Thousands of trapped miners rescued in South Africa

Posted on 27th April 2017 by in Uncategorized

Thursday, October 4, 2007

As many as 3,200 mine workers became trapped in the in Elandsrand mine, a gold mine in South Africa about 50 miles (80 km) west of Johannesburg in Carletonville, Gauteng, after an incident on October 3. All miners have been rescued, and none of them were injured. The mine is owned by Harmony Gold Mining Corporation.

The mining company says that a lift electrical cable broke on a basket that was carrying miners, trapping thousands at least 2,200 meters (1.3 miles) below the earth’s surface. Reports from MSNBC and the Guardian Unlimited say that the shaft may have collapsed when a water or air pipe burst. The rescue operation went well with no complications, with the rescue taking just under 24 hours to complete.

“They were underground when the accident happened and they were not able to surface because an electric feeder cable that is connected to the mine lift was severed,” said a spokeswoman for the mining company, Amelia Soares. The snap was caused by a “fatigued” air pipe which burst and fell down the shaft damaging the “steelwork and electrical feeder cords,” added Soares. “They are all in good condition.”

“They are all safe. There have been no injuries or deaths,” said CEO of Harmony mining, Graham Briggs who also said that the miners were previously contacted and were given “food and water.”

Earlier reports had stated that Lesiba Seshoka, a spokesman with the National Union of Mineworkers, said that the miners have not been heard from for hours and that they could have been enduring temperatures as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).

“This is a terrible situation. The only exit is blocked, probably by a fall of ground,” said Seshoka.

Rescue workers used a mine shaft that is next to the damaged one in an attempt to reach the trapped miners, and lifted them out, 75 at a time. There was no emergency exit in the shaft which is reported to have “not been maintained for ages,” added Seshoka.

“An escape route is the most important thing and they have failed miserably. They need to ensure that the shaft is maintained. This is why we have this disaster. Our main worry is for more than 3,000 people who are underground,” said National Union of Mineworkers for S. Africa chairman, Deon Boqwana.

Current reports say that “negligence” was the initial cause for the pipe burst and that there has been a history of negligence from the mine. “We suspect negligence. Because of continuous operations there is no time to make adequate checks,” said the President of the Miners union, Senzeni Zokwana to reporters during a news conference.

The Elsrand mine is currently under development and has been since February 2001 when Harmony bought the mine. Officials state that the mine will remain closed for a minimum of six weeks, while an investigation is performed, and the mine is deemed safe for miners to continue working in it.

The mine is located in the Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa, which is said to be the location of the largest area of raw gold on the planet.

Rescued Australian miners sign multi-million dollar media deal

Posted on 27th April 2017 by in Uncategorized

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The two Australian mine-workers, who were trapped for 14 days underground in a collapsed mine, have signed a media deal reportedly worth AUD$2 million for their story of survival. Local media reports that the lucrative deal, announced by the Nine Network, is believed to be the “highest ever paid to secure news talent”. A planned TV special will be the outcome of a deal secured by Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL), which owns the Nine Network.

Miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb were entombed nearly a kilometre underground following a cave-in on April 25 at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine in Tasmania. A third miner, Larry Knight, was killed in the rock-fall. The two survivors trapped in a wire cage, survived by drinking water seeping through rocks until rescuers managed to dig a small tunnel to deliver fresh food and water. Their tale has captured the attention of the nation, with media corporations fighting for exclusive rights to the miners’ story.

The Nine Network’s chief executive Eddie McGuire said under the PBL deal, Woman’s Day, the Australian Women’s Weekly and the Bulletin magazines would also have access to the men. The Nine Network has announced it would broadcast a two-hour special with entitled “The Great Escape.”

Another deal is expected to be brokered with U.S. media. Mr McGuire said the deal would not restrict the pair from selling their story to CNN, the US Today Show and Good Morning America, who have all reportedly made contact with Mr Russell and Mr Webb this week.

Under the PBL deal, Woman’s Day, the Australian Women’s Weekly and the Bulletin magazines would also have access to the men, Mr McGuire said. Nine says it also wants the footage and photographs taken by the miners during their ordeal. The footage remains in the hands of the mining company.

The men, who were rescued on May 9, have not spoken publicly about the time they spent trapped underground.

