Pike River Day IV

NZPA report:

Prime Minister John Key says he is praying that the 29 men trapped at Pike River are safe.

“I just pray to God that they are alive,” he said.

“Obviously we need to begin a rescue as soon as we practically can, and we just pray that they have managed to secure an oxygen source.”

I think many NZers have also been praying for a good outcome. The news is not promising sadly, based on a blast survivor:

“Because I wasn’t as far up … the explosion wasn’t as bad for me. It just bowled me over and knocked me unconscious and someone dragged me about 300 metres, brought me around and then two of us held each other to get out of the mine.”

Mr Smith described the explosion as quick and without heat or smell.

“I just remember seeing a flash of something in front of me and then the concussion hit me. It wasn’t just a bang. It just kept coming, kept coming, kept coming.

“So I crouched down as low as I could in the seat to try to get behind this metal door [on the loader he was driving] to stop being pelted with all this debris …

I just couldn’t breathe and that’s the last I could remember and then someone found me about 15 minutes or so later.”

Mr Smith said the next thing he remembers is looking out of the ambulance as it was driving into Greymouth.

The concussion must have been very severe for those further in.

It must be awful for the families who are hoping for the best, but also getting prepared for the worst. Hopefully today there may be a resolution.

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