All 29 Trapped New Zealand Miners Reported Dead

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Flowers and a note were placed near the mine. Photo: Martin Hunter/Getty Images

All 29 miners who were trapped underground in a New Zealand mine last week are dead, the official in charge of the rescue attempt said this evening, following a second explosion in the mine. The miners were trapped last Friday when methane gas caused an explosion, and toxic gas and fears of further explosions stopped rescuers from entering the mine, despite pleas by the miners' families. Robots searched for life in the mine, but there were no signs that anyone had survived the initial blast. This afternoon, a feared second explosion occurred. "It is our belief that no one has survived and everyone will have perished," the police superintendent said. The buildup of gases over the last few days caused the second explosion, Greymouth mayor Tony Kokshoorn explained, adding: "This is the west coast's darkest hour."

All 29 trapped New Zealand miners dead-police [Retuers via Yahoo]