The names of some of the 29 miners trapped in the Pike River Coal mine explosion at Atarau on Friday have been released by the media. A full list has yet to be officially released.
Malcolm Campbell aged 25, from St Andrews, in Fife, Scotland, engaged to be married to his NZ fiancee on 8 December.
Pete Rodger, 40, from Perthshire. Mr Rodger, who emigrated to NZ two years ago, is a former offshore oil engineer. (source) This is not the first time he’s been trapped in the mine. He started at Pike River in April and was trapped underground for eight hours about three months ago. (source)
Stuff is also listing:
West Coast, NZ
Milton Osborn, Blair Sims – 28, Michael Monk – 23, Benjamin Rockhouse, Brendon Palmer, Alan Dixon – 60, Zen Drew – 21, Chris Duggan, Peter O’Neill
Josh Ufer – 25 from Queensland, one of at least two Australians thought to trapped in the mine.
Acccording to the report on Stuff;
“Zen’s father Laurie is one of the only family members to speak publicly so far. Laurie last night told media “If I had my way, I’d be down there and I’d go into the mine myself – I’m not scared or nothing – and I’d go and look myself, gas or not.”
Our best wishes go out to the men, and their families, for their safe rescue.
Glimmer of Hope
There is hope that some of the men who didn’t escape may’ve survived the initial explosion. This appeared in today’s Herald:
In a glimmer of hope, Christchurch resident Joel Dixon told how his trapped father had tried to call family from the mine after the explosion.
Alan Dixon, 60, is one of the oldest of the 29 miners caught up in the disaster. He made the call to his partner in Runanga just after the blast.
Joel Dixon said: “He called her from the phone in the mine after the explosion. It was quite fuzzy,” he said.
He said his father had worked in mines “all his life” and was well trained in emergency procedures: “Even as a little kid I remember what the staff had to do for safety – we’re just waiting. It’s stressful.”
One media report said that the mine had recently experienced problems:
Pike River is New Zealand’s only locally owned mine, and has promoted its attempts at environmental sustainability. But the project has been dogged by difficulty since opening in 2008: a collapsed ventilation shaft in February 2009 and continually delayed and downgraded coal extraction.
In early November, Pike River admitted it was suffering mechanical problems and had to again cut production targets from the original target of 2000 tonnes of crushed coal per day.