a part of this, as well. There is, on one hand, a desire from folks in that community to sort of write the final chapter on this, to get those trapped miners out of that mountain; and on the other hand, there is this sense that you also don't want to proceed - oh, did we just lose her - that you don't want to proceed without knowing that it is absolutely safe to proceed. So that is the push/pull that you've been great in sort of bringing to the viewers this evening.

FINNSTROM: Yes, and it will be interesting to see how this all develops tomorrow. A lot of this community was asleep tonight as this all developed. It happened overnight here. But people waking up, obviously getting phone calls throughout the night. But I expect that we will hear a lot more from this community. They have been very vocal so far. They've been holding vigils and candlelight gatherings and fundraisers and really just trying to pull together.

So I imagine they will be very vocal tomorrow about how they feel they should proceed from here, because, keep in mind, the rescuers themselves are also family members. So, you know, you've got the original trapped miners; you've got the rescuers that are family members and friends, as well.

HARRIS: Do you still have that note? Wasn't there someone who gave you that? Do you still have that note?

FINNSTROM: You know, I do have the note, and I carried it around with me for a while because I really felt that...

FINNSTROM: And I do.

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS: Well, you have to read it because this is exactly what is going on in that community.

FINNSTROM: Right. This, again, is a note that was given to me by an older woman, a grandmother, at one of the fundraisers that we went to. And it simply reads - and she wanted me to keep this with me, she said, because she wanted me to have an idea of how involved this community is. And she says, "I am only one person like this," but it says: "I am proud to be a coalminer's daughter, mother, wife, grandmother, mother-in-law, sister, aunt, cousin, sister-in-law, neighbor, and friend." This is all -- these are all the connections that this one woman has, and this is the way this community really is. So it is going to be a very crushing blow for them.

HARRIS: Boy - Kara Finnstrom. Kara, appreciate it, thank you. Hang on to that note. Whatever you do, hang on to that note.

As we go to break here, first of all, let's just sort of recap this: Three miners killed last night in another one of these underground seismic bumps. Pictures from a couple of hours ago of the lifelike helicopter arriving at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center with one of the more seriously injured of miners, a part of that rescue team. So we have three miners dead, six others hurt.

I want to show you some pictures, because what we want to constantly do is put you on the ground and show you the very human face of this tragedy. The woman being hugged, her name is Maria Lerma, and she rushed to sort of the mouth of the Crandall Canyon Mine once she received word of this new event, this new accident. Adeline (ph) is her daughter. You're going to see her in just a second here, clinging to her mother, looking for any news on her dad. And there she is, in tears.

We are going to take a break, and we will come back and have more coverage of this second disaster at the Crandall Canyon Mine in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUNTSMAN: I am pushing for that to cease right now. Unless MSHA and others can guarantee that it can continue safely with all involved, I think we need to be very, very careful. Now, this is an MSHA call. I'm speaking as the governor of this state, and I'm speaking, representing lots of people who care deeply about the safety of our workers in these communities. And we'll expect to hear tomorrow morning about the below ground efforts. But whatever happens, we're going to want to ensure that it is done safely, and that may take a little while.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Gov. Jon Huntsman a short time ago here on CNN. And I wanted to just sort of tie up one other detail on the pictures that we showed you from the Associated Press just a couple of moments ago, and maybe, Roger (ph), you can roll those in. We showed you Maria Lerma and her daughter Adeline (ph) after they had rushed - found out the news , rushed to the mines to find out some information about Maria's husband, Natalio, who was a part of the rescue team. The good news for that family is that Natalio was not - was not - among those injured.

Getting more on the community surrounding the Crandall Canyon Mine, last hour, I spoke with a reporter, Pat Reavy from the "Deseret News."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

With us now from Price, Utah, Pat Reavy of the "Deseret News."

Pat, good to see you. Thanks for your time this morning. I have to ask you what it is like to be on the ground as these events - I'm assuming that you've been covering the story almost not from the beginning, but certainly close to the beginning. What kind of pressure now on mine officials, on Richard Stickler, to take some action here to come clean with everyone about the real safety of this rescue operation?

PAT REAVY, CORRESPONDENT, "DESERET NEWS": Well, I think that's the big question now is what will happen with the rescue operation. I know there are people huddling here -- media-wise at the hospital, people back up at the mine - and just waiting for word from either Mr. Stickler or Bob Murray. What now? Will the rescue operation continue?

