Watch a 2-minute video (here) showing one variety of portable chamber designed to provide a safe refuge for underground miners during an emergency. The equipment was displayed on Capitol Hill on May 16, 2007 as part of the House Committee on Education and Labor’s oversight of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
The refuge chamber shown in the video is a a compact unit and when deployed, creates a tent-like structure filled with safe breathable air. In Australia and other countries, these units are situated along escapeways, allowing miners to seek refuge during an emergency, and to communicate with rescue teams, exchange a used self-contained self-rescurer (SCSR) for a new unit before moving ahead to the next refuge chamber, or await rescue.
These units have been approved by the State of West Virginia, but not yet by federal MSHA.