This is a bonafide miracle. 12 of the 13 trapped coal miners are alive. (VIDEO)


Tonight, there’s joy in the Mountaineer State!

  • Miners had been trapped for nearly 40 hours
  • Church bells ring as families told the good news
  • Loved ones’ distress turns into “pure joy”
  • One miner found dead before other 12 discovered


Twelve miners caught in an explosion in a coal mine were found alive Tuesday night, more than 41 hours after the blast, family members said.

Bells at a church where relatives had been gathering rang out as family members ran out screaming in jubilation.

Relatives were yelling “They’re alive!”


One miner was found dead earlier Tuesday, the mine’s owner, International Coal Group Inc. said.

Neither the company nor the govenor’s office immediately confirmed the news.

There were hugs and tears among the crowd outside the Sago Baptist Church locacted near the mine, about 100 miles northeast of Charleston.

Unreal. After following the story today, it seemed extremely unlikely that anyone would be found alive. Yet tonight, twelve are alive.


About the 13th miner who was found dead earlier today – He’s been identified as Fire Boss Terry Helms, 50, of Newburg, West Virgina. FOX News is saying that Helms could have died when the actual explosion occurred and not after. That hasn’t been confirmed yet. Earlier – Video report confirming death of one of the miners.


— Graphic: The Rescue Effort
Photos of Celebration

OTHERS: Reuters | NPR (Audio) | MSNBC | VOA | 580 CFRA Canada | WSFA Alabama | Radio New Zealand | ABC News | WESH-TV 2 | News.com.au Australia | KMBC-TV Kansas City | Washington Post | New York Times | BBC | USAToday | KXLY News 4 |

RELATED: Mines safer, but still deadly | Video report – Safety questions raised | Cause of blast remains unknown | Safety a concern for owners of stricken mine |


  1. Praise the Lord for miracles!!! Such a wonderful event to discover the 12 Miners alive. May God be with the Helms family through this difficult time. Please do take a moment to count your blessings and help thy neighbor. Amen.

  2. I’ve looked at the sequence of events regarding the mine incident. First everyone prays, then “it’s a miracle” and “the lord takes care of them”. Then they find 12 dead instead of alive.

    Then, I guess it’s a tragedy, but do they blame god? No, they blame the mine and/or say it was their time and God knows what is best for them. It’s on God if they are alive.

    This sort of hypocrisy is dangerous and misleading. God doesn’t blow people up in mines and God doesn’t save them. Such beliefs are misleading and can be considered a promotion of societal neurosis.

    What happened here is a human tragedy. Let’s not start assiging blame yet, especially to a deity.

  3. John, well aren’t you brilliant! It seems you know little about religion, so I won’t waste my time there. You ought to take the time to understand it before running around condescending and vomiting all over as many people as you can.

    Well, we all know that liberalism is a religion of its own. You believe in your faith blindly, radically, and hatefully. Only a truly hateful person could make the above post.

    Instead of being saddened that 12 were dead, you are instead elated that you can go after people of religious faith.

    I don’t even go to church but every other Christmas, but I don’t hold people in contempt that have found meaning in it. It’s funny, liberals used to be the most open minded accepting people, and over the last 5 years you have become the most hate filled closed minded people around. You ought to stop, look in the mirror, and ask why you are so radicalized by your own hate filled religion, liberalism.

    I am saddened that only one person is left alive.

  4. Hello Jay, I figured someone like you might respond to something that was not in the norm of conciliatory at such a time (or at least your perception of the norm or conciliatory). I consider myself as fitting quite well within the definition of a conservative republican, which does not mean I ignore issues though they may not fit in the narrow view of polarized thought that some would exercise. Strange that republicans think I’m a democrat and that democrats think I’m a republican on a regular basis. I weigh issues on merit and reason and proceed from there.

    As I mentioned, and you ignored, this is a human tragedy. Let’s not focus on blame.

    I have not vomited in decades actually, so I’m not sure how you come up with that descriptor.

    Also, I’m not elated that 12 are dead so again your political correctness is showing.

    You also say I am hateful so I must consider the possibility that you are just narrow minded and ignorant, since you are pulling these things out of the air with such careless abandon.

    The last comment of “you are so radicalized by your own hate filled religion, liberalism.” Wow, I bet you think you know what you’re talking about, huh.

    12 people died and all you can come up with are diatribes rather than rational and reason based in a semblance of concern over your apparent politically religious attitude toward the republican party. I would never take party politics and polarized agendas that far, but as you said, “John, well aren’t you brilliant!” Well, I hope you can get past your facetious attitude and find a modicum of truth to lead you out of the dark shadows of narrow-mindedness.

