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    Anxious wait for trapped miners' families


    by ODN


    The relatives of two British men missing after a gas explosion entombed them in a New Zealand mine said they were waiting in hope for news about their rescue.

    Pete Rodger, 40, from Perthshire, and Malcolm Campbell, 25, originally from St Andrews, Fife, are among 29 miners missing after a fireball ripped through the Pike River coal mine in Atarau on South Island.

    Fears for their safety were growing today as rescuers said they "had no idea" when they would be able to enter the site due to concerns that dangerous levels of methane gas could trigger a second blast.

    Mr Campbell's father, Malcolm senior, 50, and mother Jane, 45, said they had to keep hoping for good news, as did all the other parents of the trapped miners.

    In an interview broadcast on STV News, the couple, who live in Fife, said: "We can't concentrate on anything, we can't sleep because it's difficult."

    Mr Campbell, who has worked at the site for two years, is due to marry his fiancee, Amanda Shields, 23, on December 18.

    His father told the Mail on Sunday: "I've been told Malcolm was right at the coalface when it happened. Only last month we were watching the Chilean miners being rescued. I remember saying to my wife how awful it would be if it happened to Malcolm and now it has."

    The couple said they were going through "absolute hell" waiting for news on the rescue.

    Former Perth Grammar pupil Mr Rodger, who has worked on oil rigs, moved to New Zealand two years ago to be near his mother and sister who emigrated there. His New Zealand-born girlfriend, Dianne Morris, wrote on her Facebook site: "Just got to keep having positive thoughts."