Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Update on Fire at Soudan Mine

I mentioned earlier about the unfortunate fire at the only underground laboratory in the US at the Soudan mine. Several new reports on the update appear to show that the fire is now under control, and investigations are ongoing on the possible cause of the fire.

After fire-fighting efforts over the weekend, in which thousands of gallons of foam and water were sprayed into the mine, the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center reported on Sunday that the fire was 99% extinguished. Fire officials will only declare the blaze officially "out" once its source has been located and any smouldering ashes or embers have been extinguished.

A three-man team has already descended down the lift shaft to restart some of the pumps. By Sunday night they had reached the physics lab on level 27, where they encountered a large amount of foam, which seems to have prevented them from entering the lab. The laboratory's back-up systems, however, including infrared sensitive cameras, have so far indicated that the laboratory seems to have escaped the initial fire.

Phew! I'm crossing all fingers and toes and hoping that the lab has been spared of any serious damage when they finally get to go in for a closer inspection. We all need and deserve some good news lately.


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