See Wikipedia article: Beaconsfield mine collapse

Utah mine co-owner: this will be the last chance for the missing miners

Posted on 27th April 2017 by in Uncategorized

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Today rescue workers will drill a sixth hole into the collapsed Utah mine in a final effort to resuce the trapped miners who have been missing since August 6.

The previous holes, which have been dug as deep as 1,500 feet (460 m) underground at the Crandall Canyon Mine, have not produced any signs of the trapped miners.

Bob Murray, the mine’s co-owner, said this sixth attempt to reach the miners will be the last. Murray also said that this last attempt will bring him closure. However, he realizes the families may never find the closure they are calling for. A spokesman for the families said they do not want the rescue efforts to stop until they find the men. One family member said, “He doesn’t realize that what we have now is hope, and maybe our family members are not alive, but we want our bodies out…We want proper burials.”

Mining will not be resumed in the area, Murray said.

Over 60 illegal miners die in South African mine fire

Posted on 27th April 2017 by in Uncategorized

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Over 60 miners were killed in an abandoned gold mine shaft near Welkom, in the Free State province of South Africa, after a fire broke out inside the mine.

36 bodies from the Harmony Gold mining company Eland mine shaft were brought up earlier on the weekend from depths up to 1.4 kilometers (1 mi). On Tuesday, 25 more bodies were recovered by other illegal workers.

“We suspect there was a fire on the 18th of May. We never saw any smoke. Over the weekend [30 May] we were informed by other illegal miners that people had died,” said Tom Smith, Chief Operating Officer for Harmony’s South Region, “The bodies are not burnt. It seems more of a case of gas or smoke inhalation. I don’t know if there are any more bodies down there, we just have to wait.”

The workers may have died from poisonous gasses, smoke inhalation, suffocation, cave-ins or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Harmony gold mine will not send anyone in to the mine as the conditions are extremely dangerous and abandoned shafts are without safety equipment. Illegal workers may gain access bypassing security at one mine site, and exit via a series of interconnected underground tunnels many miles away.

Harmony is internationally the fifth largest gold mining company and has bought up old, abandoned mines.

Police were seeking relatives to help identify the bodies, and are instigating an investigation into the circumstances.

Almost 300 “gold pirates” were arrested over the past two weeks at the Eland mine shaft alone. Thousands of illegal workers can be underground, and remain working for weeks and months continuously. “These are ex-miners and unemployed people – we need to target the syndicates,” said Smith.

There are over 4.18 million unemployed in South Africa due to the economic decline, and another 1 million may soon join the ranks.

Susan Shabangu, the minister of mining, extended her condolences.

Welkom, with a population of over 400,000 is located 160 kilometers (99 mi) northeast of Bloemfontein, the provincial capital.

Utah mine co-owner: this will be the last chance for the missing miners

Posted on 26th April 2017 by in Uncategorized

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Today rescue workers will drill a sixth hole into the collapsed Utah mine in a final effort to resuce the trapped miners who have been missing since August 6.

The previous holes, which have been dug as deep as 1,500 feet (460 m) underground at the Crandall Canyon Mine, have not produced any signs of the trapped miners.

Bob Murray, the mine’s co-owner, said this sixth attempt to reach the miners will be the last. Murray also said that this last attempt will bring him closure. However, he realizes the families may never find the closure they are calling for. A spokesman for the families said they do not want the rescue efforts to stop until they find the men. One family member said, “He doesn’t realize that what we have now is hope, and maybe our family members are not alive, but we want our bodies out…We want proper burials.”

Mining will not be resumed in the area, Murray said.

Miners survive underground fire in Tasmania

Posted on 26th April 2017 by in Uncategorized

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Three miners have escaped uninjured after being trapped underground by a mineshaft fire on Tasmania’s west coast. The men took shelter in a chamber more than a kilometre underground. A worker noticed smoke coming from a shaft at Avebury nickel mine on Trial Harbour Road near Zeehan at 7.45am.

The blaze started after a truck working 400 metres underground toppled and caught fire. It took nearly five hours for rescue teams to bring the blaze under control, move the burning truck and reach the trapped miners.

Allegiance Mining chairman Tony Howland-Rose said the workers were safe. “The emergency response procedures in place at Avebury were activated and resulted in the vehicle fire being extinguished and the safe rescue of the miners,” Mr Howland-Rose said.

