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there nearly 1km underground



Little hope for trapped miners

RESCUE teams working to save three miners trapped inside a Tasmanian gold mine are sending cameras into the blocked shaft.

Beaconsfield Gold mine spokesman Matthew Gill said the cameras would be used to assess the damage as it was too dangerous to send in men.
"The situation is still dangerous to the point where we are unable to access the immediate area," he said today.

"We are currently rigging up a machine with a camera to go in remotely to get closer to the site.

"There is a second line of action which is the drilling of a second drive, but that will take some time ... our priority is, in all efforts, in the search and rescue and we are doing everything possible.

"The area in question doesn't have rescue chambers, that isn't an issue at this point in time."

A specialist mine rescue team has been mobilised and 10 personnel are on site.
But earlier today, Police Inspector Paul Reynolds said no attempt would be made to enter the mine until seismic tests showed the site was stable.

A 2.1 magnitude earthquake is believed to have triggered a rockfall that trapped the men last night.

"At this stage there is nothing new to report, the mine is still working to ensure the stability of the area where the rockfall has occurred and obviously rescue attempts are inhibited by that," Insp Reynolds said.

"Until the area is stable we can't get any closer to where the rockfall occurred."

Tests will plot the area's seismic activity, but no further tremors are believed to have occurred since the earthquake last night.

Insp Reynolds said the mine was equipped with radio facilities, but they would have been destroyed in the rockfall and no contact had been made.

"I can say that our concerns are grave," he said.

The father of one of the miners this morning told of his family's torment as the hours passed without news.

Noel Russell confirmed his son Todd, who is in his early 30s, was among those trapped about 1km underground at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine, 40km northwest of Launceston.

The trio became trapped about 9.30pm (AEST) yesterday.

"My son is one of the boys trapped down there, so I don't want to say too much at the moment," Mr Russell said today.

When asked how the family was coping with situation, he said "very tough".

Chris Rundle, who runs the local Club Hotel, said Todd was a close friend and a keen Australian Rules footballer with the Tamar Cats.

"I am doing okay. I don't know a lot at the moment," he said.

Mr Rundle said he had contacted the local council to offer the services of his hotel to those involved in the rescue.

"I was thinking that maybe the kitchen could cook up something for the rescue workers," he said.

The miners were 925m underground when they lost contact and were known to be in the vicinity of the rockfall.

The mining company, Beaconsfield Gold Mine Joint Venture, said today it had "grave concerns for their wellbeing".

Resource Minister Bryan Green said the trapped miners had been drilling when a "significant" amount of rock had fallen.

He described the event as a tragedy and said his heart went out to the men's families.

The mine had been closed and Workplace Standards would conduct an investigation to determine "if and when" it could reopen, he said.

Barry Easther, the mayor of West Tamar, said the local council was doing all it could to organise support for the miners' families.

"It's a devastating time in the local community," he said on Channel 9.

"We all live on hope, but it's a bad rockfall.

"Thankfully the other miners who were underground at the time have come to the surface safely.

"We have to brace ourselves as a community and pull together."

It's believed 14 miners were under ground when the earthquake hit, but most scrambled to safety.

Beaconsfield service station owner Craig Seen said he believed the other two miners trapped were from Launceston.

"One is a local from this area and the other two are from Launceston," he said on Channel 9.

Mr Seen said the town was behind the miners and their families, but residents were preparing for the worst.

"We would always live in hope, and you'd hope that some minor miracle would happen, but it doesn't look like it at this stage," he said.

"(It's) very very tough. The whole town will be behind them."

He said all of Beaconsfield felt the tremor last night.

"I don't believe there was any explosion because of Anzac Day. I don't believe they were blasting yesterday," he said.

"But the whole town from about 5km away felt the tremor about 9.30 last night ... all the houses shook in the area."

West Tamar Deputy Mayor Max Burr said the tight-knit community was in a state of angst.

"(It's) absolutely horrendous, there will be a lot of concern, not only in Beaconsfield, but all around Tasmania everywhere," he said.

"It is a major concern and all you can do is feel for the families and the miners who are down and hope they're okay.

"Certainly there would be a lot of ... angst in the local community because whoever they are, they would be well known within the local community.

"I am quite hopeful that the community will be hoping and praying that the people get out all right, that would be the immediate response. I am quite sure there would be a lot of optimism they can get out alright."

