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miners finally freed

Russell, Webb walk from gold mine. 09/05/2006. ABC News Online: Miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb have reached the surface of the Beaconsfield Gold mine, 14 days after being trapped by a rock fall.

This really is a remarkable story, after the first man's body was found I don't think anyone truly thought the other two were alive. Since then the wait has been agonisingly slow, although easier once the mine officials refused to give time estimates. Even the media eventually learned to stop harassing them for information they couldn't supply.

Now I imagine the questions raised by the late Richard Carleton will be revisited: did officials know the mine was unsafe? Is it worth working on this seam any more?

No doubt the miners will be interviewed soon. They've probably got the current affairs shows beating on their door by now. The media coverage of this whole event could support entire theses, I'd say. It began with an embarrassingly botched Channel 9 live news cross when the miners were contacted and dragged on with endless 'breaking news' updates telling us what we already knew.

At any rate, good to see the miners out.

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