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I know that the mine is full of gas, but coming from a coal mining area and remembering where mine disasters were a lot more common, I seem to remember that as soon as they were on site rescue teams took all relevant precautions, including detectors, non-ferrous tools, breathing apparatus etc and went straight in.
We're not seeing the British disease, Health & Safety, spreading abroad are we?
(The Chilean fall, and subsequent rescue bears no similarities, and is not in any way relevant)
Seeing the photo-shots of the scorched earth and foliage plus the blackened and visibly damaged ventilation shaft, doesn't give a great deal of hope for the victims involved, but I hope that I am very wrong.
I once saw a video of a rescue in similar circumstances, where there was pockets of methane still around plus many other obstacles. To become a rescue worker is definitely not for the faint hearted, it takes a special breed of person to volunteer for such rescues, which some people may never realise.
Perhaps the Twin Towers incident is still fresh in peoples minds, when conducting a rescue of this or similar nature?.
"it takes a special breed of person to volunteer for such rescues,"
It takes a special breed of person to go down the pit in the first place.
If memory serves me correctly every off shift miner immediately went to the pithead, ready to go straight underground.
Firedamp is an ever present risk underground, and these men have lived with it from the first day down.
because there are still dangerous levels of poisonous or potentially explosive gases inside, including carbon monoxide and methane.
There has been no sign of life from the missing men, and international mining experts agree that the delay is a sensible precaution - there's absolutely no point in risking the lives of rescue teams unnecessarily. All the breathing apparatus in the world isn't any use if there's a methane explosion.
I'm well aware of that, and said so in my opening sentence.
I'm simply pointing out that in my memories of mining communities, when they still existed, rescue teams went straight in after taking sensible precautions.
Yes, there were cases of rescuers themselves dying, though very rarely, but far more of men being brought out alive against all hope and expectation.
My memories are of the South Wales coalfields. I am sure there will be similar memories of Yorkshire and the Lothians.
As I said, methane is ever present, miners learn to live, and die, with it.
It was never an excuse for not going underground.
Rescue - recovery, normally the difference is the amount of time between the two.
There was never a difference in the past.
Work started immediately and went on until they were brought out, dead or alive, or until simple odds (ongoing fire, 100,000 tons+ roof fall) dictated otherwise (and even then work went on until life was obviously extinct).
Chile is not relevant.
It was a simple (!) rock fall in a coppermine gallery, no gas, no explosion.
Once they had air, water and food. in that order rescue only depended on their mental state.
As I stated in my earlier post, perhaps the twin towers incident as placed many people, including rescue services and authorities, to a more extreme thought of rescue procedures and administration.
Since the twin towers, there have been many investigations, video reports and simulations as to what went wrong, and how many rescuers lives were lost,as an after event in an attempt to save others. Some of those rescuers were actually rescued themselves, which added even bigger burdens on the actual incident itself.
The twin towers are not the only recent event, where people who have attempted rescue, who have also been killed or seriously injured through 'rushing-in'. In some cases, humans and possibly animals come into auto-pilot mode when serious incidents happen. It is only afterwards that realisation sinks in, as to what occurred in those sudden moments.Even the recent Chile rescue, there are questions being asked if the authorities went far enough, or whether the experts knew enough. Hindsight is a very good thing!.
Perhaps going off subject slightly, but I have witnessed tragic incidents (both in the UK and abroad), that in all possibly may have saved lives, but the circumstances didn't allow for it. Two examples: Coach full of passengers driving into a ravines (frequent occurrence) in Colombia. Large scale flooding in Barbados, when the Prime Minister was on the radio cursing the national disaster rescue services for not turning up, and not doing the job they had been trained to do. The list is endless, but all have there own story, something which the outsider doesn't really understands or appreciates perhaps!.
Live updates here on the ongoing situation at the Pike River coal mine click here
Tragic that such faint hope that still existed has now been extinguished.
One wonders what caused this further explosion.
There should have been nothing left operating that could have caused a spark, and fire damp doesn't self ignite.
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