Strongman Coal Mining History [Greymouth,NZ]

#Strongman #StrongmanCoalMining #GreymouthNZ

Welcome back Chameleons, I’m now taking you further down to Greymouth right now and I am sharing with you all a quick brief history of the Coal Mining accident that happened in 1967. Nineteen killed in Strongman mine explosion at Rūnanga, 19 January 1967. Located just north of Greymouth, the Strongman mine (New Zealand’s largest underground coal mine) had had an impeccable safety record since opening in 1939. But in January 1967 an explosion sent a fireball through a section of the mine, in which 240 men were working at the time. A higher death toll was avoided only because a wet patch in the tunnel near the site of the explosion slowed down and then extinguished the fireball. Smoke and firedamp (methane gas produced by coal) made the search for survivors and bodies hazardous. When mixed with a certain proportion of air, firedamp becomes highly explosive. Those involved in the rescue were at constant risk of another explosion. After 15 bodies were recovered on the day of the explosion, it took another three weeks to retrieve two more. The last two men could not be recovered and the tunnel was sealed off. Five men involved in the rescue received the British Empire Medal for their bravery.


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