Ambulance crews say the men appear to be in good health. Queenstown Police Inspector Mark Beech-Jones says rescue workers reached the men just before midday.

“We’ve dispatched a number of ambulance service personnel there just to give them a check up but from our initial discussions with them, they are fine,” he said.

The Avebury nickel mine is a new project for the Sydney-based company – Allegiance Mining. Allegiance suspended trading on the stock exchange this morning. Mr Howland-Rose said the suspension of trading would be in place until it became clear what had happened at the mine.

The mine is undergoing a $60 million redevelopment and was due to resume mining later this year.

Copiapó, Chile mining accident: in depth

Posted on 25th April 2017 by in Uncategorized

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The rescue of the Chilean miners trapped in the San José Mine in Copiapó, codenamed Operación San Lorenzo (San Lorenzo Operation), began on Tuesday night, at around 20:00 local time (23:00 UTC).

Florencio Ávalos was the first miner to be rescued, at 00:12 local time (03:12 UTC) on Wednesday. He was wearing a shirt signed by all his fellow miners. “The first miner is already with us. We saw it all, him hugging his wife Monica and his son Byron,” said President Piñera shortly after the first rescue. “We still have a long journey.”

“This will be recorded on every single Chilean heart forever,” Piñera added. “I hope the miners’ hope stay with us, just like the [February] earthquake victims’ [hope] and what the earthquake took off. We know that the disasters unite us all.”

All the 33 miners were rescued. The last miner, Luis Urzúa, was rescued at 21:55 Chile time (00:55 UTC). “It is a pleasure to be Chilean, [I’m] proud,” said Luis Urzúa to President Piñera. “In honour of the miners, their families, the rescuers […] let’s sing our national anthem. Viva Chile Mierda!,” said Piñera. Urzúa thanked Mining Minister Golborne and the First Lady Cecilia Morel for “fighting for their lives.” “I’m proud of my fellow miners,” Urzúa added.

Six rescuers, including a miner and a paramedic, descended to the miners’ shelter using the Fénix 3 capsule which was specially constructed for the rescue. They performed check-ups and talk with the miners before taking them back to the surface. The rescuers still don’t leave the mine.

The Fénix 3 capsules are 3.95 metres in height and weigh about 460 kilograms. They have an armour, an oxygen tube and a microphone. The occupants helmets contain an intercom to keep them in contact with the rescue team on the surface.

President of Chile Piñera assisted to the rescue. Bolivian President Evo Morales could not attend Carlos Mamani’s rescue. Mamani is the only Bolivian miner in the group.

A mass for the miners was conducted at 18:00 local time (21:00 UTC). The rescue takes between 15 and 20 minutes for each miner.

On Tuesday, Mayor of Copiapó Maglio Cicardini announced that the municipal schools in the city will have no classes this Wednesday “to transform the rescue of the Atacama’s 33 in a familiar meeting,” Radio Cooperativa reported.

“The miners will be taken to the Copiapó Regional Hospital for medical checkup, where they will have to stay for 48 hours,” Health Minister Mañalich said to Televisión Nacional de Chile.

Celebrations are taking place in several Chilean cities. In Santiago de Chile, people gathered in one of the most important points of the city, Plaza Italia. In Pichilemu, tens of cars are passing over its most important streets. In Copiapó, people gathered in its main square to assist a massive concert.

On August 5, 33 miners were trapped more than 700 meters (2,300 ft) underground, in the San José copper–gold mine, located about 40 kilometers north of Copiapó, Chile.

The youngest trapped miner is 19 years old, and the oldest is 63. There were several rescue attempts before reaching the miners’ shelter on August 22. The National Emergencies Office of Chile (ONEMI) released a list of the trapped miners on August 6, which included Franklin Lobos Ramírez, a retired footballer.

Chile is the worlds top producer of copper, according to The Economist. The San José Mine is owned by the San Esteban Mining Company (Empresa Minera San Esteban). The mine was closed down in 2007, after relatives of a miner who had died sued the company executives, but the mine was re–opened in 2008.

