Miners still trapped

There is still no news about the 29 miners trapped in the Pike River coal mine. The company is still testing the air quality every half hour but it is still not safe to send in a rescue team.

They are also drilling a hole – 150mm diameter – into the tunnel where they think the miners are. They have drilled down 135m but have hit hard rock so it is now slow work. They plan to send a camera down. There is also a plan to send in a robot from the entrance along the tunnel but there is a danger of a spark starting an explosion. A coal mine is dangerous because of the risk of fire and an explosion.

Although there is no food in the tunnel, the miners could be near water pipes and air pipes. Each miner wears an oxygen pack which gives them oxygen for about half an hour. These packs helped two miners to escape on Friday afternoon after the explosion. All the miners have a light on their helmet but the batteries last only about 24 hours.

Police gave the names of all 29 miners today. It was very sad to see the names, ages and photos of all these miners.


What are the differences between this mining accident and the one in Chile where 33 miners were trapped?


  1. Thusharini Pushpakumar

    The answer is because in this Pike River mining accident 2 people escaped after the explosion but in the one in Chillie no-one escaped until they were rescued.

  2. Perhaps an even more important difference is the danger in a coal mine from methane gas. In the Pike River Coal mine, this is a major problem because this coal is very “gassy’ and gives off a lot of methane. Gold and copper mines do not have this problem.

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