MONTCOAL, W.Va. (BP)--As families waited to hear whether rescuers would be able to reach the four miners still missing after Monday's explosion, a Southern Baptist on the scene said anxiety was mounting.
"We're starting to feel the brunt of the stress of being here for going on two days now," Charlie Minney, associational missionary for the Coalfields Association of Southern Baptists in Logan, W.Va., told Baptist Press.
"Family members don't want to leave for fear they'll miss out on news, so the stress level is starting to get a little more intense," Minney said just after 11 a.m. Eastern time April 7. "They're starting to grieve a little more openly. The room will be quiet and all of a sudden someone will break out in sobbing."
Minney is among several area pastors onsite to counsel families after the worst U.S. mining accident in more than two decades killed 25 people April 5 and left four missing.
"We're working with several different denominations, but onsite as we speak, we have nine Southern Baptist ministers and we have more coming in this afternoon," Minney said.
Crews had drilled one hole and were working on two more so that highly combustible methane gas could be ventilated from the ground, allowing rescuers to reenter the mine in search of the four who may have been able to find refuge in an airtight safety chamber. Read More