HARRIS: What now - yes.

REAVY: Will it not continue? Will even the drilling continue? I mean, of course, amongst media speculation, they are supposed to start drilling that fourth hole to find out if they can hear or see anything underneath the mine. As I understand it, there is a press conference now scheduled for tomorrow, 11:00 Utah time, at which time, I'm sure a lot of these questions will be answered. I think the governor will be there; MSHA will be there; I'm sure Bob Murray will be there. And now the big question is, will that rescue operation continue?

HARRIS: We don't have -- we don't have an idea of the fate of the trapped miners, and yet we have three rescue workers who are dead. I mean, the irony of that is crazy. But I have to ask you: On the ground, they are covering this story -- and I know the answer to it, but I just want your perspective from being there and talking to folks -- how devastating is this news of the deaths last night?

REAVY: Well, of course, it is very devastating. And this is an area, this county, you know, that's built on mining, built on coalmining, and mining disasters are nothing new here. They have tragedies, and somehow they seem to pull together and continue on. And the mining doesn't stop, despite the tragedies. I've talked to several people here. In fact, just down the road from the hospital, there was a small candlelight vigil that sprung up since this happened. One of the people I've talked to there, one of the ladies - and I'm not sure if the names have been released -- she says that one of the people who died last night in the incident is actually a cousin of one of the trapped miners. We haven't confirmed that yet. But that just makes a double tragedy for that family. So I asked her, "Do you think the rescue effort should continue?" And she said, amazingly, "Yes."

I mean, just some of these families, there still has to be closure, I guess. Some of them feel the rescue efforts should continue. I talked to another woman, her feelings were mixed. So I think you will find a mixed reaction in the community. Some people feel, yes, there has to be closure for these families. Others feel, maybe it's not worth it anymore; maybe the mountain is telling them, You're not going to get these bodies back.

HARRIS: Wow. So at some point, there needs to be a final chapter written on this for folks to have that sense of closure. And then, there is probably the push/pull of what you mentioned earlier: This being a mining community, this is how this community earns its keep, earns its living; and at some point, there needs to be some closure so the people of that community can get back to the work that they do that sustains them.

REAVY: Right, and whether it is at this mine - which seems doubtful at this point...

HARRIS: Yes.

REAVY: ... or other mines, you know, mining will continue in this community. Everything here is, you know, traces back to the community, whether you are directly a miner or not. Whether you are the guy who is flipping burgers at the Burger King, the only reason you're there is because the whole community was built up around you for mining.

HARRIS: Yes. And, Pat, that is so interesting. And remind us again for anyone who might just be joining us, you're getting word that there will be a news conference, I am imagining, with Richard Stickler; I'm imagining, with the governor of Utah; also with Bob Murray. What time are you hearing of that news conference is scheduled for?

REAVY: We're hearing 11:00 at the base of the mine, where there has been that base camp now for 11 days, 11:00 Mountain Time.

HARRIS: You know, I was about to let you go, but I just have to ask you one more quick question: What has your reporting, what are you learning about the real safety issues - fines, violations - maybe more of the back-story of that mining operation. I mean, it's probably worth, at this point, revisiting some of the information that, perhaps, you have learned in your reporting on the real conditions and the real safety record of the Crandall Canyon Mine.

REAVY: Right. You know, that hasn't been my expertise in this reporting. I've been kind of more on the ground, at the base of the mine for a week. I know our other reports have dug up information that, yes, this mine has violations. Of course, Mr. Murray, who owns the mine, he counters some of those violations, as he calls it, for forgetting the toilet paper in the outhouse or something like that. So he says many of them were minor. But to be honest, I just don't know to the extent...

HARRIS: That's good.

REAVY: ... or severity of some of those violations.

HARRIS: Yes, that's good. I just thought I'd maybe explore that with you. But, Pat, I appreciate that.

Pat Reavy of the "Deseret News," joining us from Price, Utah.

Pat, I appreciate your time, thank you.

REAVY: Thank you.

HARRIS: The mine rescue effort in Huntington, Utah, took another turn overnight. Six miners remain trapped, and a rescue crew was inside the mine searching for them when a so-called seismic bump happened. Three rescuers were killed; six others injured. The governor is now calling for a halt of the rescue operation, while now even more families wait and pray and hope for any news.

Our coverage continues now with Kiran Chetry, Rob Marciano, and your "AMERICAN MORNING."

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