However, in an interview with Southern Cross Broadcasting, Mr Easther confirmed no contact had been made with the three trapped men.

"I believe that is the case. The mine are getting rescue equipment down there as we speak," he said.

"I haven't heard anything this morning as to how they are progressing. They would obviously be progressing as quickly as they can, but of course taking into consideration the dangerous conditions that obviously exist where they need to be."

The company said the Department of Mines and the Department of Workplace Standards had been notified.

Beaconsfield resident Mick Wain said his whole house "shuddered and bucked" and the windows and doors had rattled when the earthquake hit.

"This is not the first time these things have happened," he said on Channel 7.

A support centre for relatives and friends of the miners has been established at the West Tamar Council Chambers in Beaconsfield.

Concerned friends and family can contact an emergency hotline on 03 6383 6355.
 

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Reports say there are "indications" they are alive. Could be good news though...

Let's hope it's not a false alarm like in the States last year
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The two miners trapped underground in a Tasmanian mine since last Tuesday are still alive.

Just after 7.30pm (AEST), the Beaconsfield Gold Mine company said Todd Russell, 35, and Brant Webb, 36, had been located and ``indications are they are still alive''.

The incident killed their workmate, 44-year-old Larry Knight, whose body was retrieved on Thursday.

Beaconsfield Gold Mine manager Matthew Gill said they had located the two men and indications are that they are still alive. He said the rescue was continuing.

United Church Community Minister Frances Seen said she was in church praying when Todd Russell's mother came running in with the news.

"Todd Russell's mother came running in singing out 'they're alive, they're alive, they're alive','' she told Sky News.

"And she cried and hugged us and it was exciting.

The men have been trapped underground since last Tuesday night when a seismic event triggered rock falls 925 metres into the Beaconsfield Gold Mine in northern Tasmania.

The incident killed their workmate, 44-year-old Larry Knight, whose body was retrieved on Thursday.

On Sunday, rescue crews were blasting a 36 metre-long tunnel to reach the men.

The process involved installing ground support into the newly exposed rock, boring about 50 blast holes, setting off explosive charges, then removing the blasted rock after the firing.

Each firing advances the tunnel about 3.5 metres.

Mr Gill said 780 tonnes of rock had now been removed from the tunnel. "It's slow and painstaking work," he said.

"It is difficult to predict when we will reach where we believe the men are. We are going as fast as we can safely."

The final few metres of the tunnel will be even slower, with crews unable to blast near the trapped men.

Mr Gill said management had not yet decided how to safely complete the tunnel, but the remote-controlled earthmover that cleared rock to locate Mr Knight's body was still on standby.

"That final few metres is critical ... and we're currently spending a lot of thought on that final detailed analysis," he said.

Beaconsfield Gold Mine experienced another seismic event last October and miners have previously raised concerns about the operation's safety.

Mr Gill said earlier rescue crews were taking "every precaution possible" to complete their mission safely.

"It may seem slow, but we're making sure we do it safe, because the last thing we want to do on the back of this tragedy is add any more grief," he said.

AAP
 

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its a miracle! lol
both are unscathed and will be taken out before 12midnight.
 

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^hmm thats was bloody awful. me thinks this has a happier ending.


THE two miners trapped underground in a Tasmanian mine since last Tuesday are still alive.
Just after 7.30pm (AEST), the Beaconsfield Gold Mine company said Todd Russell, 35, and Brant Webb, 36, had been located and "indications are they are still alive".

The incident killed their workmate, 44-year-old Larry Knight, whose body was retrieved on Thursday.

Beaconsfield Gold Mine manager Matthew Gill said they had located the two men and indications are that they are still alive. He said the rescue was continuing.

United Church Community Minister Frances Seen said she was in church praying when Todd Russell's mother came running in with the news.

"Todd Russell's mother came running in singing out 'they're alive, they're alive, they're alive'," she said.
 

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lol Cull. You edited out your certain prediction that they would die.
 

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zach24 said:
good news - lets hope that what happened in canada doesnt happen here - one minute they are alive - next minute it was a mistake
hmm - it wan't the next minute. It was more like three hours. They even had the state govenor on the TV proclaiming a miracle. (and wasn't it the US?).

Either way, it was one of the worst stories i had seen in years. The footage of the celebrations and then them being told it was a mistake and that they had all died was sickening to watch.
 

