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    New-Zealand Mine Survivor: "Mates will be Alright"

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    NTDTelevision

    by NTDTelevision

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    Hope is fading in New Zealand in finding the 29 miners alive as the rescue operation entered its fifth day. But one of the survivors of the mine explosion says his friends are strong and he believe they will come out alive.

    Daniel Rockhouse was one of the two lucky survivors who walked away from the Pike River coal mine accident last Friday. 29 of his colleagues, including his brother Ben, are still trapped.

    Rockhouse says his fellow miners are tough guys and he has no doubt they will make it out alive.

    [Daniel Rockhouse, Survivor]:
    "There is no doubt in my mind that they'll be alright, they have got to be alright, they are all tough, they are all hard workers."

    Rockhouse was driving a loader and was near the mine's exit when the explosion blew him off his vehicle. He ran out and raised the alarm.

    Hopes of finding the 29 men alive were rapidly fading on Tuesday, with closed circuit television footage of the blast at the mine showing debris flung out of the shaft from the force of the explosion.

    [...]

    A six inch shaft is being drilled through more than 500 feet of rock, with the aim of breaking through to the main shaft close to the blast.

    Rescuers will monitor the air quality from the hole and lower cameras and sound devices to check for signs of life.

    [...]

    [Daniel Rockhouse, Survivor]:
    "I am just beyond emotion anymore, I don't know, I know what it is like up there and they are all, my whole crew up there as well, I just want them out, I can't say anything, I can't do anything, it is my flesh and blood up there and my best mates, you know, I just pray for them and hope they are alright."

    [...]

    Officials have said it is possible the men could be huddled in pockets of clean air awaiting rescue. But that has looked less likely as every day passes without any rescuers being able to enter the mine.