NEW MARKET, Tenn. (AP) — A fire broke out inside a zinc mine in Tennessee on Wednesday, trapping three miners inside and injuring two others, authorities said.
The trapped miners were speaking to rescuers. They made it to a safe area more than one mile underground, said Tim Wilder of the Jefferson County EMA. He said there is an access road that emergency workers will drive down to reach them. He described the fire as still smoking, but not burning.
There were 54 miners underground at the time of the fire and 51 made it out safely, according to Amy Louviere, a spokeswoman with the Mine Safety and Health Administration. She said the miners that were trapped were in good condition, away from the smoke.
They made contact with the surface about an hour after the fire started on a drill rig about 800 feet below the ground. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said the fire started around 1:10 p.m. EST.
It was not clear yet how the fire started at the Young mine about 25 miles northeast of Knoxville. The mine is operated by the Switzerland based company Nyrstar. The company's mine rescue team has entered the mine and will establish a fresh air base, Louviere said.
The two injured miners were taken to a hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.