I am sure you have all heard and seen on the news the mining accident that has recently rocked Turkey. A national tragedy with a death toll currently exceeding 280 people, the nation is in mourning for those already lost. When such horrific accidents like this happen, how do we as individuals and a country cope?
Accidents do not discriminate
Workplace accidents do not discriminate. It's perhaps unique in this quality; it does not matter who you are, what language you speak or what country you are from, accidents are always going to happen. Especially in industries like mining - it's always going to be a dangerous job! Often it's just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But what we cannot predict is the scale of the accident. Sometimes nobody is harmed. Sometimes there are no survivors.
Australia was, and is not immune
Australia has also had it's fair share of mining disasters, the most infamous probably being Beaconsfield back in 2006. We were much luckier than Turkey though. Of the initial 17 people trapped, 14 escaped straight away followed by Brant Webb and Todd Russell two weeks later. Tragically the final miner, Larry Knight, never made it to the surface to see his family again.
The media plays a huge part in rallying support
Most of you can probably remember the massive media coverage that followed the every move of search and safety rescue efforts. All the television channels were airing hourly updates, radio stations gave updates in their half-hour or hourly news breaks and newspapers were filled with anything and everything related to Beaconsfield and the mining industry past, present and future.
As an 'onlooker' I think that it is important that we take a step back and let the rescue teams do their best to get the situation under control. But I also think that in order to cope, we must support one another even if we are complete strangers. And this partly comes from a large amount of media coverage that can constantly keep us updated and share the community's well wishes to those affected. We saw this happen to Brant and Todd, who received an overwhelming amount of support Australia wide. Even now, we continue to celebrate their survival and epic tale.
Show your support
It is so hard to even imagine what it must have been like for the families of those trapped in Beaconsfield or those currently waiting for their loved ones in Turkey. Our strength to cope with national disasters comes from banding together so the only thing that we can do is to show our support in any way that we can. Whether that be by simply staying in the loop with news updates or by sharing well wishes across social media. And to remember that while this disaster is not not Australian shores, accidents do not discriminate.
Do you remember where you were on the day of the Beaconsfield mining accident? How do you think we as a nation rallied support? Let us know your thoughts!