It was the first day back after a two week Christmas break for the couple of dozen men who worked the Nymboida coal mine in northern NSW.
The shift was coming to an end when an underground gas explosion ripped through the mine at 3pm on 12 January, 1976. Slowly, the men staggered out of the mine, some seriously injured and being helped by others.
A head count was done. One man was missing. It would take hours for the mine rescue service to arrive, and by then it might be too late.
Latest 2 of 22 commentsView all comments
This is not your typical rant of a cyclist against senseless, inconsiderate drivers or a driver against arrogant, lycra-clad cyclists. But don’t worry, you’ll get your chance to rant at the end.
I find myself in a unique position. I cycled a lot – for many years while I was an Olympic rower then a few as a competitive cyclist. I ended up winning the 2009 Tour of New Zealand, then I became the National Time Trial Champion a year later.
But due to a head injury I sustained through a fall at a cycling race at last year’s Tour Down Under, I no longer cycle. And I had to surrender my car licence. I’ve recently been through the medical and practical driving test and have got it back after nine months of not driving.
Latest 2 of 341 commentsView all comments
Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from an Italian port
Aboard this massive ship.
The crew was a bunch of useless hacks
The skipper craven and poor
3,206 passengers set sail that day
For a five day tour, a five day tour.
Latest 2 of 32 commentsView all comments
Very few vivid memories remain from the morning of April 1, 2005. I was 17.
The one that sticks the most was dad crying. Dad never cries. Farmers never cry.
It could have been 4am, it could have been 7am. I still don’t know. All I remember was it was dark and mum and dad were standing at my bedroom door in tears. Daryl was gone. My mate.
Latest 2 of 31 commentsView all comments
In the wake of yet another tragic level crossing accident in Melbourne, a Melbourne train driver gives his perspective on the often frightening view from the driver’s seat…
Express running is the worst, or running empty cars back to a depot because you are not scheduled to stop but the punters are attuned to the stopping of trains at platforms.
They assume you’re going to stop and if they quickly duck under the safety barrier they can still catch your train!
A couple of my fellow drivers have hit small children at level crossings. Imagine pulling the train to a stand still, getting out of the cab and being confronted with the grieving parent. One train driver even had the mother screaming at him and physically hitting him.
Latest 2 of 68 commentsView all comments
Having a punt on the gallopers is a great Australian pastime. But even on a losing streak, all most of us have at stake is money.
The men, and increasingly women, who keep the industry going by saddling up at racetracks across the country day-in and day-out are gambling with much more.
Today is National Jockeys Celebration Day, the one day on the national racing calendar that is all about those people who risk their lives on the track.
Latest 2 of 19 commentsView all comments
It is an extraordinary moment. A stadium of 4,000 hormone-charged teenagers from all walks of life, sitting in absolute silence, engrossed by the scene playing out before them. No one has asked them to be quiet. It just happens when you’re watching strangers die in front of you.
We are at the 2011 Youth and Road Trauma forum, an event which is the brainchild of the extraordinary team at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital Trauma unit. Exhausted from years of dealing with pulverised youthful bodies due to motor vehicle crashes, the team’s director Dr Ken Harrison decided it’s time for a new tack.
Usually, 16 and 17 year-olds converge at the Acer Arena for rock concerts. This is different. The scene unfolding on the large arena floor is a re-creation of a fatal road crash involving teenagers. The ‘drivers’ and ‘passengers’ are young actors, but everyone else is an emergency professional playing their roles in such a matter-of-fact manner, it’s deeply disturbing to watch.
Latest 2 of 61 commentsView all comments
There’s a new craze in town, haven’t you heard? Stretch your body across an unlikely object, take a pic of yourself, post it on Facebook, then act like you’ve done something really clever and original.
Don’t fall, though. If you do, you could end up like 20 year old Brisbane man Acton Beale, who is believed to be Australia’s first planking fatality after he fell from the balcony of a Brisbane apartment on the weekend.
Allow us to express our condolences to Beale’s family and friends. Now allow us to explain why planking is the dumbest thing we’ve heard of since train surfing, line dancing and Australian hip hop music.
Latest 2 of 154 commentsView all comments
Ray Silburn’s fall didn’t look good, and it wasn’t. Dislodged from his mount at a small-time meeting at Canberra’s unimaginatively named “Thoroughbred Park” racecourse in February, 2005, the champion local jockey was left a quadriplegic after being crushed by the weight of his 500 kilo quadruped.
“One minute I was in a race, the next I was looking up at a ceiling,” the jockey said at the annual National Jockeys Trust Lunch on Thursday, which The Punch attended. “I just wanted to move my arms so I could hug my two kids.”
Silburn’s wife left him shortly after the fall. “I experienced deep loneliness. It was very hard. I put on a brave face but deep down I was in a lot of pain and hurt. There are things you just don’t understand with the way your life has turned out and how some people treat you.”
Latest 2 of 21 commentsView all comments
I was sitting at traffic lights the other day making my way to a gig in the Hunter Valley. It was lashing rain and the weather was terrible – you could barely see the road up ahead let alone the other traffic.
As I waited for the lights to change, a car pulled up alongside me. Glancing briefly to the left I saw the familiar P plate on the window screen. The car was a six-cylinder and the young driver at the steering wheel seemed far too eager to put each cylinder to use.
“Alright buddy”, I grumbled as I heard the intermittent and very familiar revving of his car, “hold your horses”. The lights changed and the young driver shot off like a bullet.
Latest 2 of 88 commentsView all comments
The world’s worst headline is widely agreed to be this rip-snorter from a brief which ran some years ago in The New York Times: None dead in small earthquake in Chile.
This column might be considered a belated shot at the title.
But setting aside from its decidedly unspectacular impact, it’s a story which says something about the way we live and interact in a big city like Sydney. It goes to the kind of entrenched bullying and brinksmanship which pits complete strangers against each other in all sorts of frazzled, sometimes deadly encounters as we try to get through our day.
Latest 2 of 15 commentsView all comments
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…