    Lastly, I’m saddened that it happened in the first place. I was just commenting on the absurdity of the claims that god saved them, which was followed 3 hours later by the reality that god didn’t save them.

  5. I think John maes a good point. It’s one of the first things I thought of this morning when i saw the [revised] news.

    Of course, John goes too far with “societal neurosis”, but that’s just bigoted anti-religion boilerplate.

    The rest is worth pondering.

  6. But John, you do say that their “hypocrisy is dangerous and misleading.” What is dangerous and misleading about people praying to a God for help, and then praising Him when they believed that their loved ones were safe? How is that dangerous? Do you think that those who were in the church praying should have been instead, in the mine digging with their bare hands? That would not have helped any more than praying. In fact, that would have been more dangerous.
    Nor is it misleading to pray to a God to help when there is nothing more that you can physically do to help yourself. If these people stood around and prayed to God to save a drowning man instead of throwing him a life preserver that was nearby, then your statement would make sense. But to use it in this context seems simply to belittle those who chose to pray when they had nothing else to do. Your intellectual superiority is admirable, but in this context, is, ahem, dangerous and misleading.


    ***scroll for updates…Grieving family members ‘lunged at company officials’…1009am EST company news conference scheduled shortly…*** Editor and Publisher recounts the cruel media twists and turns last night as miners’ families were led to believe…

  8. This is the truth. God can allow whatever He wants. Its why He’s “God”. There’s actually a place in that one thingy that says “Praise God in all things.” Not just the good, but the poor as well. Faith is supposed to be ubiquitous.
    Please avoid thoughts such as “It’s easy for you to say because its not you who has just lost someone.” You don’t know who I am, or what I’ve endured in my life. That one book like transcript also says “I say that all the tribulations of those world does not even compare to the glory that awaits us in heaven.” And “I count all things as garbage compared to the gain of Christ.”
    We should know the story of Job, Joseph, and even of Paul that after accepting Christ was stoned, beaten, shipwrecked and spent the majority of his Christian life in prison before he was executed.
    Faith is submission to God, in all things.
    I praise God that this event as again stirred an opportunity for Christians to share their faith, because for the most part, they don’t, until some tragedy overwhelms them.

  9. I overlooked a needed correction. “thoes world” is ment to be “this world”. I would not what it to be read that all the suffering of “thoes” does not compare…

  10. Thank you to John and Tim for more reasonable answers.

    I must admit I am somewhat naïve as I did not realize there are bigoted anti-religion boilerplates. When I referred to societal neurosis I can relate it in a multitude of directions. Such as “societal neurosis” when a person or persons believe in something that reaches beyond what might be considered normal reasoning in the aggregate of consideration, such as while operating under a belief system, thinking that if one blows oneself up, one gets 72 virgins. Or, as another example, whilst participating in pagan rituals and denying they are pagan such as in the Catholic religion where one eats the body and drinks the blood of Christ (although many Catholics believe this merely to be symbolic the pope recently purported that it is not a symbol, but actually the body and blood of Christ, which then relegates the belief system to not just pagan ritual but to cannibalism. In the context of the incident and beliefs of those praying for their loved ones, it may certainly comfort one to pray under duress, as many would argue that one should meditate under duress if one were more in an eastern modality, but the process has, as most anyone that has experienced while participating in a culture of belief, the potential to cause a degree of unrealistic if not unhealthy hope. One can argue that hope is never bad and I would likely participate in that belief, as long as it did not detract from a proportionate and rational sense of reality.

    Tim, you also make some good points which I am considering. In the context given the arguments hold up quite well. I must admit that I am generally against belief systems as they have a tendency to corrupt people and in human history beliefs have been a great cause of death and destruction. So when I consider the value of prayer in this context it gives me some pause. Once peoples gather and pray under a belief system, it always seems to breed some degree of fanaticism that can become quite destructive. It also has some other nefarious attributes that can have a negative impact. Simply put, it tends to polarize thought which seems to detract from growth of peoples, societies, even wisdom itself can easily become victim to vision narrowed by a belief system.

    As to Diggs’ post. My girlfriend has just asked. What does Christianity have to do with God, God is bigger than one religion.

    What does god have to do with belief. If you know then you don’t need to believe, you already know. There is no need for faith.

    If Diggs was born and raised Muslim, how would he feel about Christians, or Jews. I have spoken to more than a few Muslims that say Jews are the problem in the world.

    As to the statement “It’s easy for you to say because its not you who has just lost someone.” There are few that have been around on this planet for some amount of time that have not experienced the profound nature of loss. My capacity for empathy is not so limited as he may assume.

    He does bring up a good point though. It is often when disasters happen that faith seems to awaken. But there is another way to look at that. Realistically, faith tends to awaken when fear rises. I would not disagree with Einstein’s perspective:

    “I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.”

