Today popular news sites are packed with video coverage of the wonderful rescue of these Chilean and Bolivian miners who have been trapped underground for months. We’ve put together a selection of films to remind us of the perilous hazards that miners across the globe have to face, many never seen by the public before. (Shortcut to films)
Often there are tragic outcomes but our particularly favourite clip is from 1964 in France where miners are finally rescued in very similar style to today’s rescue in Chile.
The rather creatively titled newsreel ‘Entombed Boy Snatched From Death’ is a real nail-biter, whilst this 1957 Belgian mining disaster ‘260 Trapped!’ really captures the community anxiety when these perilous scenarios emerge.
In June BBC Derbyshire did a great piece on British Pathé’s local newsreel of a ‘Pothole Tragedy’ in which villagers and experts attemped to save 20 year-old climber Neil Rose from a Derbyshire cave, but in vain. Again, British Pathé manage to masterfully capture on camera the intimate emotions and perplexity of an emergency situation.
British Pathé were always very talented as a news team at documenting man’s struggles against nature and society’s constant readjustment and acclimitisation to technological advance. Even today in 2010 so much can be learnt about current crises, even in the craziest dark depth of Chilean soil.