Crews Prepare Desperate Rescue Effort At W.Va. Mine

Crews prepared early Friday to pump nitrogen into the Upper Big Branch coal mine where an explosion killed 25 in a bid to flush dangerous gases out and allow anxious rescuers to reach up to four survivors. Safety officials conceded that any hope of finding workers alive in rescue chambers more than three days after the seismic blast was quickly fading, but said search teams were carrying four extra oxygen masks into the mine on the chance the men had made it."We committed to the families we were going to get into the chambers within 96 hours and we're doing everything in our power to do that," said Kevin Stricklin, a coal administrator from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.