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have you seen the Beaconfields locals? ******** or what.lol

anton-not really, i said it would be hard to get em out alive.5 days without food or water, must be buggered.
latest is maybe tommorrow they will be out.
 

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Fantastic news if these guys get out, I think from the start we have all thought the worst, don't want to jump the gun after what happened in the US, but bloody brilliant if they have survived. Can you imagine being trapped 1000 metres underground?
 

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im sure 1 miner has already died a few days ago? so mixed emotions i suppose.
i think rescuers are within 12m from the 2 guys, but cant blast anymore,
good night..
 

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but now lets hope they can get them out safely!!!


from the Hobart Mercury

Rejoicing as survivors found
By ROHAN WADE
and NICK CLARK
01may06
TWO miners trapped for five days almost one kilometre underground at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine were miraculously found alive last night.

Rescuers were still working late last night to free Brant Webb and Todd Russell after discovering the pair had survived a rockfall that killed a third miner and which sealed them inside the gold mine since Tuesday.

In a night of high drama last night:

- It was revealed the men were inside a 1.2m x 1.2m cage in which they were working on top of a cherry picker when the rockfall happened on Tuesday night.

- About 12m of rock separates the men from rescuers.

- The men have survived on rancid water seeping down through the mine.

- Rescuers were trying to get food and water to the men last night through a tube.

- It is expected rescuers will try reaching the men today before efforts are made to get them out of the mine.

- The town of Beaconsfield was overcome with celebrations that spilled into streets.

It was believed the miners could be heard as the rescuers came closer to breaking through into the tunnel where they were trapped.

Mr Webb's father, John, said rescuers had spoken with his son and with Mr Russell, who were both still inside the metal cage they were working in when the mine collapse happened.

He said a rock had fallen on top of the cage, shutting them inside, and the pair were forced to sit in the cramped structure which measured just 1.2m by 1.2m.

An ecstatic Mr Webb said the rescuers' priority was to get fresh water and food to the men, along with better communication equipment, by pushing it through a long tube before they attempted to extract them from the mine.

He said having been sitting for so long, neither of the men would be able to walk.

The water that had kept the pair alive was heavily mineralised and rancid but it had allowed them to survive their ordeal.

About 7pm yesterday, mine managers announced the men had been located.

"A short time ago, rescuers at the Beaconsfield Mine believe they have located the two miners missing since last Tuesday night," Beaconsfield Gold Mine managers said in a media statement.

"Indications are that the two men are still alive.

"The two miners are believed to be in the area where they were last seen."

News of the miracle survival swept through the town, setting off unbridled celebrations.

Hundreds gathered outside the mine's gates in excited anticipation of a successful rescue which only the bravest had dared hope possible just hours before.

Cars drove up and down the streets with horns tooting, groups of people hugged others as they walked around town, everyone united in relief and, in some cases, disbelief.

Earlier in the day, an ashen-faced mine manager Matthew Gill said it was likely to be at least another 24 hours of painstaking excavation before the area where the men were believed to be would be reached.

It had taken 36 hours of blasting and excavating for rescuers to push through half the length of a 36m tunnel around the unsafe rockfall area and rejoin the original tunnel.

When asked whether there was any hope the two were still alive, Mr Gill admitted that while people were still hoping and praying that was the case, it appeared grim but the rescue effort was progressing as fast as it possibly could while remaining safe for those involved in the operation, which had captured national attention.

Hopes for a successful rescue of all three miners were dashed on Thursday when the body of 44-year-old Larry Knight was pulled from one of two rockfalls that fell when a earth tremor occurred several kilometres below the mine.

Mr Webb said his family was sparing a thought for the Knight family on the death of Mr Knight in the rockfall, and had spent time with Mr Knight's wife and baby while they were waiting for news of their son.

The Webb's Beauty Point home was over-run by well-wishers and celebrations last night.
For heaps more news about it go to www.themercury.news.com.au

btw this has made front page news in every major city newspaper!!!!!!!
 

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rondeez said:
lol yeh i was wondering were Culwullas "there is no chance they will be found alive" comment went.

But its a miracle! :)
yeah i concur it was silly comment thats why i removed it, but that was beacuse 1 miner already died ,so being 1km underground ,.it didnt look good. but alas a miracle and hopefully they will be out soon.
latest is that could be another 2 days. priority atm is getting food/water to them. race against time.
 
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