Location of Beaconsfield
The Beaconsfield Mine collapse occurred on 25 April 2006 in Beaconsfield, Tasmania, Australia. Of the seventeen people who were in the mine at the time, fourteen escaped immediately following the collapse, one was killed and the remaining two were found alive using a remote-controlled device. These two miners were rescued on 9 May 2006, two weeks after being trapped nearly a kilometre below the surface.
1 Mine collapse
2 Rescue effort
3.1 Media interest
5 See also
7 Further reading
8 External links
At 9:26 p.m. (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on 25 April 2006 a small earthquake triggered an underground rock fall at the Beaconsfield gold mine in northern Tasmania. Geoscience Australia said that the earthquake had a magnitude of 2.2, at a shallow depth at coordinates 41°11′24″S 146°50′24″E / 41.190°S 146.840°E / -41.190; 146.840. Earlier speculation had suggested that mine blasting had caused the collapse. Three of the miners working underground at the time were trapped, and early reports suggested that 14 miners who were underground at the time had managed to scramble to safety. The mining company, Beaconsfield Mine Joint Venture, released a press statement saying they held “grave concerns for the three miners’ wellbeing”.
Larry Knight (44), Brant Webb (37) and Todd Russell (34), were the three miners who remained unaccounted for. Knight had been killed in the initial rockfall, but Webb and Russell were still alive, trapped in part of the vehicle in which they had been working at the time of the collapse, known as a teleloader or telehandler. They were in a basket at the end of the telehandler’s arm, where they had been applying steel mesh to a barricade prior to backfilling a stope. It was initially misreported that the two miners were saved by a slab of rock that fell on top of the basket, but in a Channel 9 exclusive interview broadcast on 21 May, Webb and Russell stated that this was incorrect and that the “ceiling” above them was merely thousands of individual unstable rocks precariously packed together.
The cage was partially filled with rock, and the men were partially buried under some rubble. Webb seemed to have been knocked unconscious for a short time, and Russell’s lower body was completely buried. When Webb awoke, the two were able to free themselves and each other from the fal