Saturday, November 20, 2010
That there is ALWAYS a worse job
...is something I constantly remind myself- although coal mining is far from the bottom of the list- and yes, I HAVE been inside a coal mine while blasting was going on!
Trouble with underground mining, is that when things go wrong, they REALLY go wrong. Unlike, say, forestry where they get knocked off one by one.
I certainly don't envy the chaps who will go in to search the mine- who knows what state the mine is in after a large explosion. But they will go in and are do doubt incredibly frustrated in being held back. It's not just the flammable gas, but now there may (probably) be concentrations of highly lethal carbon monoxide. A fireman's BA is only good for about half an hour- a specialized mining rebreather more than that, but they will not be traveling fast.
I took part in a cave rescue exercise some years ago and that was a real headache getting a stretcher case out about 400 meters. In good air and a stable cave.
I think next time I'm outside working in the hot sun, I will remind myself of the lot of the miner...