While containing and putting out the fire, company officials, along with federal and state authorities, monitored CO and methane levels, according to CONSOL representatives. The surveys allowed CONSOL personnel to determine heat source and growth – and whether it trended down or leveled off.
By the end of this week, technicians had drilled their first borehole near the Orndoff shaft, as a camera was lowered to determine the airflow location of the heat source; light smoke but no fire was detected, CONSOL officials added. A further phase will continue this weekend after water is pumped into the mine via the first borehole; three drilling rigs were also onsite at week’s end to drill additional boreholes.
To date, it remains unclear when mining at the site can resume.