Monday, May 08, 2006

The Longest Shift - fourteen days overtime

From Peceli and Wendy

The awesome story of the mine disaster on Anzac Day in Tasmania has been on our minds now for two weeks.

We woke up at 4.45 am this morning, turned on the radio and heard the wonderful news that the two miners trapped underground in a cage for 14 days have been rescued. We watched the TV program intently as several station journalists were on the spot at Beaconsfield Tasmania, a small town focussed on a gold mine.

By 6 a.m. the two miners both walked from the mine, clocked off, hung up their name-tags, and greeted the miner workers and their families. It has been a remarkable story. The two men look fit and were able to walk.

Today, the funeral of the third miner is being held at Launceston at 1 p.m. so it is a day of jubilation for rescue and a day of mourning for one family. Many people say it has been a miracle to rescue the men trapped under rock almost a kilometre underground.

From ABC news

Russell, Webb walk from gold mine
Miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb have reached the surface of the Beaconsfield Gold mine, 14 days after being trapped by a rock fall.
The "great escape" is how the Australian Workers Union has described the survival of the two men.
Rescuers reached the men, who were nearly one kilometre underground, just before 5:00am AEST.
They were taken to a special crib room before being brought to the surface.
Mr Russell and Mr Webb raised their arms in triumph as they stepped out into the fresh air.
They hugged family and friends and thanked their rescuers and many supporters before getting into waiting ambulances.
The ambulances drove out of the mine gates with their doors open, so the crowds outside could see the miners for themselves.
The Australian Workers Union's Bill Shorten says the men will be taken to hospital for full medical check-ups.


laminar_flow said...

Remember the Aussie "True Blue" media campaign in the 80s? The rescuers and miners fit that definition.

Up there Kazaley!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Yes, to me the outstanding part of the story is the courage of the mates who put their own lives on the line to dig the tunnels to rescue the trapped miners. There was great danger to them.

Now there is a media scramble for firstperson stories. They are talking of millions of dollars.

I think that focus should now be on mine safety and there are two enquiries starting. The so-called 'seismic event' that started the mine collapse was not an earthquake in the usual sense, but was caused by the mining operation and there has apparently been tremors over the past year. Mining is a terrible job I would think. I wouldn't even go more than 20 metres below the surface!

One of the saved minors hasn't yet surfaced from his house it seems. He is totally exhausted and I don't blame him from keeping away from intrusive people.

Pandabonium said...

Amazing and inspirational survival and rescue story. Mining is a dangerous business. There have been a lot of stories in the last year of large numbers of deaths in China's mines due to lax safety standards and pressures to produce more.

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