One person is confirmed dead and at least 36 coal miners were missing after an explosion tore through an underground New Zealand mine on Friday.
The Otago Daily News reported that an electrician sent to investigate a power outage discovered a loader driver who had been blown off his machine nearly a mile into the mine shaft. Police say 36 tags belonging to miners are still hanging on the board at the Pike River mine, although several men working in a different part of the mine have surfaced.
The 36 people unaccounted for include both miners and management, who were on a safety tour of the mine when the explosion occurred, according to media reports. Emergency services, including rapid response mine rescue teams, have rushed to the scene. Authorities say the mine has an evacuation chute that miners can access if the main entrance is blocked.
The mine is jointly owned by New Zealand Oil & Gas and two Indian companies -- Gujarat NRE Coke and Saurashtra Fuels Private Ltd.