The following are a few facts about the Alma coal mine in West Virginia, and the fire that broke out on Thursday night:
NAME: Alma No. 1 mine, owned by Aracoma Coal, a subsidiary of Massey Energy Co., based in Richmond, Va.
LOCATION: Melville, W.Va., 60 miles southwest of Charleston and some 400 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.
SIZE: Labyrinth with four passageways, each about 4 miles long. Mine extends some 900 feet below ground.
FIRE SITE: The point where a side conveyor belt meets the main line that brings the coal out.
WHO WAS IN THE MINE: Twenty-one miners.
WHERE THEY WERE: About 10,000 feet from the entrance.
TIME OF FIRE: A carbon monoxide monitor set off an alarm at 5:36 p.m.
NUMBER WHO ESCAPED: 19.