Monday 22 November 2010

It's grim out west

Still no news - just heart-breaking details about the men trapped in the mine. Actually, one of them isn't: he's a boy, turned 17 the day before the explosion, and down the mine on his first day on Friday, too excited and eager to wait for his official start as a miner, which should have been today. What can you say?

The new bore hole isn't quite through yet. The gas situation is unknown, and potentially very dangerous for both miners and rescuers. Time is ticking away, and the visible effects of the blast that's damaged and blackened the opening of the mine is weighing on people's minds. There's a growing unease that this is going to end badly.

The West Coast has always been somewhat separate from the rest of New Zealand. It's historically remote, on the far side of the Southern Alps, wetter than most places and harder to earn a living in, whether mining for coal or gold, logging or farming on land that's really not designed for it. The Coasters take a more liberal view of some laws, have different priorities and standards; and they're tough. They'll shore each other up through this. There won't be much of that touchy-feely stuff that the media will be hanging out for. They're private. But it's going to be hard for them.


the queen said...

All the info I get is from Reuters, so I'm missing details like this. So worrisome.

TravelSkite said...

Reuters! How very nineteenth-century of you. Try or


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