I am sitting here tonight digesting the news of a mine explosion back in my old home town on the West Coast of the South Island NZ, ( Pike River mine) I recall as very young coal miners son starting my apprentership as an Electrician in Dec 1959, the apprentership was 10,000 hrs and involved going underground every day to maintain and keep extending the undergraound reticulation as the mine expanded & conracted. When I left in 1965 there were hundreds of miles of underground tunneling (mostly closed of to save ventilation). I recall many of my own very close calls i n my time underground. That mine was the “Strongman” State mine, it suffered a massive explosion in 1967 and 19 miners were killed. Strongman Mine was a “gasseous” mine with Methane ever lurking about in a threating manner. (goolge STRONGMAN DISASTER) A lot of these were young school & football mates of mine. My Dad was underground that day & I remember the panic i n trying to find out what happened, fortunately Dad was OK.
This explosing 43 years latter makes it all seam like yesterday, I can recall every detail as I sit here waiting for the news to, God willing, advise they have all been found & are all well. I fear otherwise.
I appreciate that these types of disasters are happening world wide ever day, however when it is your own back yard it has a lot more impact especially a small village of about 900 people. Sorry about burdning LJ’s with this but I am rather upset and just needed to put something down on paper. Hope the good Lord has his hand out for these underground boys,
-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got