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Fears for miners after explosion

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 pm, November 19th, 2010 - 41 comments
Categories: Mining - Tags:

I’ve just heard about the disaster at Pike River coal mine on the West Coast. [Updated] 29 miners are trapped about 1500m below ground by a massive explosion. Five have made it out with moderate injuries. Obviously, there’s big concern for the lives of the missing workers. More details as they come – our thoughts are with their families.

Now my mate who called me up knows the community down there well and he was pretty upset by the article on Stuff, which says:

“Pike River Coal’s Australian-listed shares dropped sharply when the news broke, losing as much as 15 per cent of their value. At 5.37pm NZT the Australian shares were down A9c, or 12.7 per cent, at A62 cents.

The news broke just before the New Zealand stock exchange closed, and the shares ended the day down 4.35 percent, or 4c, at 88c. “

To which my mate replies: “GO FUCK YOURSELVES.”

We can only hope that the miners will all be found safe and unharmed.

And we can only be aghast that the first thing Stuff asks is ‘what’s happened to the share price?’

41 comments on “Fears for miners after explosion”

  1. IrishBill 1

    Here’s hoping they all get out soon.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    And we can only be aghast that the first thing Stuff asks is ‘what’s happened to the share price?’

    Actually, in this instance, I think Stuff is reporting the correct information although not the information that they think they’re reporting. What they’re reporting is the psychopathy of people who’s first thought of hearing a disaster isn’t for the people affected but how much it’s going to cost them.

    Capitalism really is driven by psychopathy.

    • Capitalism is driven by profits, at all costs, including human lives.

      • Sean Brooks 2.1.1

        Over at kiwiblog there is no talk of politics at all just good thoughts and wishes for the miners and their famlies.

        Im not sure what the cause of this mining explosion was, here’s hoping all this hi tech equipment they are bringing over from aussie helps.

    • freedom 2.2

      the Stuff article apparently has had some comments removed due to negative feedback from readers about some ‘Ian’ character, yet the same feedback requesting the shareprice information gets moved to a story in the business section seems to be falling on deaf ears

      my thoughts go out to the trapped miners and their families, wishing a speedy reunion for all

    • Vicky32 2.3

      Yes, I was completely disgusted when the first radio bulletin I heard about it (yesterday) was also banging on about the share price!
      WTF!
      Deb

  3. vto 3

    Strange. Recently had been wondering if this mine was jinxed. For such spectacular potential it has really hit one disaster after another.

    I hope they are all ok. What a disaster.

  4. Kia kaha to the miners

    And Stuff and the shareholders should well and truly fuck themselves.

    In days gone by the miners used to shut the mine down until they had a proper time to have funerals and bury their comrades. This focussed the minds of the mine owners on safety because their profits were hit.

    It may be time to bring this practice back.

  5. Armchair Critic 5

    Please may they all come out alive and well.

  6. Macro 6

    It is a sad commentary on the state of our main stream media (and on our society in general) that every catastrophic event is viewed from the standpoint of dollars and cents. This is not the first time in recent years that a major event where human life is at risk or at stake is reduced to a simplistic, materialistic, callous “how much will it cost” analysis by the media. It is symptomatic of a sick materialistic society – and NZ never used to be like that. The downward spiral began with the lean mean ‘user pays’ of the 80’s.
    My thoughts are with those who are trapped and lost and their families.

  7. nilats 7

    Some of the management is down there with them. I am sure that will cheer you guys up.

  8. Olwyn 8

    I hope and pray that they all come out safely – how hard it must be for the waiting families a this moment.

    • Vicky32 8.1

      Olwyn, I agree with you…
      I have been listening to the radio all day about it, and I also hope and pray that these men can come out safely! It would be a marvellous miracle..
      Deb

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    BP shareholders were also very concerned that they spilt 25,000 barrels of oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico. Good on them. Also totally irrelevant to anything.

  10. Red Mole 10

    Interesting geology. At one point, the mine goes through an earthquake fault. I wonder what their insurance premiums are like.

    Also, there has been repeated mention by management that the shaft has *two exits*, unlike the vertical Chile entombment.
    Why have the 27 (at last count) not come out ?

