TALLMANSVILLE, W.Va., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Underground searchers followed "the sounds of moans" to find the only survivor of a West Virginia mine disaster that killed 12 of his fellow workers.
CNN quoted officials as saying rescuers, their faces covered by oxygen masks, used the moans to locate the survivor, Randal McCloy.
McCloy was taken to West Virginia University Hospital in Morgantown suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, dehydration and a collapsed lung, The Washington Post reported.
At a Wednesday afternoon news conference, his doctor said McCloy has some kidney malfunction but was "making some progress."
Meanwhile, bitterness and anger lingered in Upshur County, W.Va., where relatives of those killed in the disaster blamed officials for a miscommunication that led them to believe most of those underground had been found alive.
Ben Hatfield, the chief executive officer of International Coal Group, which owns the Sago Mine, called it the "worst day of my life," and said "miscommunication" between rescue crews and the command center had caused the earlier erroneous reports that 12 miners had survived.
Hatfield said it was apparent that the miners, who were found some 13,000 feet underground, remained alive for a period of time following the explosion. They had built a "rough barricade structure," he said, and had donned their self-contained breathing apparatuses, which contain about a 1-hour supply of oxygen.
An explosion in the mine trapped the men early Monday. Six miners managed to escape, and the body of one man was found Tuesday afternoon. By then, a bore hole reached the area where the other 12 were, and first reports were that there was a lethal level of carbon monoxide coming out.
The cause of the explosion is under investigation.