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Thoughts with the Pike workers and families

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, November 22nd, 2010 - 21 comments
Categories: families, Mining - Tags: ,

It can only be an unthinkably tough time for all Pike River miners, their families, and the communities on the Coast. I’m sure I speak for all The Standard writers and contributors when I say that our thoughts are with them. Despite all the dire news so far three days after the explosion, we simply don’t have the full story till the rescue team get down there and try to bring these guys back to the surface. Till then, we can only hold on and hope.

21 comments on “Thoughts with the Pike workers and families ”

  1. ianmac 1

    Hear. Hear.

  2. This isn’t the right time for the blame game. Please keep this thread free of politics. I will be moderating this vigorously. – MF

    • The Voice of Reason 2.1

      Could you quaantify how many rescuers should die in order to get to the men, Dave? Is one OK with you? Two? Ten? Luckily, Coasters are far more rational than you are and sadly, far more experienced in mine rescues, and they will wait until it is safe to enter.

      As for the reasons behind the explosion, that can be determined later. I see the union is asking for an enquiry:


      • George 2.1.1

        I agree with Andrew Little. I think a full court inquiry would be appropriate.

        • Michael Foxglove

          I think everyone agrees that once these guys have been pulled outta that mine, that’s exactly what should happen.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        There have been no explosions in the mine in the last 48+ hours. That’s 48+ hours which could have been used to do a foot recon into the mine. As for waiting until things are 100% safe – as far as I know that condition never exists in any coal mine at any time.

        • higherstandard

          Best leave it to the experts and those on the ground who are all more experienced and informed of the situation than any of us.

        • The Voice of Reason

          The reason there hasn’t been an explosion in the last 48 hrs is because there has been no source of ignition (i.e. people) or because most gas is being burnt off because there is still a fire in the pit area. The testing at various parts of the shaft indicates higher than normal levels of gas and also a heat source. If there had been a foot recon as you suggest, the likelihood is that the rescuers would die. Simple as that, CV.

      • dave brown 2.1.3

        My post was taken off, but I didnt say I would go in VOR, I said I would want to. Like lots of Coasters. So your little atttempt at sarcasm doesnt wash with me. I would be asking lots of questions just like lots of Coasters as to why in a mine with lots of methane buildup there wasnt a backup ventilation system if the main one lost power. Its like having four engines on a jet in case one blows up.

        • aj

          Any ventilation power failure should trigger an alarm of some sort throughout the mine to allow ignition sources to be shut down and miners to find cover. Seems simple, and one has to say this company seems to follow all established practises

  3. The Voice of Reason 3

    The Police have released the names of the miners:

    Name Age From Nationality
    Conrad John Adams 43 Greymouth New Zealand
    Malcolm Campbell 25 Greymouth Scottish
    Glen Peter Cruse 35 Cobden New Zealand
    Allan John Dixon 59 Rununga New Zealand
    Zen Wodin Drew 21 Greymouth New Zealand
    Christopher Peter Duggan 31 Greymouth New Zealand
    Joseph Ray Dunbar 17 Greymouth
    John Leonard Hale 45 Ruatapu New Zealand
    Daniel Thomas Herk 36 Rununga New Zealand
    David Mark Hoggart 33 Foxton New Zealand
    Richard Bennett Holling 41 Blackball New Zealand
    Andrew David Hurren 32 Greymouth New Zealand
    Jacobus (Koos) Albertus Jonker 47 Cobden South Africa
    William John Joynson 49 Dunollie Australia
    Riki Steve Keane 28 Greymouth New Zealand
    Terry David Kitchin 41 Rununga New Zealand
    Samuel Peter Mackie 26 Greymouth New Zealand
    Francis Skiddy Marden 41 Rununga New Zealand
    Michael Nolan Hanmer Monk 23 Greymouth New Zealand
    Stuart Gilbert Mudge 31 Rununga New Zealand
    Kane Barry Nieper 33 Greymouth New Zealand
    Peter O’Neill 55 Rununga New Zealand
    Milton John Osborne 54 Ngahere New Zealand
    Brendan John Palmer 27 Cobden New Zealand
    Benjamin David Rockhouse 21 Greymouth New Zealand
    Peter James Rodger 40 Greymouth British
    Blair David Sims 28 Greymouth New Zealand
    Joshua Adam Ufer 25 Australia
    Keith Thomas Valli 62 Winton New Zealand

    Good luck to them all and to the families, kia kaha.

    • Vicky32 3.1

      I see that the youngest is only 17! Poor boy…

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        They interview his mother on Campbell Live. She was remarkably in control of herself, actually. From the interview, I also get the impression that his death would be bitter-sweet for her as he will’ve died doing something that he really really wanted to be doing. He was supposed to start in the mine today (Monday), but was so excited that he asked if he could go in earlier on the Friday. He’d won the job 3 months ago but was 16 and too young to work, and was really excited about the new job and the last couple of months his personality and attitude totally turned around because he had something to live for. His 17th birthday was on Thursday, which he spent all day with his mother (parents?) and family, and it sounds like they had a very good day.

        • Vicky32

          The odd thing is, that I later saw her interviewed on One… and the general tone was quite different! She didn’t sound quite so in control, or as happy as she had seemed on Clive, to let him go!
          It is still so sad…. the photo they showed of him, he looked about 13 years old!

  4. rightofleftcentre 4

    MF, thank you for a moderated thread on this.

    I was born in Greymouth, brought up in Dobson and have family very close to the miners in Runanga.
    While it is a long time since I lived on the Coast, once a Coaster always a Coaster.
    This is an unbearably difficult time for the families there, and there is no sign of a let up anytime soon.
    Our thoughts should be directed at them for now.
    Priority no.1 is finding out the situation in the mine and then managing it as effectively as possible. The expertise, both local and international is on site.
    Leave it to them.
    Answers will be sought and found later.

  5. In China there has been a successful rescue:
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-11-22/china-rescues-29-workers-from-coal-mine-after-daylong-search.html November 22, 2010, 3:19 AM EST

    Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) — All 29 workers trapped in a flooded coal mine in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan have been taken to safety, ending a daylong rescue mission, China Central Television reported.

    The miners were wrapped in quilts by paramedics as they emerged from the pit to the applause of a crowd gathered near the entrance, the state broadcaster showed. Rescuers took about an hour between pulling out the first and last worker.

    China, holder of the world’s worst mine safety record, has been merging small mining operations and shutting unlicensed producers to protect workers. Last year, the government closed 1,088 small coal mines that were deemed unsafe, helping reduce fatalities by 18 percent to 2,631. That compared with 18 deaths in mining accidents in the U.S. in 2009.

    “There has been an improvement in safety in China since they started closing some of the smaller mines,” said Alexander Latzer, head of regional metals and mining research at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets in Hong Kong. “Local officials are also held more accountable for mine safety now.”

    The flooding in Sichuan occurred two days after an explosion at a Pike River Coal Co. mine in New Zealand, where 29 men are still trapped underground.
    Here hoping the same will occur very soon here.

  6. MSM are happy now they have the ‘gun barrel’ to talk about, watch the morning papers.

  7. millsy 8

    We are all West Coasters.

    (captcha: hoping)

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