    Maybe religion is merely the mortar of humanities misunderstanding… filling in the gaps that lie between reason and imperfection…

    Maybe it is precisely the hole in ones understanding that has fits and thereby becomes the motive for necessity being the mother of all invention, for religions of all time. That mankind is not daring enough to accept the reality that chaos is the nature of the universe.

    Maybe the weakness lies in mans lack of willingness to take responsibility for ones own actions?

    Well, that’s enough for me, it’s been a long day and in my part of the world, it’s quite late and I have been working all day. Wishing all well and may our futures be more open minded and less diminishing.

  11. my thought and prayers are with all these family’s but god only knows the
    day and the hr we are to leave this earth… so we have to put our faith in god if we believe we will someday meet our loved ones to be bitter or lay blame is useless its no ones fault it was a awful thing but …. listening to mr hatfiefd i truly believe he done every thing in his power to help get these minners out and to keep the familes imformed with that many people on the ground there are gonna be imformation leaks… people hear a little bit of something and it spreds like wild fire. they was all looking for hope but deep down they new there was little chance that they all was alive we should all be grateful for the one that made it that was a true marcial….. every body who works in mines know the dangers and they also thake that risk for money so as i feel for all the famlies i cant blame the company celia

  12. Celia is right, anyone who works underground does so fully aware of the increased risks. But, after decades of improved safety regulation, monitoring and investment by mining companies and governments, mines are safer today than they have been in the past.

    However, an act of God did not trap these men, nor would an act of God have saved them. Under certain conditions, explosions WILL occur. Modern training and safety systems are designed to increase the odds of survival. Sometimes, though, all the training and technology will not be enough to save lives.

    Perhaps we should apply the same level of diligence and regulation to the media. The pain and damage caused by the RECKLESS rush to publish an unchecked and unsubstantiated rumor is truly despicable. Shame…


  13. Correction: I just realised that I was refering to Tim, then Diggs, then Me VII in my last post.

    Actually, this was my first time writing on a blog. It seems a wonderful way to share ideas!

    Celia indicates that god is the dictator of when one leaves this earth. I don’t think it is fair, or even kind to god, to say he is responsible for each persons death. It kind of puts god in a bad light. If a man gets drunk and runs over a 3 year old child that knew more smiles than tears, I would have a hard time saying god decided to take her away, or god killerd her. I would more likely believe that a man got drunk and was so irresponsible that he decided to get in his car when he should not have. To blame god seems evil. One might even call it “societal neurosis”.

    I am more inclined to agree with Greg, that this is just a tragedy that has happened. The mining companies safety records have greatly improved and there are inherent dangers in the job. If there was any fault at all, any subsequent investigation may reveal that. Maybe better monitoring of gas levels and ventilation systems? Questions and time will tell.

  14. ok if you dont want to believe that god in in everyday lives and events thats fine … so how about this .. the miners know the risk they are paid very well and want to do this…. what about the police officer the military men and women.. fire men and women they put there lives on the line every day with no where near the pay for the risk they take… and we always get false imfo when it comes to the military who really knows what goes on .. by the way this is my second time i have ever been on a blog this time and on the 4th celia

  15. and no i dont think god is a dictator he is the creator and it makes no differance if you want to call him god or what ever its still a super being or power celia

  16. Hello Celia, My apologies, I must have misunderstood you. I admit to my attempt to interpret to a degree your statement “but god only knows the day and the hr we are to leave this earth…” I assumed, maybe incorrectly that you were one that might lean toward the idea that god decides when one lives or when one dies.

    I have met people that have thought this before and always found it disturbing.

    With regard to police officers, military and firemen and women, they are all fine careers and have very nice salaries in my opinion. My brother is a police officer and has a very nice life. I don’t know about the salary of a coal miner? As for myself I have worked for and been around the military most of my life.

    As to the idea of a super being. Well, I don’t know, but it seems with the creation of so many religions, I would think god is more the construct of a lack of understanding on the part of man, as opposed to a super being. It’s like peripheral vision, when we can’t see it, the brain fills it in. Maybe people just like believing in a super being so that the feel more comfortable with existence?

    My own thoughts on the matter tend toward the wonder of life and the magic of existence. I don’t think there is an afterlife in the sense that most would probably like to believe. I do think that by being positive and trying to add to existence we all add something good to life and that may have an affect that lives beyond our own physical existence.

    Like a boat that passes through water leaving a wake in its passing, our lives leave a wake. If one lives a good life the wake may be a positive force, if one lives a nefarious or negative life, one may leave behind a negative force in passing.

    Maybe this is really the truth of an afterlife, that all these gods and religions are merely an attempt to understand the simple realities of life, living and even passing unto death. Wishing you well. John

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