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  # 1681826 3-Dec-2016 18:31
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It should be sealed & a beautiful memorial built at the site.   And another identical memorial built at a site in Greymouth for the families who never want to go near the mine again.


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  # 1681887 3-Dec-2016 20:41
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Is there a reason why it needs to be permanently sealed? I am just wondering what the motivation for doing this is?
As it is apparently still a crime scene it may need to be looked at agin in the future. What is going to stop it being remined in say twenty years?

 
 
 
 


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  # 1681888 3-Dec-2016 20:42
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amiga500:

It should be sealed & a beautiful memorial built at the site.   And another identical memorial built at a site in Greymouth for the families who never want to go near the mine again.



If the memorial was to be built at the mine, and the families never want to go near the mine again, then a memorial at the mine sounds like a bad idea. Perhaps in the town in a park is a better place to build a single memorial, and just have a plaque at the mine. But it should be up to the families to decide.

But nz doesn't seem to do this sort of thing very well. We still don't have one for all the people who lost their lives in the Christchurch earthquakes. The USA and Europe do them well

gzt



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  # 1681895 3-Dec-2016 21:10
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blakamin:

Personally, I don't understand "closure". Why is moving a body from one place to another going to make anyone feel better?


My view of death is "life is over". The body isn't the person you loved anymore. Stick with your memories.


(and yes, I have lost people close to me.. A brother to suicide, a nephew to a car accident, and many more.)


Like you say that is the body level you are considering. There are other issues. For some this loss will be an unexplained death that requires answers and for some they will feel it worse like unsolved/unresolved homicide.

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  # 1681896 3-Dec-2016 21:12
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Dratsab:

 

MikeAqua: I understand the atmosphere inside the mine is now mostly methane... 

 

Paul Henry had Nick Smith on his show 18 Nov. The minister said the atmosphere in the mine was "basically 98%" methane now. If that's correct it's a little more than 6 x above the upper explosive limit for methane (which is around a 15% mix in 'normal' air) so a crucial part of fire triangle simply doesn't exist. The only real reason to deny recovery teams equipped with appropriate re-breathing equipment access to the the mine would be potential rock face instabilities.

 

The minister cited experts stating there were still heat sources in the mine and these experts worrying about another explosion if oxygen were to get in there. It would take one helluva lot of normal atmosphere to get in there to bring that methane down to an explosive level. There's a bit of fud going on here.

 

Edit
Disclamer: Over the last 15 years I've had extensive training in confined spaces, irrespirable/explosive atmospheres. I'm BA certified and up until recently was an approved explosives handler - that particular ticket will be getting renewed reasonably soon. I've explosively (real) booby trapped vehicles and houses to help train others in hazard awareness/risk mitigation when searching for and locating IED's and have been involved in a number of post-blast investigation exercises. In other words I can work (and have worked) in dark closed-in areas and am well aware of both toxic and explosive atmosphere risks. I'm also DVI trained and have been involved in a number of DVI exercises, both training and real life. On the information that is currently publicly available, I would enter that mine.

 

 

You sound well qualified to make your comments, I am not qualified in any sense (except I hope, common). Having said that, there are equally or better-qualified people advising the government that it's NOT safe to enter.

 

At the end of the day it's (I guess) admirable that you would go in, but what if you are wrong and something happens to you? Are your family prepared to lose you over it? Would they/you sign a document saying no rescue attempt would be made? Given you are prepared to risk your life to recover the bodies, that would seem illogical to me. Even if that was the case, would that be enough to justify going and getting what are at BEST dead bodies badly decomposed, and at worst, ashes and charred bones? In reality IS that going to help the families? 

 

Even if that was the case, would that be enough to justify going and getting what are at BEST dead bodies badly decomposed, and at worst, ashes and charred bones? In reality IS that going to help the families? 

 

I see risk with very little (logical) reward. 

 

The resources, *I* feel, would be better spent helping the families with grief counseling, and coping with the loss when a body is not present, and creating a suitable memorial. 


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  # 1681906 3-Dec-2016 21:34
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gzt:
Like you say that is the body level you are considering. There are other issues. For some this loss will be an unexplained death that requires answers and for some they will feel it worse like unsolved/unresolved homicide.

 

 

 

How is that? It was solved... People know what happened.

 

Recovery isn't really achieving anything for anyone.

 

If the families want someone to "pay", that's what the courts and "compensation" are for. 

 

If they want their "closure", they know where the bodies are, why can't they build their own memorial?

 

I have my own for my cousin, who died at 30 from complications from diabetes. His body cremated, my memorial comes with me no matter where I am. Same with my brother and nephew, to name a few.

 

 

 

Again, just personal opinion.

 

 

 

 

 

EDIT: Agreeing with @dratsab about the gas issues. Highly un-explosive, you just don't want to breathe it :D (confined spaces ticket and BA from when I used to be the stupid person that cleaned INSIDE boilers, bitumen tankers, bitumen storage tanks, flour tankers and silos, and concrete silos...)