It was originally estimated that “it would take three to four months to complete the rescue of the trapped miners”. There were three plans to reach the miners: “Plan A” using a Strata 950 drill, “Plan B” using a Schramm T130XD drill, and “Plan C” using a RIG-422 drill. The first to reach the miners was “Plan B”, early on Saturday 9.

The last step of their rescue, announced by Health Minister Jaime Mañalich, was originally due to begin on Tuesday. Laurence Golborne, Minery Minister said “If it is possible, and the cement sets before and we don’t have any impediments to doing it, it would be wonderful,” in a press conference on Monday. The men will be extracted in a steel rescue capsule 54 cm (21 inches) in diameter.

On September 4, Chilean filmmaker Rodrigo Ortúzar announced plans to film a movie about the accident, called “Los 33” (“The 33”). The film will be released in 2011.

One miner is Bolivian, and the other 32 are Chilean.

Raúl Bustos, 40 years old, is an hydraulics engineer. He left his job in Talcahuano after the February 27 earthquake to work in the mine.

Daniel Herrera, 27 years old, is a lorry driver. He has acted as paramedic assistant in the mine. He said to La Tercera “the miners were unhappy with the psychologist in the rescue team.”

Claudio Acuña, miner, is fan of the Colo-Colo football club. The BBC reports he is aged 56, but El Comercio says he is 44.

Pedro Cortez is aged 24. He joined the mine with his friend Carlos Bugueño. Cortez is an electrician, and lost a finger in the mine a year ago.

File:Juan Aguilar with President Piñera.jpg

A native of Los Lagos, Juan Aguilar is 49 years old. Aguilar is married to Cristy Coronado, according to El Comercio. Aguilar works as a supervisor.

Mario Sepúlveda is a 39 years old electrician native of Parral; he is married. He has been the spokesman of the most of the miners’ videos. Mario Sepúlveda was the second miner to be rescued, on Wednesday at 01:10 local time (04:10 UTC).

Víctor Zamora is a 33 years old auto mechanic. Zamora is married to Jéssica Cortez, who confirmed she was pregnant while he was in the mine.

Osman Araya is 30 years old, and married. He began working as miner four months before the accident.

Florencio Ávalos is 31 years old. He is the brother of Renán Ávalos, who is also trapped in the mine. He worked as driver in San José. Ávalos filmed videos, sent later to his relatives.

Ávalos was the first miner to be rescued, on Wednesday at 00:10 local time (03:10 UTC).

Jorge Galleguillos, 56 years old, has worked all his life in the mine. He said in one video he was feeling unwell; he takes medication for hypertension.

Carlos Barrios is a 27 years old miner. His father, Antenor Barrios, told Agence France-Presse: “I find he’s very strong and has enthusiasm. He spoke loud and clear. I was excited.”

Franklin Lobos Ramírez is a 53 years old retired footballer. He played for Cobresal, Deportes Antofagasta, Club de Deportes Santiago Wanderers and Unión La Calera, and briefly for the Chile national football team. Lobos had worked as a truck driver in the mine.

Yonni Barrios, called “The Doctor”, is a 50 years old electrician. He has knowledge of first aid, and was given responsibility for monitoring the health of his colleagues. “I felt I was in hell,” Barrios said in a letter to his wife.

Carlos Bugueño, 27 years old, joined the mine with Pedro Cortez. Previously, he worked as a watchman.

Alex Vega Salazar is a 31 years old heavy machinery mechanic. He is married to Jessica Salgado, and celebrated his birthday in the mine on September 22.

Ariel Ticona is a 29 years old miner. His wife, Margarita gave birth to his daughter on September 14. She was named Esperanza (Hope), at Ticona’s request.

Richard Villarroel is a 27 years old mechanic from Coyhaique.

Edison Peña is a 34 years old miner. “I want to go out soon,” he said on his first contact with his relatives. “I want to be free, I want to see the sun,” he added. He is a fan of Elvis Presley.

Claudio Yáñez is 34 years old, and works as drill operator.

José Ojeda, 46 years old, is the master driller. Ojeda is widowed and diabetic.

Luis Urzúa is a 54 year old topographer. He is the shift-leader, and was the first miner to talk with authorities. He is known as Don Lucho among the miners. He draw plans of the area of the mine where they are trapped.

Urzúa will be the last miner to leave the mine.

