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Author Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
SimonRL

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 19/11/2010 09:27:15
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Beeb link: [link]

BBC News wrote:

Twenty-seven miners are missing after an explosion at a remote coal mine in New Zealand, the mine's operator says.

The mayor of Greymouth, about 50km (31 miles) south-east of the Pike River mine, said the situation was "quite severe" but rescuers were at the site.

Members of the missing miners' families are also at the mine, which the mayor described as "chaotic, but controlled".

New Zealand's energy minister said there was no information on the miners' condition or the cause of the blast.

Reports of a fatality have so far been denied by officials.


[link]


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indicative of the type of individual found at the periphery of a fringe activity
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gt5952

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 19/11/2010 14:40:23
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The smoke coming from the extraction and pump units say it all. And no forced air for several hours. It doesnt paint a pretty picture.

Lets hope for a miracle. Coal, as well as the miners and their families, can do without a negative outcome.

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'FOR SALE: 1 Kidney and Half a Lung. If the Traffic Warden comes back to my car again, I can get more bits... As pants as this world is, its the best place in the universe when I look at my son.'
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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 19/11/2010 19:15:24
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This happened yesterday at about 4.30 pm
and as yet nobody has been down the mine to attempt a rescue
I find this astonishing we now have the most upto date equiptment breathing sets etc
yet they still havent been down
in the victorian times they would go down as soon as the rubble was removed from the shaft with little or no equiptment
i bet there are mine rescue teams all around the world wondering whats going on !
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gt5952

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 19/11/2010 19:58:28
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Its all about Risk Assesments and Insurance these days...

Even in the modern age of mine rescue, only an hour or so of breathable air can be supplied. Some workings take that to walk to the face.

--

'FOR SALE: 1 Kidney and Half a Lung. If the Traffic Warden comes back to my car again, I can get more bits... As pants as this world is, its the best place in the universe when I look at my son.'
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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 19/11/2010 20:24:43
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gt5952 wrote:

Its all about Risk Assesments and Insurance these days...

Even in the modern age of mine rescue, only an hour or so of breathable air can be supplied. Some workings take that to walk to the face.


Yes i agree on the news update before they said that all miners in N Z have to carry an oxygen cilinder with a half hour supply but all along the mine there are oxygen storage points
so lets hope they are still ok
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gt5952

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 19/11/2010 20:31:18
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Indeed. We need more positive news... ;-)

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'FOR SALE: 1 Kidney and Half a Lung. If the Traffic Warden comes back to my car again, I can get more bits... As pants as this world is, its the best place in the universe when I look at my son.'
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cobba

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 19/11/2010 21:14:33
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Hope they all get out,Im sure there was an ex sparky from Scotland posting on the NUM website earlier this year who had just started at a new mine in NZ.The price of all our commotities is still blood sweat and death in some cases

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cobba
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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 19/11/2010 21:52:10
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cobba wrote:

Hope they all get out,Im sure there was an ex sparky from Scotland posting on the NUM website earlier this year who had just started at a new mine in NZ.The price of all our commotities is still blood sweat and death in some cases


The latest is there are in fact 29 men trapped under ground and three or four are british
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Ty Gwyn

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 19/11/2010 23:11:47
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There`s also a Scots Miner working on the CM`s in NZ,whether this is the Mine i`m not sure,
At the end of last Month he was inquiring on the Welshmines forum what was the prospect of work in either of the Mines in the Neath Valley,as he had a young family over here,
I gave him 2 contacts last week,not heard from him since.
I just hope this is not where he`s working,as things don`t look good.
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gt5952

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 20/11/2010 00:26:59
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aditadict wrote:

they said that all miners in N Z have to carry an oxygen cilinder with a half hour supply but all along the mine there are oxygen storage points
so lets hope they are still ok


I would suspect they have a device that filters gaseous particles from the air, particularly after a fire. Its pretty standard, slots in the mouth, with a bag round the cheast, but its use is very limited, and no where near as good as a SCBA, but is a lot smaller.

There are probably air lines down there to "Hook into", and a "Safe corridor" to take refuge in.

But, there is clearly a reason why their extraction and pump units are not on at mach 4 to replace the air there. Fire may be one of those reasons.

I dont know if they have a damping system in this mine, quite useful in such times.

--

'FOR SALE: 1 Kidney and Half a Lung. If the Traffic Warden comes back to my car again, I can get more bits... As pants as this world is, its the best place in the universe when I look at my son.'
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Knocker

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 20/11/2010 16:12:19
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Without being there it is impossible to know the reasons why they are not entering.

Ventilation is a major issue as the fireball went up the upcast shaft and wrecked the main surface vent fan.

The indications are there is a strong possibility of a second explosion, breathing apparatus or not an explosion is potentially fatal.

There would be little point in sending men in now as there are two potential scenarios: -

1. The miners were unable to make it to a refuge, in which case they would probably have died before the rescue teams got to the site, deeming a rescue attempt pointless and risking other mens lives.

2. They made it to a refuge and they are sitting there waiting, they have supplies to last a few days giving the rescuers time to make the mine safe before entering.

We can only hope it is the second scenario, but we need to remember many a miner has died in an attempt to rescue a colleague in bad air, there was one particlarly nasty incident at crofty around 40 years ago where 3 miners died in a rescue attempt.
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Ty Gwyn

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 20/11/2010 22:58:00
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Would have though the first job would have been replacing the blown out fan,to ventilate the workings,to off-set another explosion.
Strange how the Police are running the show,not the Mines Inspectorate,in conjuction with Mines Rescue?
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gt5952

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 20/11/2010 23:05:24
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Ty Gwyn wrote:

Would have though the first job would have been replacing the blown out fan,to ventilate the workings,to off-set another explosion.
Strange how the Police are running the show,not the Mines Inspectorate,in conjuction with Mines Rescue?



