In New Market, Tennessee a fire broke out around 1:10 p.m. EST at a zinc mine with 54 miners underground at the time. When the fire started, 51 of those miners made it out safely, but three were trapped with two injured.
Trapped Tennessee miners were able to find a safe area underground about a mile from the fire where they were away from smoke.
Tim Wilder of the Jefferson County EMA said there is an access road that emergency workers will drive down to reach them and described the fire as still smoking, but not burning.
It’s still unclear as to how the fire started at the Tennessee mine. Sammy Solomon, captain of the New Market Volunteer Fire and
Rescue in Jefferson County reported that the fire was on a drill rig that was about 800 feet deep. The drill rig in the TN Zinc Mine is ran with diesel so there is smoke in the mine from the burning.
The state labor department mine rescue team was on location of the zinc mine to assist. The rescuers had to ventilate the smoke from the mine before getting the trapped miners out. About an hour after the fire, the Tennessee trapped miners were able to make it to the surface. At that time, Amy Louviere, a spokeswoman with the Mine Safety and Health Administration, said “The miners are in good condition and they are not in the smoke.”
The two injured miners were taken to a hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
The mine is operated by Nyrstar, a Switzerland company and is located about 25 miles northeast of Knoxville, TN.