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Three rescuers killed in search for Utah miners, search suspended


HUNTINGTON, Utah (AP) -- The head of the United Mine Workers of America is blaming the owners of the Utah mine and federal officials for the deaths of three rescue workers in a deadly cave-in.

A statement from the union's president says that the lives of the workers were "jeopardized because of the acts of men."

Meanwhile, federal officials have met today with several family members of the still-trapped miners. State Representative Brad King, who represents central Utah's coal belt, attended the briefing, but says government and mine officials didn't say what their next step was.

Last night's cave-in was believed to be caused by what seismologists call a "mountain bump," in which shifting ground forces chunks of rock from the walls.

Search suspended indefinitely

The search for six trapped coal miners in Utah has now been suspended indefinitely. This, after three of the searchers were killed last night in a cave-in at the mine.

The head of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration says officials don't know if there's any way to continue the underground operation while also assuring safety for the rescuers.

Yesterday's cave-in was apaprently caused by what seismologists call a "mountain bump." It involves shifting ground, which forces chunks of rock from the walls.

The seismologists say that's also what caused the initial cave-in in August 6th that trapped six men more than three miles inside the mine.

A spokesman at the University of Utah, where seismologists are watching the activity, says it appears that the mountain is "collapsing in slow motion."

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