I think there is a fire down there, not too sure, but they cant circulate whilst there is a fire.

It does look a total mess. I cant think of many other times in history where mines rescue have not entered because its 'too dangerous'. Certain roles come with certain dangers. It all seems odd... i.e. sending air off to test it - this surely can be done on site!

Yes, the Police seem to be running the show... Clearly things are different in New Zealand as oppose to Germany

--

'FOR SALE: 1 Kidney and Half a Lung. If the Traffic Warden comes back to my car again, I can get more bits... I once pretended to be a Capo of a German Mafia family, and strung several people along for 6 months, getting them to do menial tasks like stealing gnomes and the such. I even got two of them to wait outside a bank as 'getaway drivers' for 3 hours, before phoning them to say they were outside the wrong bank.... and the Don wasnt happy... I think they emigrated then...
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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 21/11/2010 00:39:05
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Totally agree with the last two posts but it was always the bond between miners that made them a special breed
all the stories of a pit explosion and miners at surrounding pits running to the aid of their injured comrades of men entering mines only minuites after a blast putting their lives at risk to save others, yes sometimes rescuers would die but that is part of the job. Sometimes lifeboat men die too but should they not put to sea if it's a bit rough ? i think that miners and exminers all around the world will be watching this with frustration at what seems to be one senior police officers lack of courage to take a risk because it's on his watch, im sure the rescuers would be at least try to effect a rescue

Where would we be if a solider or a bomb disposal expert said i'm not doing that it sounds dangerous ?
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rufenig

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 21/11/2010 07:05:51
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I fear that after the Chilean mine rescue where there was publicity & glory for politicians everyone is an expert & wants to run the show.
Whatever the conditions trained rescue brigades should by now have entered, set up "fresh air bases" & be moving forward even into toxic air.
Are the skills not there or is H/S political correctness winning?
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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 21/11/2010 08:58:56
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Maybe their health and safty laws are worse than ours?
but even my frustration will not come close to that of the families stood outside watching as nothing gets done rescue itself is about risk and risk's is something that all of us take. Everytime we go underground for instanse !
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derrickman

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 21/11/2010 09:08:35
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I'd suggest at this point, that anyone with no professional experience and/or actual information of the situation there, keep their speculation and opinions to themselves.... IP: 86.30.241.199
toadstone

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 21/11/2010 09:14:38
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It would appear, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, that there is a fire. [link]

One can now begin to understand the reticence of those in charge allowing the Mines Rescue to proceed, however frustrating that may be to both the rescuers and armchair pundits sat many thousands of miles away, myself included.

According to diagrams I've seen there is a known fault that crosses the access tunnel to the main seam. This fault is the source of the methane gas which I presume is what is fueling the fire or at least started it. That being the case a by product of heating methane is carbon monoxide (pyrolysis). Both these gases are lighter than air and being hot will be more so. So anything upstream of the fire will gradually be being taken over by these gases. That includes all the workings beyond. I suspect that is what the samplings all about.

Regardless it must be a very hard call.

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rufenig

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 21/11/2010 09:35:39
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Looks like it is risk assessment holding things up.

AN AUSSIE rescue expert flown in to assist with the desperate bid to save 29 men trapped in a New Zealand coal mine has told of the "slow and frustrating" process.

There has been no communication with the men since Friday's gas explosion at the Pike River colliery.

NSW Mines Rescue general manager Paul Healey said on Sunday it was a frustrating wait as a borehole is drilled to an area where the men are expected to be located.

Mr Healey explained that risk assessments would hold up rescue efforts with protocols insisting that all data "must be understood and within acceptable range before proceeding".

"This is sometimes a slow and frustrating process, but experience has shown that it is necessary," he said.

"Rescue teams are equipped and ready to start as soon as a green light for acceptable risks is given by the incident controller."

NSW Mines Rescue Group, a division of Coal Services Australia, is working closely with New Zealand incident command, which is overseeing the rescue effort at Pike River.

Seamus Devlin, NSW Mines Rescue state manager, and David Connell, manager of Hunter Valley Mines Rescue Station, have flown to New Zealand to help with incident planning while an additional eight local rescue specialists travelled to Christchurch to be on standby.
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gt5952

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Explosion in New Zealand coal mine
Posted: 21/11/2010 09:48:45
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Well, Coal obviously burns, There must be a damping system in place, I pressume its ruptured.

I think Methane causes the flash over, and then other combustable materials ignite, as they burn, other pools of methane erupt. The immense temperature causes structural supports to weaken, pipes and ventillation systems melt etc etc.

Ruefnig and Aditadict, couldnt agree more. My mates back in Germany are all saying they would have gone in long before now, but there are firefighters that go in first, suppression systems, etc.

I have no idea on NZ mining though, Im more than sure that they have all the HSE stuff that the rest of the world has, and their Mines Rescue is as good too. They certainly have a lot of optomism, and I bet they are really miffed they are not in there already.


--

'FOR SALE: 1 Kidney and Half a Lung. If the Traffic Warden comes back to my car again, I can get more bits... I once pretended to be a Capo of a German Mafia family, and strung several people along for 6 months, getting them to do menial tasks like stealing gnomes and the such. I even got two of them to wait outside a bank as 'getaway drivers' for 3 hours, before phoning them to say they were outside the wrong bank.... and the Don wasnt happy... I think they emigrated then...
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