The latest results from a fourth hole drilled more than 1,500 feet into the mountainside above the Crandall Canyon Mine found that the air quality could not sustain life, said Rob Moore, vice president of the Murray Energy Corporation, a co-owner of the mine. "It's likely these miners may not be found," Mr. Moore said at a news conference. Asked if they would not be found alive or if their bodies would not be found, Mr. Moore replied, "It's possible they may not be found." He would not elaborate, but his statement marked a decided shift from earlier in the day when he had emphasized that the effort at the mine remained a rescue -- not a recovery -- operation. Work began Sunday afternoon on a fifth bore hole into another section of the mine, in the hope that the miners may have sought refuge there. The 2,039-foot hole was expected to be completed in 58 hours, said Richard E. Stickler, an assistant secretary of labor and director of the Mine Safety and Health Administration. If any miners were found alive, Mr. Stickler said, water, food and other essentials could be pushed down the hole to sustain them. But Mr. Moore did not hold out much hope that the fifth hole would be more successful than the others. "It's likely we'll see similar results there," he said. Mr. Moore's pessimistic words coincided with bitter ones used Sunday by some miners and their families to criticize how mining officials had dealt with the initial collapse on Aug. 6 and with a failed tunneling effort that ended Thursday when three miners were killed in a cave-in. "We feel that they've given up and that they are just waiting for the six miners to expire," The Associated Press quoted Sonny Olsen, a spokesman for the families, as saying. Mr. Olsen read from a prepared statement as about 70 relatives of the trapped miners stood behind him. The families called for rescuers to begin drilling a 30-inch hole that could accommodate a rescue capsule. "They're fed up," said Lonna Jelsma, a short-order cook at the Outlaw Cafe in Wellington where miners often come for lunch. "They're all telling me they shouldn't be doing retreat mining in the first place because it's too dangerous." A miner leaving the cafe yelled, "That guy Murray needs to go back to where he came from, back to Ohio." He was referring to Robert E. Murray, a veteran miner and the chief executive of Murray Energy, who throughout the ordeal has publicly defended the industry in general and his company in particular. Mr. Murray has said no retreat mining was being done at Crandall Canyon when the collapse occurred. In retreat mining, the pillars supporting an area of the mine are removed or reduced to extract as much coal as possible. Kirsti Loveland said her husband and other miners who escaped Thursday night were angry and frustrated by the conditions of the rescue effort. Ms. Loveland said that her husband, who works at another mine owned by Murray Energy, was told he had to work on the rescue effort although he thought it was too dangerous, and that he had been earning less than he did during his regular mining shifts. "He is angry and very emotional," Ms. Loveland said of her husband, whom she would not name because she feared he would lose his job. Murray Energy's general counsel, Mike McKown, denied that miners were obligated to work on the rescue effort. "They are all volunteers," Mr. McKown said. "They are happy to help. They are a brotherhood of miners." He also said there was no disparity in wages between rescue work and mining jobs. At Crandall Canyon, rescue workers and mining safety experts met Sunday to discuss whether work on a horizontal rescue tunnel similar to the one that collapsed Thursday night could be safely resumed. Gestures of charity and kindness toward the victims' families have come in from around the country. A family from the Indiana town where three miners died days after the Crandall County mine collapse sent six hand-knit dolls, three with darker skin representing the Mexican men among those trapped, along with a note about shared agony, to the families of all six. A couple in Price held a carwash that raised more than $1,000 for the families of the victims, part of the more than $25,000 that Mayor Hilary Gordon of Huntington estimated has been raised so far. "We Believe" signs and yellow ribbons were evidence of an area still clinging to hope. But in hushed voices, and always stating that they did not want to be quoted by name, many residents said they did not think the trapped miners were alive. For Ed Knight, a Mormon bishop from Price who is also a veteran miner, Sunday was another day underground. After a long week serving as spiritual adviser to many Mormons in his ward, Mr. Knight, who is an electrician, headed back to work at 6 a.m. for a 12-hour shift at a mine near Crandall Canyon. "These incidents either drive people to drink and use drugs or toward God," he said. "Thankfully, most of the people I'm talking to are tending toward the latter." He recounted a difficult meeting with a family member of one trapped miner who sought reassurance that there was something to look forward to after death. "I need to know," Mr. Knight recounted the person saying. "Is there a purpose in all this? Is there really life after death?" Mr. Knight said he told him that he believed with all his soul there was. Mark Collins, pastor of Carbon/Emery Church of Christ in Price, tried to offer consolation in the miners' actions. "Jesus said the greatest love you can show is to give your life for a friend," Mr. Collins said. "Those rescue workers who died this week understood sacrifice and love." But he could not ignore the pain of the trapped miners' relatives and friends. "These men are buried, but there has been no funeral," he said. "Without that, there is no closure."
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