New Zealand Mine Disaster

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First off, we all pass on our deepest thoughts to the relatives and families of our NZ and Australian friends who lost their lives. In spite of the good natured sledging and banter New Zealand and Australia are very much blood brothers. Thats why the word ANZAC exists.

There are a couple of things that came from this that really caught my attention and got my blood boiling. There was the issue of this Superintendent Gary Knowles, the police officer who led the mission to rescue 29 miners.

Included in the criticism were comments from The Australian journalist Ean Higgins, who asked what a “local country cop” was doing leading the rescue.

“Unfortunate comments today from a journalist for The Australian were inflammatory and unhelpful, and can only worsen matters at a very difficult time for the families involved,” New Zealand Police Association president Greg O’Connor said.

The article continues:

“The Police Federation of Australia has today asked me to pass on the full support of Australian police in this most trying time, their regret at the comments of one foolish journalist, and their desire to help in any way possible.”

Lets Get a Few Facts Right

The Journalist got it right, these Cops, as well intentioned as they are are basically traffic wardens and have no expertise or knowledge of these matters. Otherwise – they would be running the mine. What the hell do they know about confined spaces, gas monitoring and detection, flammability limits etc. Thats why they have mines rescue people to run it, mine managers etc. To these cops, get the hell out of things and stay out. This is my area of expertise – so am not sorry about upsetting these people. Coppers should have secured the area and stayed away. There is a probable case against them for negligence. There is possibly a case that their involvement was contributory.

Next Thing… And This Pisses Me Right Off



Another Expert…

Grief expert Beverley Raphael…





Hows this for insight into the emotional state of families…

Professor Raphael, of the University of Western Sydney School of Medicine, says the six-day ordeal has elevated the normal grieving process for the miners’ families.

“The explosion, the toxic nature of the gases, particularly the prolonged period, will influence how family members imagine the way their loved ones have died,” Prof Raphael said in a statement on Wednesday.

“In New Zealand, many of the family members will be asking themselves, ‘Why couldn’t that happen here? Why couldn’t my loved one have been saved?'” Prof Raphael said.

Its actually idiots like her that have no idea of what they are talking about that elevates the grief and opening their mouths when not asked. People like her do far more damage long term than a methane explosion ever will. It may very well vave been a CO explosion. If the levels were as toxic as I find from reading then these guys were dead days before.

Now, how profound is all that. This woman is also a mines expert and fully understands it all. Just like that Cop. All the below and still has no idea at all. An expert on terrorism as well? Since when is she an insurgent soldier? I was.

Professor Raphael (AM,MBBS,MD,FRANZCP,FASSA, FRCPsych, Hon.MD (N’cle, NSW)) is Professor of Psychological Medicine, ANU Medical School, The Canberra Hospital; Professor of Population Mental Health and Disasters & Director, University of Western Sydney and Emeritus Professor in Psychiatry, the University of Queensland.

She is a long term advocate for mental health programs for children and has developed a number of programs in this field as well as carrying out extensive research. She is the Chair of the Australian Child Trauma Loss and Grief Network at ANU Medical School as well as being the expert mental health advisor of the Australian Medical Associations Child Health and Public Health Committees and is the current chair of the National Mental Health Disaster Taskforce – Child and Adolescent Working Group. She is also a member of faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with RANZCP.

She also has a long-term involvement and expertise in research and management in the area of trauma, grief and disasters, and more recently response to terrorism and its mental health correlates and consequences. She is the author of The Anatomy of Bereavement (1983), When Disaster Strikes (1986), co-editor of the International Handbook of Traumatic Stress Studies (1993), co-editor of the Handbook of Preventative Psychiatry (1995) and co-editor of Psychological Debriefing: Theory, practice and evidence (2000), as well as numerous scientific articles.

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