My thoughts are with the loved ones of the miners lost in the Beaconsfield Gold Mine in Tasmania. One poor man is confirmed dead and another two are still missing. The poor blokes were just doing their job, trying to earn an honest living.
A small earthquake (at approx 9.25pm 25/4/06) was triggered by ? drilling or ? and this triggered rock slides within the mine. Luckily others found their way out.
When I lived in Newcastle I met a man who had been underground working in a mine when a large earthquake occurred. He and his fellow workers managed to escape injury. He and others there returned to work at the mine once it was safe. Very brave men!
My dear friend recently lost her son in another work accident and I am sure she will probably never come to terms with it. I know I couldn't.
30/4/06 - The two miners are alive! After five days! They have been communicating with rescuers. IT IS A MIRACLE!! It will be many hours, possibly days, before they can be safely rescued and brought to the surface, but water and some food is being sent to them through a pipe and they are able to communicate with the rescuers.
1/5/06 - Food and water has been successfully given to the two trapped miners. Authorities are still saying it will be many, many hours before they can be freed. For their safety and the safety of their rescuers, it is a very slow and painful process of digging and drilling through tonnes of rock.
My prayers and hopes are with them tonight. (I am sure many Australians feel the same way).
2/5/06 - Another day dawns above ground. More hours for those two men to endure being trapped almost 1km under ground. Food and water was sent 12 metres along a PVC pipe that has been inserted through a hole drilled through the rock. Rescuers are keeping in contact with the men. Authorities say it will still be many hours before a tunnel large enough to bring them to safety will be completed.
(Please let this rescue go well).
3/5/06 - A machine has been assembled to slowly drill towards where the men are trapped. It has taken a long time because it had to be assembled, adapted to work horizontally instead of vertically and cemented in. The men are still in contact and are reported to be OK. I watched a very heart wrenching interview with one of their fathers this morning. He hadn't spoken to the media before. He said the family is doing it very hard. It must be so traumatic having to wait and worry for such long time.
It is hoped that once the men are reached they will be well enough to crawl through the new tunnel to safety. (Please let everything go to plan).
4/5/06 - The first smaller tunnel has been made to reach the miners. The head of the machine will now be changed to enable a larger tunnel (big enough to let the miners crawl to safety) to be made around that tunnel through the 16 metres of rock. This will now take 12 to 24 more hours! The miners are said to be in good spirits - actually manging to get some sleep and eating solid food for the first time. Everything is said to be going well so far.
(Hopefully tomorrow will be the day they are saved. All accounts now say Saturday or later though - they must be extremely brave and strong willed men.)
5/5/06 - The rescue is still progressing. The mine manager says all is going well and he actually had a smile on his face today for the first time. It may be some time tomorrow when the rescuers finally break through the rock to reach the miners. The final stage has to be done by hand as it is too dangerous to use machinery too close to them.
(Not only Australians, but many people throughout the World are hoping and praying for a safe outcome)
06/05/06 So close and yet so far - Rescuers are now using state of the art hand held tools to try and get through the last metre or so of rock to reach the miners. It may be late tonight or tomorrow. 11 nights now!!!!!!!!! They are made of tougher stuff than most people I would say to still be sane after this long.
(Please let them be free soon!)
7/5/06 - Terrible, dark, rainy and windy day here today. News that rescuers have hit very hard rock and it is taking much, much longer than expected to drill through the last couple of metres to reach the men.
Shocking news of the death of news reporter Richard Carleton, who suffered a suspected heart attack minutes after asking the mine manager a question at a press conference outside the mine. Many people witnessed this and shock and sadness has added to their stress of waiting for the rescue.
(Hopefully things will go better overnight)
8/5/06 - Cold, frosty but bright morning today. Looks like being a mild, sunny day.
(Let this lovely bright day be the day that the miners are finally free after 13 nights trapped underground.)
9/5/05 - HOPES AND PRAYERS AND HARD WORK FROM THE RESCUERS HAVE PAID OFF - BRANT AND TODD ARE ABOVE GROUND. THEIR WISH WAS TO WALK OUT OF THE MINE AND THAT IS WHAT THEY HAVE DONE. THE RESCUERS BROKE THROUGH TO THEM AT 4.50 AM TODAY. THEY ARE SAFE AND WELL AND LOOKING FORWARD TO THEIR FUTURE.