New Zealand Mine Searches For Survivors
Engineers will soon complete the drilling of a 15cm (6in) wide test and 160m-long shaft that will allow them to assess the air quality. Dangerous levels of methane and carbon monoxide is suspected to be in the mine, which has hampered all rescue efforts.
Methane is combustible, with methane reactions being hard to control - which means there is a potential risk of another explosion. Carbon monoxide is highly toxic to humans in high quantities. Therefore it is unsafe for rescue teams to go in before the air quality has been established.
While the situation is looking increasingly bleak, the mine is well known to be equipped with refuges, and, once electricity supplies are restored, ventilation could quickly purge any methane or combustion fumes. Each miner carried 30 minutes of oxygen, enough to reach oxygen stores in the mine that would allow them to survive for several days in spite of the build-up of carbon monoxide and methane.
However, there has sadly yet to be any contact with the miners – who consist of 24 New Zealanders, two Australians, two Scotsmen and a South African - since Friday 19th November. It is reported that the men would have been carrying flasks of water, but no food. The lights on the miner’s caps only last for 24 hours.
The world hopes for good news.
For further information, visit leading tunnel news website tunnelbuilder: http://www.tunnelbuilder.com
DREAMSCAPE DESIGN LIMITED
Eliot Park Innovation Centre
Eliot Business Park
4 Barling Way
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