A fire broke out around 5:45 p.m. Thursday on a belt line about 10,000 feet into at an Aracoma Coal Co. mine in Melville, Logan County. Aracoma is a Massey Energy subsidiary.
According to Doug Conaway, director of the West Virginia Office of Miners Health, Safety and Training, 10 members of a 12-man crew escaped that portion of the mine at Melville and joined with another mine crew to leave the mine on a piece of diesel equipment.
The bodies of the two trapped miners were found Saturday afternoon (Jan 21) by the mine rescue team. Doug Conaway made the announcement at 4:45 p.m. stating that "it appeared the two miners were trying to make a valiant effort to get outside".
The deceased miners were Don Bragg, 33, a married father of two from Accoville, West Virginia, and Ellery "Elvis" Hatfield, 47, a married father of four from Simon, West Virginia.