Day 4 - Thursday, April 8, 2010
5 a.m.: Rescuers re-enter the mine after monitoring air quality all night.
9 a.m.: Rescuers travel by mantrip and on foot to a point about 5 miles into the mine when they are forced to stop and exit because of dangerous gases. They are able to leave behind equipment, which will allow them to move more quickly once they can get back into the mine.
- Crews resume drilling boreholes for ventilation into the mine.
- The injured miner at Raleigh General Hospital is released, but his family asks for privacy.
Day 5 - Friday, April 9, 2010
12:30 a.m.: Two rescue teams enter the mine after air conditions are deemed safe enough.
7 a.m.: They are again forced to retreat early after smoke was found, indicating a fire somewhere in the mine.
- Rescuers reach one of two underground emergency shelters, finding it had not been deployed. They are forced to abandon the search, however, before checking the second rescue chamber.
- Stricklin says crews have begun pumping nitrogen into the mine in hopes of neutralizing potentially explosive gases and allowing rescuers to go back in.
2:30 p.m.: Two eight-member rescue teams go back underground; Stricklin says it will take crews three-and-a-half to four hours to reach the second emergency chamber.
- Funerals for four of the victims whose bodies were recovered earlier are held.
Day 6 - Saturday, April 10, 2010
- Manchin announces early Saturday morning that the four missing miners had been found dead. “We did not receive the miracle that we prayed for,” the governor said. “So this journey has ended, and now the healing will start.”
- The mission turns from rescue to recovery as crews begin carrying the remaining bodies from the mine.
- With the death toll now at 29, the explosion at Performance Coal Company’s Upper Big Branch mine officially becomes the worst mining disaster in the U.S. since 1970, when 38 miners died in an explosion in Hyden, Ky.
- Two more funerals are held.
- Hundreds of people gather near Marsh Fork Elementary School to honor the lost miners.