Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Say a prayer for Todd and Brant

On April 25, a small earthquake in northern Tasmania caused a mine collapse in the Beaconsfield Gold mine. One miner was killed, and two others were reported missing.

Last Sunday, 5 days after the accident, the two missing miners, Todd Russell and Brant Webb, were found to be alive, having been protected by the safety cage of their mining equipment. By yesterday, rescuers were able to drill a 4 inch hole to the cavity where these men are trapped, through which they could pass water, food, and supplies.

The good news is that both men are in fairly good health and spirits. The accident occurred 925 meters (3035 feet) below the surface, so hypothermia is not an issue due to geothermal heat. And at least one miner asked that his supplies include a weekend paper, so that he could look for a new job.

The bad news is that the rockfall in which they are trapped is quite unstable, so that the rescue team thinks that it will be at least three more days before they can drill a hole large enough to evacuate the men. So here’s hoping that they hang in there, and that no complications occur.

A geologic overview of the orebody can be found here:
http://leme.anu.edu.au/RegExpOre/Beaconsfield.pdf (pdf file)

News updates available via the ABC, and all major Australian news media

No comments: