Josh Ufer, with his pregnant partner, Rachelle Weaver, is one of the 29 miners trapped following the explosion at Pike River Coal Mine in New Zealand.
Josh Ufer, with his pregnant partner, Rachelle Weaver, is one of the 29 miners trapped following the explosion at Pike River Coal Mine in New Zealand. The Morning Bulletin

Fraser Coast father caught in mine

FRASER Coast father Willy Joynson has been confirmed as one of the two Australians missing in a New Zealand mine where a gas explosion left 29 people trapped on Friday.

The 48-year-old, who grew up in Howard, is believed to have been travelling back and forth from New Zealand to the Tinana home where his wife and two children have lived for the past 12 months.

About 4.30pm Friday a gas pipe exploded in the Pike River mine on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

The cause of the blast is still unknown.

At the time of going to press methane levels were decreasing but authorities still deemed the mine too unsafe for a rescue attempt.

Mr Joynson is an experienced underground coal miner and worked for many years in the Burgowan mines at Howard.

He is the son of well known Howard couple Ezra (deceased) and Beryl Joynson and has three sisters and one brother.

The Fraser Coast Chronicle contacted Mr Joynson’s family yesterday but they were too distraught to speak and have asked for the media to respect their privacy.

Meanwhile, prayers have been said in Middlemount for another Australian miner trapped in the disaster, Josh Ufer.

Josh, 27, is a drilling expert and spent a lot of time in Middlemount where his mum still lives.

His partner, Rachelle Weaver, is expecting the couple’s first child in May.

Josh’s mum, Joanne, has flown to New Zealand where rescuers are attempting to bore through the shaft to get to the trapped men.

There is also a Central Queensland connection to the rescue.

Ken Singer, the deputy chief inspector of coal mines who has worked extensively in Central Queensland coal mines, was sent by the Queensland Government to assist with the rescue effort.  



Dad’s violent assault leaves 10yo with head wound

Premium Content Dad’s violent assault leaves 10yo with head wound

The Warwick court heard the girl was rushed to hospital after her father’s violent...

Warwick mum busted in Maccas drive-thru on meth

Premium Content Warwick mum busted in Maccas drive-thru on meth

She also joins a list of people who were caught stealing from Warwick businesses...

Warwick Daily News enters exciting new era

Warwick Daily News enters exciting new era

Our new website platform is just around the corner. Here is everything you need to...