A Lifesaving Beacon for Miners

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 11:28 in Health & Medicine

InSeT System Cost to Develop: $475,000 Time: 2 years Prototype | | | | | Product In January 2006, an explosion rocked West Virginia’s Sago coal mine, trapping 13 miners. Rescuers searched an area 500 feet wide by two miles long and didn’t reach the miners until 41 hours after the blast, eventually pulling out 12 bodies and one survivor. Jim Ponceroff, who led a rescue team, says that the biggest challenge in recovering miners is locating them quickly so that engineers can drill a borehole for fresh air and, ultimately, rescue. Sago, like most of the country’s nearly 900 active mines, relied on radios that transmit signals over a thin wire that’s easily damaged in a cave-in. read more

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