Wednesday 24 November 2010

Sorrow floats

So that's that, then. Another explosion this afternoon, even bigger than the first, which last night we learned had lasted 52 seconds and reached temperatures estimated to be around 1200 degrees. It's vindicated the decision of the po-faced police superintendant, who we were starting to dislike, who had stuck to his guns that no rescuers should be allowed down the tunnel while there was still the risk of another blast.

The chief of the mine, a former miner himself and a rumpled, open, straightforward bloke with bags under his eyes that have got bigger by the hour, is now anxious to recover the bodies but the possibility is that they may never be recovered: the mine may simply have to be sealed and abandoned as too dangerous to work.The levels of methane and carbon monoxide are still extremely high.

Seeing the parade of faces of the miners on television tonight was very sad: good guys, family men, cheerful in their photos, who'd signed on to do what they knew was a dangerous job, but never really thought they would die down there in the dark.

Who does? There's danger everywhere. Sometimes it's signposted, sometimes it's not. Mostly we get away with it. Sometimes we don't. Carpe diem.

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