According to The New Zealand Herald, an explosion occurred at the Pike River Mine in New Zealand on Friday, trapping 29 miners approximately 2.5 kilometers down in the main tunnel. Rescue efforts are being hampered by a buildup of dangerous gases that has still been showing unsafe levels. Rescuers are drilling a hole and are in their final stages, but police are preparing families for the worst because of the gases. Family members should stay positive, with the recent successful rescue of the Chilean miners and other successful mine rescues to give them faith, hope and inspiration.
Just last month, the Los Angeles Times reported that 33 Chilean miners were freed in a miracle rescue, giving them a second chance at life. The world witnessed the rescue of the miners as they were pulled to safety after spending 68 days trapped in a hot, muggy coal mine. After several attempts at drilling a narrow hole, they finally broke through at 2,000 feet below. Six rescuers were lowered down the narrow hole one by one in a steel capsule cage that was equipped with oxygen masks and escape hatches. When the rescuers arrived to where the trapped Chile miners were, they hoisted them up one by one in the capsule; all of the miners and the rescuers were eventually pulled up to safety. It took approximately 22 hours to free all the trapped miners and rescuers.
According to MSN Today, 115 Chinese miners were trapped in a flooded coal mine in north China after being trapped for over a week in April. The miners survived by eating tree bark. The rescuers were able to locate the miners when they were pumping out the flood water and digging. They heard tap noises coming up the pipes after they dug through an old shaft that was filled with water. As they continued to pump the water out of the mine to lower the water level, rescuers were able to squeeze rubber rafts through a narrow passage with a low ceiling, sending down packs of glucose, milk and letters of support. Eleven hours later, all 115 miners were freed to safety.
According to Road Side America, a Quecreek Mine Rescue memorial is an inspiration for the nine miners who survived in July 2001 in Pennsylvania. The nine miners of the Black Wolf Coal Company were trapped for 77 hours while working in a mine with an inaccurate map when they accidentally broke through an abandoned mine that was flooded with water, trapping them inside. Rescuers were able to locate them with a GPS system. Rescuers drilled a narrow hole that went down 240 feet as they continued to pump out water at the mine entrance. They finally reached the miners and they were rescued one by one in a capsule that was hoisted by a cable. All the miners escaped with only minor injuries.
With these and other successful coal mine rescues, families of the trapped miners in New Zealand should remain positive. There have been miracles in other rescue attempts that families members have waited for up to 68 days for a rescue. Knowing that these successful rescues have occurred, families of the trapped coal miners should have faith, hope and inspiration.