José Henríquez is a 54 years old drill master. He is also an evangelical preacher, and has worked in mines for 33 years.

Víctor Segovia is a 48 years old electrician. He is in charge of writing down everything that happens in the mine.

Pablo Rojas is a 45 years old explosives loader. Married, he had been working less than six months in the mine.

Juan Illanes is a 51 year old miner. He was a sergeant in the Beagle border conflict between Chile and Argentina in 1978, the incident which almost provoked a war between the countries.

Illanes was rescued on Wednesday, at 02:07 local time (05:07 UTC).

Jimmy Sánchez, 19, is the youngest miner. He had been working in the mine for five months before the accident. His role is to check the temperature and humidity in the mine.

Samuel Ávalos is a 43 years miner. His wife Ruth said “he was addicted to the cocaine.” His role in the rescue is to check air quality in the area the miners are living. According to the BBC, “Ávalos has worked in the mine for five months.”

Mario Gómez, aged 63, is the oldest of the miners. He has worked 51 years as miner. His father was also a miner, and is nicknamed “El Navegao” (“The Sailed One”). He was thinking of retiring in November.

Gómez also wrote the message “Estamos bien en el refugio los 33” (“We are fine in the shelter the 33 [of us]”).

Segovia is 48 years old. He is married to Jessica Chille, who said “To hear his voice was a confort to my heart,” after talking with him for the first time in 24 days. His sister María, was nicknamed “La Alcaldesa” (“The Mayoress”) for her leading role at Campamento Esperanza. His father, Darío Senior, was trapped in a mine for a week, and suffered serious injuries after two other mining accidents, according to the BBC.

Carlos Mamani is a 23 years old heavy equipment operator. He is also the only non-Chilean miner; Mamani is Bolivian. He began working in the mine just five days before the accident.

He was rescued at 03:11 local time (06:11 UTC) on Wednesday.

Renán Ávalos is a 29 years old miner, single, who had been working for five months in the mine before the accident. Florencio Ávalos is his brother.

Omar Reygadas is a 56 year old electrician. He began working in the mine shortly before the accident.

Esteban Rojas is a 44 years old miner. Rojas is married to Jessica Yáñez.

Copiapó, Chile mining accident: in depth

Posted on 25th April 2017 by in Uncategorized

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The rescue of the Chilean miners trapped in the San José Mine in Copiapó, codenamed Operación San Lorenzo (San Lorenzo Operation), began on Tuesday night, at around 20:00 local time (23:00 UTC).

Florencio Ávalos was the first miner to be rescued, at 00:12 local time (03:12 UTC) on Wednesday. He was wearing a shirt signed by all his fellow miners. “The first miner is already with us. We saw it all, him hugging his wife Monica and his son Byron,” said President Piñera shortly after the first rescue. “We still have a long journey.”

“This will be recorded on every single Chilean heart forever,” Piñera added. “I hope the miners’ hope stay with us, just like the [February] earthquake victims’ [hope] and what the earthquake took off. We know that the disasters unite us all.”

All the 33 miners were rescued. The last miner, Luis Urzúa, was rescued at 21:55 Chile time (00:55 UTC). “It is a pleasure to be Chilean, [I’m] proud,” said Luis Urzúa to President Piñera. “In honour of the miners, their families, the rescuers […] let’s sing our national anthem. Viva Chile Mierda!,” said Piñera. Urzúa thanked Mining Minister Golborne and the First Lady Cecilia Morel for “fighting for their lives.” “I’m proud of my fellow miners,” Urzúa added.

Six rescuers, including a miner and a paramedic, descended to the miners’ shelter using the Fénix 3 capsule which was specially constructed for the rescue. They performed check-ups and talk with the miners before taking them back to the surface. The rescuers still don’t leave the mine.

The Fénix 3 capsules are 3.95 metres in height and weigh about 460 kilograms. They have an armour, an oxygen tube and a microphone. The occupants helmets contain an intercom to keep them in contact with the rescue team on the surface.

President of Chile Piñera assisted to the rescue. Bolivian President Evo Morales could not attend Carlos Mamani’s rescue. Mamani is the only Bolivian miner in the group.

A mass for the miners was conducted at 18:00 local time (21:00 UTC). The rescue takes between 15 and 20 minutes for each miner.