 

It's like putting out a cigarette in a tank of petrol. Easy if you're not lighting vapours.


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  # 1681910 3-Dec-2016 21:46
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I have no links with Solid Energy, nor with any mining families.

 

Please explain to me ...

 

Why risk more lives to - in the best case scenario - move human remains from one hole in the ground to another?

 

 





Sideface


 
 
 
 


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  # 1681918 3-Dec-2016 22:03
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I think the recovery team should be allowed to go back in. Yes, it's true they may only be removing bodies from one resting place to another. However I think the families have a right to bury their loved one's remains with dignity and have a burial place where they can honour/pray for their lost relatives just like the rest of us can do for any of our deceased relatives. I don't believe we have the right to deny them this right especially when expert advice says it can be done.

 

There has been more than enough experts saying it's safe and plenty of people with the required expertise to willing conduct this mission.

 

I can't help thinking it's a bit of a pissing contest. Someone in officialdom (very possibly someone without the right expertise) has decided the job's too difficult and isn't prepared to back down in the light of contrary expert opinion.

 

 





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  # 1681919 3-Dec-2016 22:07
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blakamin:

 

 

 

If they want their "closure", they know where the bodies are, why can't they build their own memorial?

 

I have my own for my cousin, who died at 30 from complications from diabetes. His body cremated, my memorial comes with me no matter where I am. Same with my brother and nephew, to name a few.

 

 

 

Again, just personal opinion.

 

 

 

 

At least you got the chance to decide what was best for you with your cousin. Right now these families are not being given that choice.





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  # 1681923 3-Dec-2016 22:27
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networkn: You sound well qualified to make your comments, I am not qualified in any sense (except I hope, common). Having said that, there are equally or better-qualified people advising the government that it's NOT safe to enter.

 

Much better qualified. And those advising the families with opposing views are also much better qualified. All I see with the Government position is an agenda to help their SOE walk away from an ugly situation.

 

networkn: At the end of the day it's (I guess) admirable that you would go in, but what if you are wrong and something happens to you? Are your family prepared to lose you over it? Would they/you sign a document saying no rescue attempt would be made? Given you are prepared to risk your life to recover the bodies, that would seem illogical to me. Even if that was the case, would that be enough to justify going and getting what are at BEST dead bodies badly decomposed, and at worst, ashes and charred bones? In reality IS that going to help the families? 

 

Even if that was the case, would that be enough to justify going and getting what are at BEST dead bodies badly decomposed, and at worst, ashes and charred bones? In reality IS that going to help the families? 

 

Not sure why you felt the need to repeat yourself...

 

Ultimately, what I choose to do is not up to my family, it's up to me. This is how I have always lived and is how I will always live. I have a high risk job - this is what my family knows and understands. As for the remains you are absolutely right, there will be little to recover. Being more than well aware Newtown's third law applies equally to blast over-pressure and having seen (as have many other people) the power and duration of the outgassing from the initial blast, my opinion is that this blast would have been unsurvivable for anyone in the mine, but it is just my opinion. This was followed by a massive fire which would have left little in it's wake. Similar (in some respects) to the Victoria bush fires where all that was being found of some people was a few teeth.

 

networkn: I see risk with very little (logical) reward. 

 

The resources, *I* feel, would be better spent helping the families with grief counseling, and coping with the loss when a body is not present, and creating a suitable memorial. 

 

Sending people to Antarctica after Erebus wasn't about reward, sending people to the Solomons in 2001 wasn't about reward, sending people to the 2002 Bali bombings wasn't about reward, sending people to Sumatra, Thailand and beyond in 2004 wasn't about reward, sending people to Carterton in 2012 wasn't about reward (to pull just a few examples off the top of my head). It's not about reward. I see the potential for answers. I see an ending for the anguish of many people in that community by possibly being able to provide such answers. I see an end to the speculation about whether or not any miners did actually survive and make it to (or at least try) mine shelters.

 

I know people who have worked at the site and in the surrounding environs post blast. They tell me there is that much methane being released you can hear it hissing out of cracks in the ground. I absolutely trust these people so would venture to say that even at double the specific gravity, there's no way standard atmosphere is going to dilute the methane in those shafts down to an explosive level. That said, there's probably enough standard atmosphere in the entrance and some way up the entrance shaft to cause significant problems (and maybe this is what the Government experts are actually talking about) but this can most likely be dealt with by way of airlocks.


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  # 1681931 3-Dec-2016 23:49
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Technofreak:

 

blakamin:

 

 

 

If they want their "closure", they know where the bodies are, why can't they build their own memorial?

 

I have my own for my cousin, who died at 30 from complications from diabetes. His body cremated, my memorial comes with me no matter where I am. Same with my brother and nephew, to name a few.

 

 

 

Again, just personal opinion.

 

 

 

 

At least you got the chance to decide what was best for you with your cousin. Right now these families are not being given that choice.

 

 

 

 

I decided to attach my memories of him to something he used to own. That was my only choice. I had no control over his body.


