Rescuers begin drilling hole for the trapped New Zealand miners

By on Nov 22, 2010 in Current Events, World Comments

Updated November 22, 2010 4:26 p.m.

Read New Zealand Police released the list of names of 29 trapped miners in Pike River coal mine

Rescuers begin drilling hole for the trapped New Zealand miners, so that more gas samples could be taken and analyzed, according to New Zealand Herald on Sunday.

According to the report, Pike River chief executive Peter Whittall said rescuers may take about 16 to 24 hours to finish drilling the hole, which is 15 cm. in diameter and 150 meters deep.

“It’s a difficult environment the drill is working in, it’s high up on a mountain and it’s drilling through hard rock,” Whittall told the news.

Once the hole-drilling is finished, rescue officials plan to drop a camera down to the mine to understand the status of the trapped miners, just like rescuers did for the trapped Chilean miners.

Apparently, rescue officials say they are not yet sure if the tunnel is safe for the rescuers to enter and a second explosion will not occur.

Earlier, it was reported that there is a high level of lethal gases in the mine which caused the start of the rescue to be delayed, while a study is being made on how to bring the trapped back to safety.

Meanwhile, families of the 29 trapped miners continue to worry since they still don’t have communication with their loved ones who have been down under since Friday when the mine blast occurred.

The trapped miners includes 24 New Zealand residents, two British nationals, one South African, and two Australians, in which one of them was identified as Josh Ufer, 27 years old.

So far, only two miners have safely escaped after the blast, and were identified as Daniel Rockhouse and Russell Smith.

Ben Rockhouse, Daniel’s brother was left behind in the mine, while Russell Smith told the news earlier that he was lucky to be alive, as he came to work one hour late.

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