On Tuesday, Mayor of Copiapó Maglio Cicardini announced that the municipal schools in the city will have no classes this Wednesday “to transform the rescue of the Atacama’s 33 in a familiar meeting,” Radio Cooperativa reported.

“The miners will be taken to the Copiapó Regional Hospital for medical checkup, where they will have to stay for 48 hours,” Health Minister Mañalich said to Televisión Nacional de Chile.

Celebrations are taking place in several Chilean cities. In Santiago de Chile, people gathered in one of the most important points of the city, Plaza Italia. In Pichilemu, tens of cars are passing over its most important streets. In Copiapó, people gathered in its main square to assist a massive concert.

On August 5, 33 miners were trapped more than 700 meters (2,300 ft) underground, in the San José copper–gold mine, located about 40 kilometers north of Copiapó, Chile.

The youngest trapped miner is 19 years old, and the oldest is 63. There were several rescue attempts before reaching the miners’ shelter on August 22. The National Emergencies Office of Chile (ONEMI) released a list of the trapped miners on August 6, which included Franklin Lobos Ramírez, a retired footballer.

Chile is the worlds top producer of copper, according to The Economist. The San José Mine is owned by the San Esteban Mining Company (Empresa Minera San Esteban). The mine was closed down in 2007, after relatives of a miner who had died sued the company executives, but the mine was re–opened in 2008.

It was originally estimated that “it would take three to four months to complete the rescue of the trapped miners”. There were three plans to reach the miners: “Plan A” using a Strata 950 drill, “Plan B” using a Schramm T130XD drill, and “Plan C” using a RIG-422 drill. The first to reach the miners was “Plan B”, early on Saturday 9.

The last step of their rescue, announced by Health Minister Jaime Mañalich, was originally due to begin on Tuesday. Laurence Golborne, Minery Minister said “If it is possible, and the cement sets before and we don’t have any impediments to doing it, it would be wonderful,” in a press conference on Monday. The men will be extracted in a steel rescue capsule 54 cm (21 inches) in diameter.

On September 4, Chilean filmmaker Rodrigo Ortúzar announced plans to film a movie about the accident, called “Los 33” (“The 33”). The film will be released in 2011.

One miner is Bolivian, and the other 32 are Chilean.

Raúl Bustos, 40 years old, is an hydraulics engineer. He left his job in Talcahuano after the February 27 earthquake to work in the mine.

Daniel Herrera, 27 years old, is a lorry driver. He has acted as paramedic assistant in the mine. He said to La Tercera “the miners were unhappy with the psychologist in the rescue team.”

Claudio Acuña, miner, is fan of the Colo-Colo football club. The BBC reports he is aged 56, but El Comercio says he is 44.

Pedro Cortez is aged 24. He joined the mine with his friend Carlos Bugueño. Cortez is an electrician, and lost a finger in the mine a year ago.

File:Juan Aguilar with President Piñera.jpg

A native of Los Lagos, Juan Aguilar is 49 years old. Aguilar is married to Cristy Coronado, according to El Comercio. Aguilar works as a supervisor.

Mario Sepúlveda is a 39 years old electrician native of Parral; he is married. He has been the spokesman of the most of the miners’ videos. Mario Sepúlveda was the second miner to be rescued, on Wednesday at 01:10 local time (04:10 UTC).

Víctor Zamora is a 33 years old auto mechanic. Zamora is married to Jéssica Cortez, who confirmed she was pregnant while he was in the mine.

Osman Araya is 30 years old, and married. He began working as miner four months before the accident.

Florencio Ávalos is 31 years old. He is the brother of Renán Ávalos, who is also trapped in the mine. He worked as driver in San José. Ávalos filmed videos, sent later to his relatives.

Ávalos was the first miner to be rescued, on Wednesday at 00:10 local time (03:10 UTC).

Jorge Galleguillos, 56 years old, has worked all his life in the mine. He said in one video he was feeling unwell; he takes medication for hypertension.

Carlos Barrios is a 27 years old miner. His father, Antenor Barrios, told Agence France-Presse: “I find he’s very strong and has enthusiasm. He spoke loud and clear. I was excited.”

