When you have an explosion that rips the ventilation fan off its base there is not much hope of someone left in the mine. If you look at the images of the NZ blast you will notice the carbon marks on the trees near the entrance. This was a methane and or coal dust explosion and the cause was some sort of ignition most likely from a hot roller on a belt. When these explosions hit they give no warning and every thing is blown from original resting place. Pipes twisted like spaghetti and blown to the nearest intersection. Pit props blown out and unsafe conditions are all that there is left. If you watch the video you will see how they treat the explosion as if it is nothing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc0GqjPvZ7Q
or the closed tank explosion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxhEln1LiYk&feature=related Which I think was irresponsible as the tank could have blown to smithereens could you imagine the pressure that was instantly in that tank. Or this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XM2TbddOhN0&feature=related That was on the surface how would it have been underground sucking up all the air to burn. There is still a big risk of the mine exploding again.
I will let you know this is serious stuff and should be treated with respect. I know as I worked in a coal mine doing underground roof support and working with methane gas. There is a culture in coal mines that needs to be changed, My father worked in a coal mine and there was a fire in the mine that he worked at and he was lucky to get out. I suffered burns to my face and chest from a gas explosion in a model boat that I made and this was about half a ltr. of gas and air. I do hope for miracles though. I was lucky to be carried out Wongawilli mine on a stretcher and still be able to walk and live the rest of my life. Yes I do have mental scars.