“It’s gut-wrenching. It doesn’t get much worse than this.”
So said one of those present when mine chief Peter Whittall had to tell waiting families that a massive explosion crushed all hope that any of their loved ones would be brought out of the Pike River Mine alive.
“Everyone started shouting and sobbing. They just dropped to the floor,” he said.
After the successful rescue of the trapped miners in Chile – which everyone thought was so improbable when the effort started – this is a grim reminder of the dangers and uncertainties miners face around the world.
Just as the world rejoiced with the Chileans, now we mourn with the New Zealanders.
- the Pike River miners (liturgy.co.nz)
- 29 miners confirmed dead after second explosion at New Zealand mine (cnn.com)