    We live in interesting times.

  11. ak 11

    Staggered at the lack of concern shown by Brownlee on the TV3 clip – you’re the frock’in minister- get ur ample ass down theer and at least keep up with the play..

  12. hateatea 12

    Praying for the safe recovery of the miners, that the recovery crews are safe too and sending vibes to all the families and the surrounding community

  13. The Voice of Reason 13

    Some questions about the Chilean mine collapse. There’s a few that seem apt here as well:

    http://www.juancole.com/2010/10/top-ten-questions-about-chile-mine-collapse-was-it-nixon-kissingers-fault.html

    Kia kaha and solidarity.

  14. hateatea 14

    There is a site where you can light virtual candles and send messages
    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=Pike

  15. Don’t understand why so many of you are praying? Who to? The invisible man in the sky or Mother Nature want mining stopped*, this is what is currently killing the human friendly environment, and so losing a few humans now is better than what we all face.
    All mines should be closed down…. at least if you want to give futures generations a chance. But maybe the imaginary man in the sky is right wing, and thinks constant growth is ok, or he is a pillow hugging greenie who thinks ‘everyone’ can have his/her ‘fare share’. Well tree huggers and planet fker’s that means more men dying in mines.
    Live with it or turn your computer off, it is our insatiable demand for constant growth and more freking kids that forces suckers to crawl down holes in the ground … to ‘sustain’ us all.
    So please stop all the crocodile tears, we haven’t seen anything yet, that was as good as it gets.

    *Actually I’m sure if such an entirety existed they would be cheering, for the end of humans.

  16. I understand the truth hurts hate atea,. But at least I have a name and contact details, I am not a wimp hiding behind anonymity , if you would like to meet up and discuss these issues ring me.
    And that goes for anyone else who is to gutless to stand by what they write.
    0274 301 574 love to hear from ya

    • Marty G 16.1

      let’s not have this discussion here. People are entitled to convey their feelings as suits them and if that means reference to a deity, that’s their business, not yours.

      • Robert Atack 16.1.1

        People are entitled to convey their feelings as suits them

        • Marty G 16.1.1.1

          and you don’t have the right to belittle that on our website in such an insensitive manner. people are writing in asking for your comments to be removed. I’m not going to do that yet. But I’m saying have the human decency not to comment in that vein any more on this thread or there will be reprecussions.

          and, re your first comment, there will be plenty of time to point fingers of blame later. this is not the time or place.

        • john 16.1.1.2

          R.A. would get his views across better if he can relate to others with not just IQ but EQ, Emotional Intelligence, considered to be very important even in the hard world of business.

  17. john 17

    My understanding is the mine shaft goes horizontally into the hillside for 1500 metres, hopefully that is less serious than 1500 metres diagonally downwards,in theory it should make the rescue effort easier. I hope they all come out.

  18. Treetop 18

    My thoughts are with the trapped miners and for the family’s who are waiting to know of the fate of their loved ones.

  19. My thoughts are with the miners and their whanau and the communities they live in. This is a terrible time of not knowing.

    I hope everthing works out the best way possible.

