MSHA orders mine rescuers to carry more air

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- New federal rules will require mine rescue teams to carry more air underground.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration said Monday the rules double the capacity of self-contained breathing equipment to four hours.

MSHA says the rules also require two extra oxygen bottles for every six sets of breathing equipment.

Rescue teams also must have eight hours of liquid air, liquid oxygen, pressurized oxygen or oxygen-generating and carbon-dioxide absorbing chemicals to extend breathing equipment.

MSHA says teams must carry four detectors for each gas that may be encountered, up from the old requirement of two.

MSHA director Richard Stickler says it's critical for teams to have the latest equipment to rescue injured or trapped miners.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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