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Bad Ground: Inside the Beaconsfield Mine Rescue

Bad Ground: Inside the Beaconsfield Mine Rescue

by Tony Wright

Bad Ground, the unforgettable story of the rescue of Beaconsfield miners Brant Webb and Todd Russell, will set a new standard for its genre when released in New Zealand on 7 November 2006, by HarperCollins Publishers.

The book is written by multi-award winning journalist Tony Wright, the national affairs editor of The Bulletin, who had exclusive access to Webb and Russell, as well as their families, friends and rescuers. In the style of a perfectly paced psychological thriller, Wright has written a compelling account that will transfix readers from page one and stay with them long after they've read the final paragraph.

Wright was uniquely positioned to write this story in all its dimensions. While the community drew together to protect its own from the prying eyes and cameras of most of the media during the crises, he was quickly identified as an exception and welcomed.

The enthralling, often spine-chilling narrative begins with a masterfully rendered portrait of the small Tasmanian mining township in which the drama unfolded, a township that was going through the last of its Anzac Day rituals as disaster struck, killing Larry Knight and entombing Brant Webb and Todd Russell.

Russell and Webb, who were wary colleagues before becoming trapped in the cramped and crushed remains of a cage, share explicit details of their 14-day ordeal. They give an uncensored account of the darkest first five days during which little hope was held of finding them, dead or alive. They then tell of the profoundly changed world they rejoined when rescued, miraculously, via the tunnel that also served as their lifeline for nine days.

Bad Ground is also the emotionally charged story of the miners' wives and families how each dealt with the confusion and despair, refused to give up hope and never stopped believing. It is equally the story of those who worked desperately against the clock and against all odds to reach the men below, and of the community who held vigil.


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