Pike River survivor escapes death again

Pike River disaster survivor Daniel Rockhouse has again escaped death underground following a mine cave in.

Rockhouse was reportedly working in Peabody Energy’s North Goonyella coal mine when he was nearly crushed by a roof fall, according to Radio New Zealand.

The miner said he began driving up to the portal as soon as he heard the roof start to crack.

“I got the hell out of there, and I drove up the main drive towards the portal and got about 300-400 metres away and the whole bloody roof caved in. So yeah, I’m very lucky," he told the station.

He said that he would have been “dead for sure” if he hadn’t escaped as quickly as he did, after finding out the roof collapsed in the exact place where he was working.

"I got a bit of a fright that I walked away from another very [close] call," he told Radio NZ.
"I’ve got nine lives. I probably used three or four of them at Pike and another couple this time."

Rockhouse stated the he heard a loud crash as he was driving out of the mine, his ears popped and all the lights went out.

"I got a bit of a fright, a little flashback a bit. I was thinking what’s happening here."

"I was far enough away that I didn’t see it but I heard it and felt it. It was pretty powerful." he said.

Seven hundred tonnes of material reportedly collapsed down into the underground tunnels of the Queensland mine.

“It was quite a significant fall, it was quite a lot of debris that fell, we’re talking probably a couple of hundred tonnes of material, rock, and coal and probably steel … if that directly fell on top of you, you would not have survived."

The miner said that returning to work soon after the Pike River disaster has kept his mind busy, but that he still thought of the incident.

"Down there it looks like Pike, it just looks like a normal coal mine so I’m going to think about things when I’m down there."

Rockhouse is one of only two survivors from the New Zealand coal mine disaster.

The current Royal Inquiry into the commission has uncovered numerous safety breaches and a general disregard for the implementation of safety recommendations that may have averted the tragedy.

Image: North Goonyella mine.

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