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Chapter 8: Geographical Applications > 8.2 Mining Industry

8.2 Mining Industry

Coal mining is one of the most dangerous work environments in the world. On the 3rd August 2007, six miners were trapped at the Crandall Canyon mine Utah, USA. A shaft 6.4 cms and 26 cms was drilled and an omni-directional microphone and video camera were lowered down and an air sample was taken. The measurements were 20% O2, little CO2 and no CH4. The amount of O2 was sufficient enough to sustain life for some additional days, the absence of methane gave hope that there would be no immediate danger of explosion and the absence of CO2 and the evidence from the camera and the microphone undermined the expectation of finding the lost persons alive. It took six days just to gather this evidence, which was absolutely essential for coordinating the rescue tasks. Moreover, this time the source of the disaster was a seismic shift but this is not the only cause. Explosions sparked by methane gas and coal dust which mean that CO cannot disperse into the air producing poisoning gases are other causes.


  

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