Miners Trapped in Mine Following Explosion

In Tuscaloosa county, at least three people are dead and nine others are missing following Sunday's explosion in one of the nation's deepest coal mines. Dennis Hall spoke Monday on behalf of Jim Walter Resources, and said falling rocks hit a battery generator in the Blue Creek number five mine about 5:45 p.m. Sparks from the accident ignited a pocket of methane gas.

Authorities had not released the identities of the dead miners as of Monday afternoon. Hall said one other person is in critical condition and three more are in stable condition. Twenty three workers were in the mine at the time of the accident, which at 2,200 feet is described by the company as the deepest vertical shaft coal mine in North America. The explosion was the latest in a series of accidents at Jim Walter Resources. Last month, a construction worker died after falling thirty five feet in the coal processing building at mine number four.