Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `Gold is that most treacherous combination: beautiful and rare.', April 28, 2012
This review is from: Bad Ground: Inside the Beaconsfield Mine Rescue (Paperback)
On the 25th of April 2006, at 9.26 pm, a small earthquake at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine caused a rock fall. Fourteen miners escaped, one miner, Larry Knight, was killed and two other miners, Brant Webb and Todd Russell, were trapped for two weeks.

This book tells the story of the rescue, as well as some history of the gold mining operation at Beaconsfield where gold was first discovered in 1847. The gold mine was closed in 1914 because of regular flooding, and was re-opened in 1999. The mine is currently slated to close at the end of June 2012 because it is not viable to mine below the current depth (1210 metres) at current gold prices.

This book is primarily about the men who were trapped and their rescue and was first published in late 2006, well before the coroner's report into Larry Knight's death was released. And so the focus is on the emotion and drama after the rock fall, rather than a detailed analysis of the events and practices before the disaster. A telemovie has been made about the event, and it was viewing that a few days ago that prompted me to (finally) read this book.

`In the deepest dark...'

It's a moving and courageous story: mine workers and paramedics willingly risked their own lives to save Brant Webb and Todd Russell. It was a rescue accompanied by risk, to both the two trapped men and those who were attempting the rescue.

I read the book with very mixed emotions. I enjoyed the way that Tony Wright provided background information about the mine, the community of Beaconsfield and the people involved. This information was (quite rightly) not part of the intensive media coverage given at the time, but it is important - six years after the tragedy - in understanding how the rescue was undertaken. In reading the book, I had a greater appreciation of the risks involved in the rescue, and nothing but admiration for those involved in what was a complex and difficult rescue. So many courageous people, so many extraordinary acts involved in assembling the right people, and getting the right equipment to Beaconsfield.So much joy when Brant Webb and Todd Russell walked out at the end of their ordeal, tempered with sadness for the death of Larry Knight.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 28, 2012 11:02:14 PM PDT
H. Schneider says:
Germinal!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2012 2:41:14 PM PDT
I do not understand

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2012 4:48:41 PM PDT
H. Schneider says:
What, Barrie, don't you understand? H
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Location: ACT, Australia

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