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  # 1681945 4-Dec-2016 00:50
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blakamin:

 

Personally, I don't understand "closure". Why is moving a body from one place to another going to make anyone feel better?

 

My view of death is "life is over". The body isn't the person you loved anymore. Stick with your memories.

 

(and yes, I have lost people close to me.. A brother to suicide, a nephew to a car accident, and many more.)

 

 

 

 

Agreed. But then I don't get things like the crosses by the side of the road. If your relative dies in Ward C, bed 5 of the local hospital, you won't be putting up a cross there - why is the side of the road somehow worthy of a special marker?

 

NZ does seem to have a peculiar relationship with death, though.






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  # 1681946 4-Dec-2016 01:07
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Dratsab:

 

Much better qualified. And those advising the families with opposing views are also much better qualified. All I see with the Government position is an agenda to help their SOE walk away from an ugly situation.

 

 

Well, I'd consider that a very strange opinion to form. Almost anti-establishment. I see a Government who is damned if they do and damned if they don't, but if they do and something goes wrong, SO much worse for EVERYONE involved. 

 

 

Ultimately, what I choose to do is not up to my family, it's up to me. This is how I have always lived and is how I will always live. I have a high risk job - this is what my family knows and understands. As for the remains you are absolutely right, there will be little to recover. Being more than well aware Newtown's third law applies equally to blast over-pressure and having seen (as have many other people) the power and duration of the outgassing from the initial blast, my opinion is that this blast would have been unsurvivable for anyone in the mine, but it is just my opinion. This was followed by a massive fire which would have left little in it's wake. Similar (in some respects) to the Victoria bush fires where all that was being found of some people was a few teeth.

 

 

I would consider your refusal to take into account your families feelings selfish, but it's your life. I know that sounds disrepectful. I understand and respect people who work high risk jobs, because in most situations, you are probably trying to rescue people (alive). I don't see this as an acceptable reason to enter this mine and put your life at risk (without even knowing you).

 

As to your other point, you have said there is nothing to retrieve, so what is there to discuss. Lots of risk, nothing to be gained.

 

 

 

 

Sending people to Antarctica after Erebus wasn't about reward, sending people to the Solomons in 2001 wasn't about reward, sending people to the 2002 Bali bombings wasn't about reward, sending people to Sumatra, Thailand and beyond in 2004 wasn't about reward, sending people to Carterton in 2012 wasn't about reward (to pull just a few examples off the top of my head). It's not about reward. I see the potential for answers. I see an ending for the anguish of many people in that community by possibly being able to provide such answers. I see an end to the speculation about whether or not any miners did actually survive and make it to (or at least try) mine shelters.

 

I know people who have worked at the site and in the surrounding environs post blast. They tell me there is that much methane being released you can hear it hissing out of cracks in the ground. I absolutely trust these people so would venture to say that even at double the specific gravity, there's no way standard atmosphere is going to dilute the methane in those shafts down to an explosive level. That said, there's probably enough standard atmosphere in the entrance and some way up the entrance shaft to cause significant problems (and maybe this is what the Government experts are actually talking about) but this can most likely be dealt with by way of airlocks.

 

 

I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume you genuinely didn't get that my reference to reward was nothing to do with financial gain. The only benefit of going into the mine as I see it, would be to get remains, so the people who are grieving *might* feel better. I would hazard a guess that right now, the reason they are *actually* fighting, is to give them an outlet for their grief. It's a really hard situation, but one that MUST be dealt with logically, not emotionally.

 

As I understand it, not only is there (debatable) risk, but airlocks are pretty expensive and create complications and risks of their own.

 

Based on what you have said, I can't understand your argument for entering the mine (maybe I misunderstood?).

 

 

 

 


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  # 1681947 4-Dec-2016 01:08
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At least you got the chance to decide what was best for you with your cousin. Right now these families are not being given that choice.

 

 

There is a very good reason for that. In doing what he did, Blakadmin did not put anyone elses life at risk.


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  # 1681948 4-Dec-2016 01:12
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Technofreak:

 

I think the recovery team should be allowed to go back in. Yes, it's true they may only be removing bodies from one resting place to another. However I think the families have a right to bury their loved one's remains with dignity and have a burial place where they can honour/pray for their lost relatives just like the rest of us can do for any of our deceased relatives. I don't believe we have the right to deny them this right especially when expert advice says it can be done.

 

 

Plenty of experts saying the opposite. 

 

 

 

 

I can't help thinking it's a bit of a pissing contest. Someone in officialdom (very possibly someone without the right expertise) has decided the job's too difficult and isn't prepared to back down in the light of contrary expert opinion.

 

 

Heh, it's not a matter of too hard, it's a matter that their experts are saying it's not safe, and risking more lives is unacceptable. I actually find it pretty surprising that these families would even consider risking someone elses life to 

 

get back bone and ash. I do understand the emotional side of it, but it can and should be overcome. 

 

 


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