Franklin Lobos Ramírez is a 53 years old retired footballer. He played for Cobresal, Deportes Antofagasta, Club de Deportes Santiago Wanderers and Unión La Calera, and briefly for the Chile national football team. Lobos had worked as a truck driver in the mine.

Yonni Barrios, called “The Doctor”, is a 50 years old electrician. He has knowledge of first aid, and was given responsibility for monitoring the health of his colleagues. “I felt I was in hell,” Barrios said in a letter to his wife.

Carlos Bugueño, 27 years old, joined the mine with Pedro Cortez. Previously, he worked as a watchman.

Alex Vega Salazar is a 31 years old heavy machinery mechanic. He is married to Jessica Salgado, and celebrated his birthday in the mine on September 22.

Ariel Ticona is a 29 years old miner. His wife, Margarita gave birth to his daughter on September 14. She was named Esperanza (Hope), at Ticona’s request.

Richard Villarroel is a 27 years old mechanic from Coyhaique.

Edison Peña is a 34 years old miner. “I want to go out soon,” he said on his first contact with his relatives. “I want to be free, I want to see the sun,” he added. He is a fan of Elvis Presley.

Claudio Yáñez is 34 years old, and works as drill operator.

José Ojeda, 46 years old, is the master driller. Ojeda is widowed and diabetic.

Luis Urzúa is a 54 year old topographer. He is the shift-leader, and was the first miner to talk with authorities. He is known as Don Lucho among the miners. He draw plans of the area of the mine where they are trapped.

Urzúa will be the last miner to leave the mine.

José Henríquez is a 54 years old drill master. He is also an evangelical preacher, and has worked in mines for 33 years.

Víctor Segovia is a 48 years old electrician. He is in charge of writing down everything that happens in the mine.

Pablo Rojas is a 45 years old explosives loader. Married, he had been working less than six months in the mine.

Juan Illanes is a 51 year old miner. He was a sergeant in the Beagle border conflict between Chile and Argentina in 1978, the incident which almost provoked a war between the countries.

Illanes was rescued on Wednesday, at 02:07 local time (05:07 UTC).

Jimmy Sánchez, 19, is the youngest miner. He had been working in the mine for five months before the accident. His role is to check the temperature and humidity in the mine.

Samuel Ávalos is a 43 years miner. His wife Ruth said “he was addicted to the cocaine.” His role in the rescue is to check air quality in the area the miners are living. According to the BBC, “Ávalos has worked in the mine for five months.”

Mario Gómez, aged 63, is the oldest of the miners. He has worked 51 years as miner. His father was also a miner, and is nicknamed “El Navegao” (“The Sailed One”). He was thinking of retiring in November.

Gómez also wrote the message “Estamos bien en el refugio los 33” (“We are fine in the shelter the 33 [of us]”).

Segovia is 48 years old. He is married to Jessica Chille, who said “To hear his voice was a confort to my heart,” after talking with him for the first time in 24 days. His sister María, was nicknamed “La Alcaldesa” (“The Mayoress”) for her leading role at Campamento Esperanza. His father, Darío Senior, was trapped in a mine for a week, and suffered serious injuries after two other mining accidents, according to the BBC.

Carlos Mamani is a 23 years old heavy equipment operator. He is also the only non-Chilean miner; Mamani is Bolivian. He began working in the mine just five days before the accident.

He was rescued at 03:11 local time (06:11 UTC) on Wednesday.

Renán Ávalos is a 29 years old miner, single, who had been working for five months in the mine before the accident. Florencio Ávalos is his brother.

Omar Reygadas is a 56 year old electrician. He began working in the mine shortly before the accident.

Esteban Rojas is a 44 years old miner. Rojas is married to Jessica Yáñez.

NASA plans for future moon missions

Posted on 24th April 2017 by in Uncategorized

Monday, September 19, 2005

NASA has announced plans for sending humans back to the Moon, as a first step to Mars.

A 2018 lunar mission is proposed, where a crew of four would remain on the Moon for as long as a week. A minimum of two lunar missions a year is planned, with astronauts remaining as long as six months.

Some of the technology had previously been proposed for replacement of the Space Shuttle.

