By Greg Fenrick

A safety/rescue chamber is an airtight, reinforced box stocked with food, water and oxygen supplies to protect miners who become trapped underground. The most telling evidence that rescue chambers save lives is shown in what experts are calling a textbook fashion at the Mosaic Potash Mine in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, Canada, where 72 miners were successfully rescued. The 72 miners were rescued after being trapped underground for 30 hours, thanks to a similar box called a mine rescue chamber.

However, there is controversy. Bob Friend, acting deputy director of MSHA, said when asked to explain MSHA’s inaction on coal industry rescue chambers. “It’s totally different than metal and non-metal mines.” Friend said that rescue chambers would not work in some small coal mines where coal seams are not tall enough to allow them to be installed. Also, Friend said, coal seams can catch fire, spreading flames to rescue chambers. Rescue chambers could also be damaged or destroyed by dust explosions, Friend said.

Coal Safety Chamber Manufacturers

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