All 29 New Zealand Miners Believed Dead
November 24, 2010
New Zealand (ChattahBox World News)—New Zealanders who had been holding out hope that their mine explosion could end up with a triumphant resolution were devastated when authorities announced that all 29 miners are presumed dead. Rescuers were still working to reach the men trapped in the Pike River mine when a second, larger explosion rocked the underground area this morning—and authorities indicated that no one could have survived it, BBC News reports.
Prior to the explosion, rescuers had planned to enter the mine today but were hampered by high levels of methane gas and carbon monoxide. Not long after authorities performed the methane reading, the second explosion occurred, which lasted about 30 seconds and was stronger than the original blast, BBC notes.
Miners’ families were reportedly bitter that the rescuers had not gone into the mine immediately following the first explosion and before the gas buildup occurred, but officials believed that mine entry would not have been safe for the rescuers, the BBC reports. The project will now be a recovery mission, as rescuers attempt to retrieve the bodies of the lost miners.