Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Ana's Explanation of the Pike River Mine Explosion

Pike River Mine

People make mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes can affect the lives of others; could be a matter of life and death. Taking risks can be necessary, so tragedy’s happen. Lives are lost thanks to bullets, knives, explosions, or natural disasters. Death can appear in a variety of ways and places; mining is one of them. A mine is an underground area containing valuable objects or natural minerals. When people go down to take the valuable objects it’s called mining. Sadly, sometimes mines also contain dangerous chemicals or explosives. That’s why the safety procedure exists.

Pike River is a coal mine whose workers suffered a terrible tragedy. It officially opened in 2009, 46 kilometers northeast of Greymouth in the West Coast region on the south island of New Zealand. Pike River Mine was owned by a company called Pike River Coal, however, the person in charge of the mine was Peter W. Whittall. As New Zealand's largest underground mine, they were expected to earn around NZ$170 million annually. What they didn’t know about the mine is how much methane it contained. Methane is a chemical compound with the formula CH4. It’s a form of natural gas. It is usually found at the bottom of the ocean or underground, and when it comes to the surface it is known as atmospheric methane. Atmospheric methane is very explosive is too much is in one place. To keep methane out of the mine, the safety procedure suggests a good quality ventilation system. No cigarettes or any type flame is allowed in the mine to prevent any unnecessary danger. If the safety procedure is ignored, everybody's lives are in danger. In Pike River MIne, both rules were broken. Inside were 31 people when an explosion destroyed Pike River Mine.

On Friday, 19 November 2010 at approximately 3:44pm the mine was destroyed, killing 29 people. Only two workers, Daniel Rockhouse and Russell Smith, who were near the entrance were able to leave with their lives. The moment the explosion happened the rescue teams rushed over to the mine, hoping that somebody is alive in there; however, their mission was canceled due to the possibility of more explosions happening. Another explosion happened on 24 November 2010, 2:37pm.  After this explosion, all hope of somebody surviving was lost. Soon after this two more explosions happened. The amount of methane found in the mine was so big, it was decided that nobody is allowed to enter the mine again. The bodies couldn’t be retrieved because of the possibility of more people dying; however, some families of the people who died believe it’s worth risking their lives to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones. Three robots with cameras have been sent into the mine. The mine was in terrible condition.

This is not a very common event, but it’s happened before. Including the Pike River Mine disaster, there has been a total of 211 recorded deaths caused by 9 separate explosions. Some of them couldn’t have been prevented, but this one could. If Pike River Coal followed the safety procedure, they could have prevented this tragedy. Some of their faults are inadequate methane drainage, non functioning gas sensors, flawed electrical and ventilation design and inaction on hazard warnings. After the families have given up hope of retrieving their loved ones bodies, they created a tag board showing the identification cards of the people who lost their lives at the explosion at a memorial service displayed on the first anniversary of the disaster, 19 November 2011. Now anyone can visit the tag board and remember the terrible disaster; hope that the people who lost their lives may rest in peace.

Goals for this writing taken from my first explanation around the Treaty of Waitangi:
  • More Information    ✓
  • More Detail            ✓
  • Better Description χ

Where I am achieving on the Matrix:
  • Impact: Level 4
Sometimes uses analogy, similes
or metaphors to enhance explanations
or arguments.

  • Ideas: Level 5+ ✓

  • Structure: Level 5 ✓
Links main and supporting ideas
within and between paragraphs
using a range of connectives.

  • Vocabulary & Language Features: Level 4
Effective use of adjectives and
adverbs. Use a chance of
explanatory language features, often


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. That so cool good job.
    how long did it take for you to write that?
    thanks by.

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  4. Ana’s explanation of the pike river mine explosion: Hey Ana! You did very well explaining what the Pike river mine is, you explained with detail, facts and evidence. E.g. You talked about when the mine opened, where it opened, and you also added a lot of facts that would give readers a better understanding. I liked your opening sentence, I think it would draw the readers in because it is a short simple statement and we would want to find out more about your topic. Throughout your writing you have consistently been adding detailed information and evidence to enhance meaning of the text. You also did well with linking paragraphs. I think you could of done better explaining about how the workers could of prevented the disaster.My question is, why did the workers make the mistakes that lead to the disaster? Didn’t they know? Why?

    Great Job, Jesse

  5. Hello, my name is Francis from the School that you are currently in (Stonefields School) , what a fantastic descriptive text you wrote, it was full of valuable information related to the text, fantastic evidence, most intriguing facts and knowledge that you have provided us with. It is truly a fantastic text. What I would really like, is that if you could've added more information to the text, and more descriptive writing, otherwise fantastic piece of writing. In comparison, I do enjoy researching and developing fantastic text such as yours, so if you either want to edit, or create a new text, I would be in deed to help. Once again what a fantastic piece of writing you have created, definitely grabbed my attention, and hopefully will grab other people’s attention (which will most likely happen judging from your text) Kind Regards, Francis B.

  6. Hi Ana
    I like your piece of writing. It is very interesting to hear about risks and natural disasters. I wrote about natural disaster once but I have never seen this before. Well done. Next time you should reach your goal to 100%. How long did it take to write this piece?

    By: Sarah

  7. Hi Ana, I really like your work.It has awesome facts as well.I have done some work just like yours as well.I was wondering If you had any more facts about mine explosions?

  8. Hi Ana, I really liked what you wrote about the pike river mine! My favorite part was some of the facts that you wrote about the explosions, they were amazing facts, one that I was really amazed by was the fact about the total of 211 recorded deaths caused by 9 separate explosions. I wonder if anything happened to the robots with cameras that went in?

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