Anniversary–Beaconsfield Mine Collapse
The sixth anniversary of The Beaconsfield Mine collapse approaches. The collapse occurred on 25 April 2006 in Beaconsfield, Tasmania, Australia. Of the seventeen people who were in the mine at the time, fourteen escaped immediately following the collapse, one, Larry Knight, was killed and the remaining two, Brant Webb and Todd Russell, were found alive using a remote-controlled device. These two miners were rescued on 9 May 2006, two weeks after being trapped nearly a kilometre below the surface. A new telemovie “Beaconsfield”, premieres in Australia on Sunday, April 22, at 8.30pm on Channel Nine
One of our Guest Authors Dr Robert Long (see his other work here) was a member of the Emergency Coordination Operations Group at Beaconsfield following the collapse on 25 April 2006. He was later Manager of Community Recovery. Rob soon after published his paper covering not only the rescue and aftermath but in regards to the social and cultural aspects of the disaster and makes for a very interesting and informative read.
You can down load his paper here: [download id=”188″]
The rockfall tragedy of 25 April 2006 at Beaconsfield captured intense Australian and international interest, with a focus on the recovery and rescue underground. Attention often concentrates on technical details: the recovery of Larry Knight; the traumatic experiences of Todd Russell and Brant Webb; engineering of the rescue; and the experiences of the rescuers. The Beaconsfield crisis presented many challenges and lessons for all involved, not just for those underground.
A great deal was learned for those above ground, inside and outside the mine fence including: how the crisis affected mine employees; mine families; volunteers; the Beaconsfield community; the media; political groups; experts and the Emergency Coordination Operations Group (ECOG).
This paper has a focus on lessons learned above ground with a particular focus on psychological and cultural aspects of the crisis. The structure of the paper discusses the general nature of crisis on communities, the nature of ‘mindfulness’ as articulated by Prof. K. E. Weick, the uniqueness of the Beaconsfield crisis, the presence of ‘mindfulness’ in the Beaconsfield story and finally, lessons and strategies learned from the Beaconsfield event.