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Little hope of finding any survivors in NZ mine

11-24-2010 08:34 BJT

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New Zealand's prime minister is warning the nation to prepare for the worst, as there remains no viable way to reach 29 trapped coal miners.

On Tuesday, a bomb-disposal robot failed to assess conditions in the Pike River mine. It went short-circuited when water hit it underground.

The chief rescuer says replacements are being flown from the Army and from Australia. Rescuers cannot enter the mine because of toxic and potentially explosive gases in the tunnels.

A team boring a narrow hole to an area where the miners might be, is inching closer to their goal.

Once completed, the shaft will sample gas levels and determine if rescuers can finally move in. A listening device may be dropped to detect sounds and determine if anyone is alive.



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