General:

Beaconsfield Celebrates

Two miners, Brant Webb and Todd Russell, have been trapped 1 km underground for 14 days after an earth tremor on 25 April triggered a rockfall.

They were confined to a small cage, yet for five days it was not known if they were alive or dead. They were found alive on 30 April and drilling started immediately to secure their release. Australia have been watching and waiting ever since. It was an agonising long time for us; I can only imagine what it must have been like for the two men and their families.

Today, just before 6am, Brant and Todd walked out to finally face a fresh morning and were reunited with their families and their workmates (who had worked day and night to get the pair out).

Both men are doing exceptionally well.

The town of Beaconsfield celebrates their return and the church bell has rung for the first time since World War II. The people are cheering and the fire brigade sounded their sirens too.

Yet today will be filled with mixed emotions for these townspeople and the miners, because one of their men did not return. Larry Knight died in the rockfall and he will be laid to rest this afternoon.

My condolences go to the Knight family and my best wishes go to Brant and Todd.

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