THE New Zealand coal mine collapse has “horrible parallels” to the Moura No.2 pit disaster 16 years ago, according to Paul Conway.
Mr Conway, vice-president and treasurer of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union Moura lodge, said that in the No.2 disaster that killed 11 miners on August 7, 1994, there were two explosions days apart – eerily similar to the Pike River mine on New Zealand's west coast.
It was the second explosion on Wednesday afternoon that ended any hope of finding survivors.
“There are horrible parallels to the No.2 disaster,” Mr Conway said.
“People will have their quiet thoughts (about the NZ mine).
“It's a very sad day.”
Mr Conway said the second explosion proved rescuers could not go in.
He said the chances of the miners having survived the first blast had been remote but now “there was no chance at all”.
Mr Conway said he did not like the chances of retrieving the bodies, with toxic gases still at high levels.
“It will be very hard to get the bodies,” he said.
“People don't get closure.”
He said a similar thing happened at the No.2 explosion and the Kianga Mine disaster in 1975.
Mr Conway said he had two sons who worked in underground mines near Moranbah and one of his daughters-in-law had rung him this week.
“They get nervous every time they go down,” he said.
The sister of Queensland miner Willy Joynson, who died in the New Zealand mine, has links to the 1975 Moura mine disaster.
Veronica Cook said the disaster had brought back bad memories of the day 13 miners died in the Kianga Mine disaster.
Her oldest brother lost his entire crew in that incident.
Her sisters and brothers have flown to Greymouth to support Mr Joynson's wife, Kim, and their sons, aged 10 and 13.
Banana Shire Council Deputy Mayor and Moura resident Maureen Clancy said people in Moura had kept a close watch on the New Zealand situation.
“It's certainly a very hot topic of conversation in the town,” Cr Clancy said.
Moura has its own tragic past, with three mining disasters in the district in the past 35 years, costing 36 lives.
Cr Clancy said no one who had been in the town during these disasters would ever forget.