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New Zealand Miners Believed Dead

The twenty nine miners trapped 120 km underground in the Pike River Mine are believed to be dead follwing a second explosion on Wednesday. The miners were on a safety tour when a build up of gases caused the intial blast early Saturday morning. Official search and rescue efforts were delayed because of a buildup of gases underground.

Five miners managed to walk to safety via access tunnels following the intial explosion. Twenty nine other miners, ages 17 to 62, are believed to have died as a result of the explosions.

The mine is located in Atarau on New Zealand's South Island in a mountainous terrain. The mine began operating earlier this year, shipping hard choking coal used in the steel industry.

Family, friends, and associates of the miners have gathered to mourn their losses.

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