Rescue efforts for four missing people continue at mine in Raleigh County

 The West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training (MHS&T) continues to aid the Raleigh County Sheriff, the Boone County Sheriff, West Virginia State Police and mine officials in the ongoing search for four individuals reported missing late Saturday near the Elk Run Coal Company’s Rock House Powellton Mine in Clear Creek, WV.

Rough terrain and heavy snow prevented the rescue team from accessing the mine portal where the abandoned ATV was found.

A team of four rescuers, comprised of two members from MHST and two from parent company Alpha Natural Resources, entered the mine through an alternate entrance at approximately 1 p.m. Sunday to begin the search.  The rescuers were blocked by water and forced to exit the mine.

Efforts are currently underway this morning to gain access to the mine entrance where the four are believed to have entered the mine.

The West Virginia National Guard, through the coordination with the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, is providing a team of six soldiers and three Humvees to assist MHS&T, mine officials and law enforcement in the ongoing search efforts.  Soldiers and assets from WV National Guard will be used to transport equipment and personnel to the mine entrance.

The MHS&T mine rescue team was activated early Sunday morning after an abandoned ATV the individuals were believed to be riding was found near the mine entrance.

Additional updates will be provided as they become available.

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com