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Trapped New Zealand Miners Declared Dead

A sad update to a story from last week: Rescue officials in New Zealand have declared the 29 miners trapped by a gas explosion on Friday to be dead, following a second “equally horrific” blast, as CNN reports.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, declared the event “a national tragedy… a tragedy for the mens’ families, for their work mates and friends, for their community and our nation.  New Zealand is a small country – a country where we are our brother’s keeper.  So to lose this many brothers at once strikes an agonizing blow.”

Queen Elizabeth sent a message of condolences to the Prime Minister yesterday, expressing her thanks and deep appreciation for the efforts of rescue workers.  “I am deeply saddened by today’s news that there is now no hope for the men trapped in the Pike River mine,” said the Queen, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace.

As the second blast demonstrates, rescue efforts were hindered by the presence of deadly gas in the mine.  The only evidence of the trapped miners discovered to date was one of their helmets, videotaped by a military robot.  Officials say efforts to recover the miners’ remains will continue.

Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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