News that an explosion in a coal mine in South Island, New Zealand had left 27 miners trapped underground was met with widespread apathy around the world yesterday. Even reports that two of the miners are British wasn’t enough to create much interest in the story in the UK, with national news broadcasts quickly relegating behind a story on which designer shoes Kate Middleton will wear at her wedding next year.
“It’s just too soon after the last mine collapse story,” said a spokesman for everyone in the world. “The Chilean mine story had everything; the dramatic discovery of the men underground, the miner whose affair was exposed before the entire world and the extraordinary rescue. Unfortunately the general feeling is that this new story can’t possibly match the excitement of the last one.”
“All our sympathy was exhausted by the Chilean story. It may sound crass, but we just don’t have enough left to care about this one.”
One Hollywood producer even likened it to a studio which hastily brings out a sequel to a blockbuster movie in the hope of capitalising on the public interest.
No sooner than the 33rd miner trapped underground in a Chilean mine for 69 days emerged from the rescue capsule to joyous scenes heralding the miraculous event, and the mine in Copiapo could be closed, had another tragic story began to emerge.
As the 33 brave miners were re-united with their families amid a sea of flags, tears and horns, those at the foot of the site began to come to a stark realisation: they had forgotten about the six rescue workers who had bravely went into the mine to ensure the success of the rescue operation [continued on page 33..]
The "Chilean miners"
The international community expressed dis-belief and outrage when it was revealed today that the accident which left 33 Chilean miners trapped inside a mine near Copiapo was a stunt orchestrated by a Chilean television company.
Documents found in a dumpster close to the headquarters of Television Nacionale de Chile show that the mine collapse 68 days ago was the work of television producers behind a new reality TV concept which would document the lives of 33 men trapped underground for a hundred days.
However, after 68 days of little activity in the mine, channel executives have decided to pull the plug on the project, initiating this weeks earlier than expected ‘rescue’. Memos detail conversations between executives in which frustration is relayed as the miners “sit around doing nothing”.
The memos show that executives believed that it would take less than thirty days trapped in an enclosed space underground for tensions to develop between the miners. After four weeks in the mine with limited access to food and little or no contact with loved ones, it was expected that at least one of the men may have attempted to eat one of the others, or perhaps give in to their natural instincts and fornicate.
One note highlights the desperation of producers to stir controversy as the miners continued to co-operate in order to survive. It simply poses the question of leaking information into the mine that the sole Bolivian man amongst thirty-two Chileans inside the mine had been having an affair with at least three of his colleagues wives. The idea was apparently vetoed in the hope that another week would force the men to crack.
However, with no sign of cannibalism or sex forthcoming, Television Nacionale de Chile has ordered production of “I’m a Miner, Get Me Out Of Here” to shut down.
The latest image from the trapped miners
As hopes begin to rise that the thirty-three miners trapped 700 metres below the surface of a copper gold mine in northern Chile may be freed earlier than initially expected, a fresh batch of messages have today been delivered to families and friends above.
Amongst the messages of love and hope which have been relayed to desperate loved ones who are waiting patiently nearby was a plea from Victor Zamora, who said in a brief and emotional telephone conversation with his wife, “please do not allow them to bring us out of here before the end of the new series of X Factor….”