Mine Fire
4:36 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Three miners badly burned in coal-dust fire

North Antelope Rochelle Mine
Credit NASA

Three miners are being treated for serious burns after a coal-dust fire at the North Antelope Rochelle mine on Tuesday.

The fire started while the workers were changing a bearing on a conveyor, according to Amy Louviere, a spokesperson for the Mine Safety and Health Administration. She writes in an email that coal dust filled the space the workers were in, and was ignited by the machinery. The agency is investigating.

The North Antelope Rochelle mine is owned by Peabody Energy. A company spokesperson says the workers were mine employees, and that Peabody will also conduct an internal investigation. The company didn't respond to a request for the worker's names.

The last major incident at the mine was in 2011, when a contract worker was killed.

The Casper-Star Tribune reports that the miners are being cared for at a burn center in Colorado.