The missing miners: Australia and PNG share their tragic story

Fred Page, the man suspected of pulling a team of 14-plus men from the sunken Australian mine in PNG’s Mount Hagen, was a US Navy veteran who had once been recommended for a lifetime pension of $175,000 a year, the Guardian reports.

Page, who was the chief structural engineer for Cobalt company, was also named in a $US127m lawsuit filed in the US two years ago, according to Reuters.

In a recent interview with ABC News, MacGibbon (Stuart) Davis, a senior manager at Donostia-San Pedro port in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, detailed the scenes as authorities were searching for the missing miners, among other details about the missing men who disappeared in the light spring of April 2017.

Scroll down for background on Page, Davis, and other missing miners, and the quick trip to Mount Hagen, information about how they went missing, and even this weird clip of people who live around Mount Hagen talking about how they survived. If you have time, it’s important to note all the important details:

Who the missing men are: The 11 people who went missing were found dead. The 11 men who survived were brought back to the surface by the salvage team. “All were cut, broken, and bruised” and some would not have been able to walk in water, the Malacanang Daily News reported. Australian mining company Cobalt 31 and their companions are believed to have died in a night-time avalanche.

How they went missing: An Australian rescue team had just arrived at the station at 1am on April 4 last year and was about to start an inspection when what seemed like an earthquake hit. After the rescue crew were ordered to evacuate, the trapped men had decided to stay in the station and wait for the rescue team. Later on, they could be heard “sprinting and making the odd bombastic call” before dark.

How many people were down there: Nine miners went to the hole to work and two others stayed on to teach them how to do the work safely.

Why they were in Mount Hagen: The drill site was in Tarakan, a port town in Mt Hagen district which is only 15 minutes by boat from the lake.

Who helped them: The stranded workers had asked for assistance by phone and set up a disaster relief team the night before they were found, telling them they should pray for them as they left the station.

The rescue team arrived after midnight and were supposed to prepare themselves for another day at the well. But some of the miners explained they were “going to have a dip.”

How the effort went wrong: One of the miners said that after “one of our friends was injured, we decided to go for a dip to get it over with.”

What the federal government has done: Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and the governor-general, Peter Cosgrove, visited Mount Hagen and paid their respects to the victims, among others. More than $10m has been pledged by the government to help the families of the miners.

Why we should care: Aside from all the reason you might already want to, the US government investigated the behavior of two Dole food employees when the Australian miners were stranded. Supposedly, one employee stole gold and another pocketed money used for the pump.

Extra tip: We all know that July is National Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Month. Well, never mind that, and just know that you should never ever be this freaking frightened.

If you’d like to see a full set of video highlights on the missing miners and the effort to retrieve them, you can watch the entire five-minute documentary here.

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