Drill break through at mine; Miner’s helmet found

A bore hole has broken into the mine as rescue efforts continue.

At about 9:30am New Zealand time, drillers had broken through with a 150mm wide bore hole.

The police superintendent in charge of the operation, Gary Knowles, said “it had hot gas rushing up it and a lot of hot air as well."

"It will give a very good picture of what the gas state is in the mine and also the heat state. They are looking for a heat source.”

However, footage taken from down the bore holes is reportedly very dark and yet to reveal anything.

Speaking to Australian drilling specialists earlier, they told Australian Mining  that one of the major problems the drillers would face when boring down into the mine is the potentially dangerous gases they may encounter or release, “drilling the bore hole and releasing oxygen into that environment may not be a great option,” an Imdex spokesperon said.

Imdex’s Kelvin Brown was one of the drilling specialists who found and rescued the trapped miners in Chile, however this situation is very different as “the guys in Chile were caught in a chamber, whereas in coal mines you don’t have those same chambers,” they said.

According to specialists on site, the gas readings from the bore hole are reportedly off the scale.

Early this morning New Zealand time, an Australian robot was sent into the mine, as the second New Zealand defence force robot has captured footage of the inside of the wrecked mine.

Hope was raised as it relayed images of a miners’ helmet, with the light still working, from approximately 1000 metres inside of the coal mine.

Overnight, the original robot which was sent down the mine, and later broke down due to the excessive water, was repaired and progressed an additional 500 metres into the mine before running out of power.

The trapped miners are believed to be located another 1.5 kilometres down.

The families of the trapped miners were yesterday shown footage of the blast, which threw rocks and debris from the entrance of the shaft for a sustained 52 seconds.

Rescue and recovery efforts will continue today at the mine .

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