21 Nov 2010

Australian miner's family on way to West Coast

12:05 pm on 21 November 2010

The family of one of two Australians trapped in a New Zealand mine is travelling to the area as rescue efforts continue on Sunday.

The two men, along with 27 others, have been trapped since an explosion at the Pike River Coal mine on the West Coast of the South Island on Friday afternoon.

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that the mother, father and sister of Josh Ufer are on their way to Greymouth to join the vigil with other families.

Mr Ufer is a 25-year-old drilling supervisor from Queensland. His partner told the newspaper that they are not giving up hope that he will emerge alive.

The name of the other Australian has not been released but Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd says consulate staff are supporting both families.

The trapped miners are aged from 17 to 62. As well as the two Australians, there are 24 New Zealanders, two Britons and a South African.

Australian mine rescue teams from New South Wales and Queensland are travelling to the West Coast to provide expert help.