Miners still trapped

Twenty nine miners are still trapped in underground in a New Zealand coal mine following an explosion late Friday.

Developments over the weekend have confirmed there are 29 men trapped after a methane explosion at the Pike River coal underground mine sealed them underground.

Contact has not yet been made with the missing men, and rescuers are unsure of the condition or the location of them as yet.

Hopes in the local community are fading fast as to whether they can be brought out alive.

Currently, miners are working hard to drill bore holes down to where they assume the miners may be, while at the same time looking to pipe out the dangerous gases which are inhibiting further exploration.

They have already drilled 100 metres down and were still going this morning, with the aim of reaching a depth of 162 metres today.

Over the last ten metres they will have to change drilling methods to prevent sparks flying and potentially igniting the underground gas.

After this, rescuers will then send digital camera equipment down the holes, similar to the Chile mine disaster.

Drilling was expected to be completed by 10:30am local time.

The latest development from the site has the New Zealand Army preparing to send a robot with camera equipment down the bore holes.

New Zealand Mine Rescue general manager Trevor Watts said that teams are on standby to enter the mine as soon as the toxic gases are removed.

It has been more than 65 hours since anything was heard from the trapped miners.

The miners themselves range in age from 17 through to 62, and are predominately from New Zealand, however there are two Australians, Joshua Adam Ufer, 25 and William John Joynson, 49, both from Queendland.

There are also two Britons, and one South African within their number.

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