  • Astronauts will be launched in a capsule, similar in concept to that used for the Project Apollo but three times larger. The top part of an Exploration Transportation System (ETS), the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) will be a capsule attached to a service module which contains supplies, power, and propulsion units. The CEV is designed for use in Earth orbit.
  • On lunar missions, crew or cargo versions of a Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM) would be used with a CEV. The LSAM will have design concepts related to the Apollo Lunar Module, with a four-legged landing unit carrying an ascent stage.
  • An Earth Departure Stage (EDS), a powerful propulsion unit, will be used to move CEV and LSAM units out of Earth orbit, such as on lunar missions.
  • Heavy Launcher unmanned cargo rockets will be used for heavy loads of equipment.
  • The launch rockets, Shuttle Derived Launch Vehicles, will use engines developed for the Shuttle program.
    • CEV will be launched atop a Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV), a single solid fuel booster with a second stage using a shuttle main engine. The CLV can carry a payload of 25 metric tons into low Earth orbit.
    • The heavy-lift system uses a pair of longer solid rocket boosters and five shuttle main engines to put up to 125 metric tons in orbit — about one and a half times the weight of a shuttle orbiter.
  • The use of a Launch Escape System (LES) will improve safety. A LES is a top-mounted rocket that can quickly remove the crew capsule away from an exploding or otherwise dangerous rocket.

For a lunar mission, the LSAM and EDS would be placed in orbit by a cargo launcher, then a CEV would dock with the assembly before leaving Earth orbit.

The goal is to begin production of the new spacecraft by 2011.

  • Robotic missions will be sent, probably the first one in 2008.
  • Past experience with lunar dust is being used in designing equipment and spacesuits which may encounter it.
  • Surface mobility with open and pressurized rovers for use in such missions is also being developed.
  • The CEV can be reused up to ten times.
  • Crew capsule, upon return to Earth, will set down on dry land. It can also land on water.
  • The CEV and lunar lander ascent stage use methane as fuel, as methane may be available on Mars.
  • Eventually the designs could be expanded to support six astronauts for a trip to Mars.

The plans are a means to implement President Bush’s “Vision for Space Exploration” program. Goals include:

  • Implement a sustained and affordable human and robotic program to explore the solar system and beyond;
  • Extend human presence across the solar system, starting with a human return to the Moon by the year 2020, in preparation for human exploration of Mars and other destinations;
  • Develop the innovative technologies, knowledge, and infrastructures both to explore and to support decisions about the destinations for human exploration; and
  • Promote international and commercial participation in exploration to further U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests.

BHP Mine remains closed during death probe

Posted on 24th April 2017 by in Uncategorized

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

BHP Billiton Ltd says its underground Leinster nickel mine in Western Australia, where a contractor was killed in an explosion last week, will stay shut until the outcomes of a government investigation are released.

A BHP spokesman in Perth refused to estimate how long company and government officials will take to investigate the incident. “These investigations can go on for quite some time and the mine will remain closed for that same length of time, said Brian Watt. “But it’s difficult to speculate”

Watt declined to comment on how much damage the underground explosion caused to the mine, or how much time would be needed to bring the operation back on line once a decision to resume is made.

BHP Billiton have confirmed the death at the Leinster Nickel Operation, north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia – 950 km north east of Perth. BHP said the incident occurred late in the afternoon of Friday, February 3.

Mark Quinn, 32, from Broken Hill in far western New South Wales and an employee of MacMahon’s, was fatally injured. He was working approximately 900 meters underground when an explosion occurred. BHP said in a media release that there were no other persons injured as a result of the incident.

The cause of the explosion is not yet known. Operations at Leinster have been stopped and employees at site are being briefed and counseled.

BHP Billiton is the world’s third largest nickel producer, with the Leinster mine producing up to 45,000 metric tons of nickel concentrates a year.

Following speculations that Leinster’s closure may lead to a nickel shortage, a spokesperson told Reuters that BHP Billiton had sufficient nickel concentrate stockpiled to last until the mine reopens.

The Western Australian government has described the fatality rate in the mining industry as “deplorable and atrocious”.

John Bowler, Western Australia’s Employment Protection Minister says he will consider implementing changes to improve the safety record of the mining industry. Mr Quinn’s death is the third underground fatality and the fourth mining death this financial year.

The new Minister, John Bowler, says he will consider implementing any changes needed to improve safety in the industry.