The death toll from a blast at a West Virginia coal mine rose to 25 on Tuesday, federal safety officials said, making it the worst mining accident in the United States in 25 years.
A recovery operation was called off early Tuesday morning because high levels of methane gas made the mine unsafe for rescuers. Workers were boring holes into the mine to try to get more oxygen inside, an effort that was not expected to be completed for several hours.
“The bodies will not be recovered until the mine is ventilated,” Ronald L. Wooten, the state’s mine health safety director, said at a news conference early Tuesday.
Sympathies go out to their families.