Another Mine Explodes, 27 Workers Missing

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Photo: Stewart Nimmo/New Zealand Herald/AP

A gas explosion at New Zealand's largest coal mine has a rescue team searching for 27 missing workers feared to be trapped inside. According to varying accounts, either two or five miners made it out, including one who was pushed out by the blast while working 5,000 feet into the mine. Families are already gathering at the site. Oh dear, we so hoped to have to use our "Mine Under Matter" tag only for delightful news like Elvis-crooning, marathon-running heroes, or mistress-wife love-triangle updates. But before everyone slips back into that well-worn trapped-miner-panic groove, emergency services say they're planning an attempt later today. Other officials, however, were less hopeful. With a power outage, rescuers are unable to pump fresh air into the mine or ventilate the explosive methane gas in the mine without turning on fans, which could delay the rescue operation by days. Okay, never mind, start your vigils.

Trapped miners rescue bid likely later today [New Zealand Herald]
New Zealand 'hanging on every hope' for miners missing after gas blast [MSNBC]