27 miners in Wallabytown, New Zealand have attempted to cash in on the 'surviving a coal mine cave-in' trend that became popular in Chile earlier this year, hoping for the same 2 month paid vacation the Chilean miners enjoyed.
Sadly, the plan may backfire, because the fans that vent deadly gases from the Pike River mine have been shut off, ostensibly to teach the miners a lesson.
"We want to go down there and arrest the miners, but the buildup of deadly gases presents a problem," said Yakko Warner, a spokesman for the New Zealand Staten Landt Royal Mounted Police. "If only there was some sort of self-contained breathing apparatus, allowing officers to carry breathable air into the mine, perhaps in pressurized metal containers which they could carry on their backs."
Relatives of the missing miners are gathering near the opening of the mine shaft, wasting time and resources similar to "Camp Hope" in Chile's Atacama Desert, where relatives gathered for months near where 33 Chilean miners were trapped after a similar explosion.
Learning from mistakes made in Chile, there are separate gathering areas for wives of the miners and their mistresses.
Unlike the Chilean mine, the Pine River coal mine's tunnels run horizontally into the side of a mountain rather than vertically down into the earth. So even though the trapped men are nearly two miles inside the mine, they're probably only 120 yards below the surface.
"We've devised a plan using a hand-grenade and a pick-ax to get them out," said Warner. "But mine officials say that that may create a safety issue."