Mine rescue makes headlines around globe
Published: May 9, 2006 | 4106th good news item since 2003
News of the miraculous escape by two Tasmanian miners trapped underground for two weeks has made headlines around the globe.
Newspapers from across the United States, Britain, India, the Middle East, Canada, Switzerland and South Korea all rushed to publish stories on their internet sites about Brant Webb and Todd Russell shortly after the pair emerged unscathed from the Beaconsfield gold mine early on Tuesday.
British broadcasters, including the BBC, Sky TV and ITV; plus the influential Fox News and CBS networks in the US, also told viewers of the remarkable rescue effort to free the men, who had been trapped since a rock collapse on Anzac Day.
The intense international interest in the so-called “great escape” came as local media outlets scrambled to cover every moment of their much-anticipated rescue.
Rival commercial networks Nine and Seven alerted their viewers to the miners’ imminent rescue shortly after 4am (AEST), while the ABC emblazoned a “news flash” across its black-and-white movie re-run, Rooney.
Nine and Seven’s morning programs beamed live pictures of Mr Webb and Mr Russell punching the air as they emerged from a mine lift for an emotional reunion with loved ones about 6am (AEST).
Major newspapers, including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun and The Age, plus Launceston’s local newspaper The Examiner, all rushed out special editions hailing the end of a fortnight of tense waiting for the pair to be freed from one kilometre underground.
Crowds of locals braved the chilly early morning air to cheer the men as they walked free and the beer began to flow in local pubs in celebration.
Radio listeners from around the country wanted to share their joy and flooded stations with calls to talk about the remarkable rescue.
American miners were quick to send their congratulations to their Australian counterparts.
“I know every miner rejoiced at the news our brothers in Australia were rescued,” United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) official Ed Yankovich told AAP.
“Everyone who has worked underground has a special kinship together.
“It goes beyond the boundaries of nations.”
With such interest in the rescue of the mining buddies, the focus will now turn to how much they can earn from selling their stories to the highest bidder.
Celebrity agent Max Markson believes the men could fetch more than $1 million from any future TV, magazine, book and tele-movie deal.
“They will earn more money if they do separate (deals) than if they do a bulk deal together,” he told ABC radio.