Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Three people are safe after being missing in an inactive mine for four days, a West Virginia Department of Commerce official said Wednesday night.
Rescue squads made contact with the trio around 6:30 p.m. and they were brought to the surface by 7:30 p.m., Samantha Smith, director of marketing and communications for the state agency, said to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
They were transported to a local hospital and their conditions weren't known, according to a statement by the state Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training obtained by WPIX-TV.
The underground mine has been inactive for about two years, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Originally, four people entered the Elk Run Coal Company's Rock House Powellton Mine, near Clear Creek, on Saturday evening.
Eddie Williams, 43, found his way out of the mine around midnight Monday but the three companions were still missing: Cody Beverly, 21; Kayla Williams, 25; and Erica Treadway, 31.
Williams helped rescuers from the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training and Alpha Natural Resources, which is Elk Run Coal Company's parent company, find his friends.
"I know how they're feeling under there, how dark it is, how scared they must be," Ross Williams, a former miner and stepfather of Beverly, said Wednesday afternoon before they were found.
"It's dangerous, there's no light, and it's pitch black. That's how far they can see -- nothing at all," Ross Williams said, holding his hand a half an inch in front of his nose.
Ross Williams said Eddie Williams was the only experienced coal miner. The other three had never been underground in their lives, he said.