The A.L. Lee Corp demonstrated this inflatable shelter for miners. After the Sago accident everyone is aware of the perils off mining. The Coalfield Progress reports the devices are destined to support life for 4 days.
The inflatable room is stored in a reinforced-steel box that is either 32 or 40 inches high and weighs about five tons. It is skid-mounted for transport and can be moved inside a mine by a scoop bucket, he said. The shelter itself is made from five layers of tear- and puncture-resistant material with inflatable high-strength "air beams" for support. The model demonstrated Tuesday can support up to 20 miners for four days. The steel box contains a four-day supply of oxygen, food (military-style meals ready to eat) and water, a repair kit, a chemical toilet and a first aid kit. Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide scrubbers and air quality monitors are used to keep the internal air clean, Urtso said. The design allows the shelter to maintain the same ambient air temperature as inside the mine and minimizes heat and humidity, he said. As Urtso explained the system, assistants activated it. A door on one side of the steel box opened, and what looked like a rolled-up raft began to unroll, then fill with air. The process took roughly two minutes. Miners will enter the shelter through an airlock in the steel section. They will be able to go through the external door, close it to block out bad air, then open the internal door and enter the shelter. This particular model's shelter is 40 inches high, 12 feet wide and 20 feet long when inflated, Urtso said. Shelter heights range from 32 to 48 inches. The shelter can run without an external power source, Urtso noted. The model demonstrated Tuesday sells for $73,000 and is about to be certified by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, he said
This sounds to good to be true. This technology is just starting and the mines are not required by law....But one day..maybe one day soon.
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