A teenage boy who was on the job for just one hour is among the 29 New Zealand coal miners trapped after last Friday's explosion, the New Zealand Herald is reporting. All of the miners have now been declared dead.
Joseph Dunbar celebrated his 17th birthday Thursday, just one day before beginning his new job at the Pike River Mine. According to his mother Pip Timms, Dunbar was originally supposed to start work Monday, but he was reportedly so excited after an on-site tour that his boss let him begin Friday.
"He wanted to do this for a very long time," Timms said of her son. She went on to note that he began planning to work at the mine since they'd moved to the nearby Greymouth area from Christchurch. "He set himself a goal, and achieving that goal meant everything to him. It meant he was going to travel with the company, take him different places. He was absolutely stoked. He was excited, he was ecstatic."
Timms was distraught over the lack of news about the rescue efforts early in the search. "It's pretty horrendous really. It's quite hard," she said. "You just keep going but you get exhausted and try to rest, but you can't because your mind is just going over everything."