  20. Eure Kismet 20

    Well my first thoughts are always with humans in pain, especially any who may be injured down a mineshaft, but I cannot agree that means all discussion of how the awful state of affairs that has come to pass at Pike River should be prohibited. The issues are just two important for ordinary humans to be forced to bend to the will of the sociopaths on the right or on the left, who would rather we ‘compartmentalise’ our reactions into set times and places so they can finesse responses.
    I was a union official for many years and always refused any of the paid positions – this mornings’ TV3 coverage (why isn’t our national TV service covering this TVNZ has the same old repeats on this morning) showed the engineers’ Andrew Little talking to the media. When asked what the state of the members was he said “I haven’t had time to talk to anyone yet. I’ve only been in town 10 minutes” There you have it folks the reason membership is at an all time low, the union bosses ape the capitalist bosses and put their media image ahead of talking with the dues paying members.
    So Pike River mine bosses are Australian, most of the workers or ‘contractors’ are migrants brought in from South Africa to work the mine, India gets the coal, therefore what does ordinary non-sharehoding NZ get from this? The opportunity to watch millions of taxpayer dollars go down the gurgler pretending to ‘save’ (ie keep in capitivity) a handful of giant snails, that is what we get. Oh and the knowledge that future generations of kiwis needing energy will be able to look at a giant pseudo-remediated hole filled with regret and anger.
    Stupid gutless pseudo left labourites voted for this, no wonder they are staying away from this disaster in droves.
    Even the Key sociopath who normally leaps aboard any media circus (for that is what this will be by evening TV crews from all over the world thinking of Chile are flying in as I write this) is waiting until there is a ‘result’ before he unfurls his strategy. Too risky to be backing the management horse if this turns out to be the tragedy which so many of us down here fear it will be, and the lasckadaisical attitude towards safety comes up for debate. On the other hand he doesn’t wanna go in hard against the capitalists if everyone is OK.
    That is why this is eaxactly the time for normal non politically ambitious NZers to be alert to everything that is going down. Right now there is a touch of sponteneity about the creeps’ responses, cause they don’t know what the ‘right’ soundbite should be.
    Whatever happens, and lets hope that it is an outcome where everyone is OK, the usual creeps will by lying and spinning to cover their asses once the condition of the workers becomes known.

    • The Voice of Reason 20.1

      What a tool you are, Eure. “I was a union official for many years and always refused any of the paid positions” So you were on the exec for a year and you think you know what it takes. Big deal. You can talk the talk, but you can’t walk the walk, eh fulla?

      What did you expect Little to say? He told the truth, that’d he’d only been there 10 minutes. Did you expect him to make something up? BTW, in this context he’s not the engineers’ Andrew Little, he’s the miners’ Andrew Little. They’re proud to be in the EPMU and the EPMU’s proud to have them.

      At least Little is there. He’s doing his job, while you pompously whine, contributing nothing.

  21. Ian 21

    Hoping all the miners return safe and well.

  22. Sanctuary 22

    Whatever the outcome of this is, serious doubts have to be now entertaind about the safety of this mine and general wisdom of persisting in trying to get and keep it operational. Reports in the media speak of the mining company encountering significantly more amounts of methane gas than expected, along with other issues around safety.

    There is little doubt that no matter if these miners are dead or alive Pike River will try and keep this mine open. Therefore a government inquiry is now essential to investigate if this mine is safe, and directing Pike River to close it if it is not.

    The chances of the useless Kate Wilkinson, or Gerry “the miners friend” Brownlee or John “missing in action” Key taking a vigorous leadership step like this is, alas, practically zero.

    • Sean Brooks 22.1

      Now is not the time for silly name calling.

    • RedLogix 22.2

      Reports in the media speak of the mining company encountering significantly more amounts of methane gas than expected, along with other issues around safety.

      Which begs the question of why we’ve had to wait almost 20hrs while ‘specialist gas testing equipment had been flown in from Australia this morning.’

      Surely it should have been on-site?

      • Bill 22.2.1

        I had not dissimilar thoughts. Was reminded of ambulance crews being told they couldn’t go and treat an injured shooting victim, who subsequently died, because the police weren’t sure if the gunman was still on the premises. Or the raft drowning on one of the S. Island rivers where rescuers stood back while they assessed the safety of the situation.

        I’m not suggesting that rescuers blindly rush into situations. But this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve got the impression that a ‘bureaucratic safety culture’ ( for want of a better phrase) has usurped real life situations. Know what I mean? I get the impression that hard hats are donned and screeds of paper with tick boxes are worried over as though that equates to doing something.

        I don’t know the access situation and don’t want to create the impression that I’m bagging individual would be rescuers, but couldn’t old technology, such as a canary been employed? Or couldn’t a rope or some such have been attached to a volunteer under instructions that they continually chatter into a walkie talkie with the understanding that any silence would mean immediate, fast and even injurious extraction via high speed winch? Or something?

        I just don’t get how it is that nothing happens until all the textbook stuff is in place.

        • Sean Brooks 22.2.1.1

          Im sure the rescuers know what they are doing, if the old ways would of worked faster, they would use them.

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