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digitalimpression's avatar

You are trapped in an underground mine system and...

Asked by digitalimpression (9900 points ) November 24th, 2011

… water is steadily rising. You are seemingly cutoff from escape and you are over a mile from an exit. You have one 3 inch hole leading to the surface through which you could breathe if you prevent water from rising into it. What do you do? How long do you hold out? What goes on in your head?

P.S. If you couldn’t find something to be thankful for up to this point today, be thankful this is just a question.

Inspired by the book: Atlantis Found by CC

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26 Answers

gondwanalon's avatar

Yes being able to breath fresh air is something to be very thankful for.

As far as the mine cave in goes…Even if a 3 inch (outside diameter) hose for breathing could be located and fitter into the 3 inch air tube my death would likely still soon come. A mile long 3 inch tube would soon fill with carbon dioxide from my breathing because there is no way for me to clear that length of tube. Never the less I would still give it a try to buy some time while hoping that a rescue team would pump fresh air down the tube for me to breath as well as to displace the rising water.

rooeytoo's avatar

@gondwanalon – I agree but have a question, how about if you breathed in through the tube and exhaled into the water around you? I think that would do the trick, but yeppers, I am grateful I don’t have to find out personally! I am claustrophobic and can’t stand the idea of working underground!

CWOTUS's avatar

As soon as the water reaches the level of the bottom of the pipe (unless you can cut it somehow, or it has a gooseneck to keep the end out of the water longer), then you’re dead as soon as the water gets into the pipe. And yes, as long as you can inhale through the tube, you certainly won’t want to exhale into it. (And if the chamber you’re in becomes saturated with CO2, then that’s going to kill you, too, because as soon as you uncover the pipe end, it’s going to start filling with CO2 also, whether you exhale into it or not.

TheIntern55's avatar

I would probably panic and drown before I found the 3 inch hole anyway.

digitalimpression's avatar

The exit is 1 mile away. The 3 inch hole is not necessarily 1 mile deep.

redfeather's avatar

The three inch hole still wouldn’t work even if you were 6 feet deep.

And to get out, I’d call the worms.

blueberry_kid's avatar

This is hard!

What I would do: Panic, but let nature take its course. I wouldn’t have much of a chance digging through the bottom of a land mine. I’m waaay to clumsy for that kind of job.

How long I would hold out: Maybe, ever so possibly, 42.3 seconds. Maybe a minute. Like I said; I’m clumy and I panic easily.

What goes on in my head: My childhood, panic, my happiest moments, my lover, my friends, near death, panic, homework assignments, chores at home, panic, panic, and how to get the heck out of there all in one breath.

Symbeline's avatar

I’d scream bloody murder at the top of my lungs in the three inch hole, and hope somebody’s around to hear me. If it leads to the surface, then there must be an opening up there, right? Or do you mean it’s three inches deep, and not three inches wide? (I understood the latter, anyways)

digitalimpression's avatar

@blueberry_kid That’s about identical to what I would do. =)

@Symbeline I would also do that. It’s an old land mine so there’s a possibility that there is at least some punk kid checking out the scary old mine. Anybody would do… Now the rescue operation would be another question altogether.

Symbeline's avatar

@digitalimpression Yeah, indeed. But that’s the most we could do, is scream for help. Hopefully the person who heard us would actually do something about it lol.

digitalimpression's avatar

The rescue operation would likely have to be an air-tank, underwater super swimmer who somehow has the capability of moving rocks I would guess… unless they could somehow drill very carefully down to you without caving the place in on you or something..

Perhaps they could send an air hose down and have you move far back from the hole and wait… that would be pretty scary anyway!

TheIntern55's avatar

Wait, why are we in the mine anyway? Reasearch? Curiosity? Rebellion?

Symbeline's avatar

@digitalimpression Yeah. We’d have to assume that they know exactly where you are, and what’s going on. Which they probbaly quite wouldn’t, unless some of the staff were extremely familiar with the mine. :/ I guess if you could talk/scream through the hole and they heard your words, that would help a lot. I’d be all like, get me the hell outta here!

digitalimpression's avatar

@TheIntern55 Because you’re an expert in ancient languages and a chamber was found with unusual writing on the walls. You were sent to investigate. Unfortunately, someone doesn’t want you to figure out what it says and they use explosive charges to seal you into the chamber.

@Symbeline Let’s assume someone hears you! You’re still going to have to wait for hours for a rescue.. it would be the ultimate exercise in perseverance.. it would be bloody tough

TheIntern55's avatar

@digitalimpression Yep. I would definatly panic in that situation.

Symbeline's avatar

I’d be screaming in the hole so much, that if a rescue team came, I wouldn’t hear their instructions lol. But what kinda instructions would they have…hang on! Don’t move! Remain calm!

Yeah, that’s easy to say

ucme's avatar

This sounds like mini me suffered a mishap when “going anal” on Beyonce’s fine black ass!
Poor little bugger, he’ll be gone for days :¬(

bkcunningham's avatar

Remember the Quecreek miners in Somerset, Pennsylvania,?

bkcunningham's avatar

Yes, it sounded very much the same story, @digitalimpression. I met all except one of the Quecreek Nine and spent an entire day talking and breaking bread with the men. Many memorable stories for me.

digitalimpression's avatar

@bkcunningham Wow, how did you come across that opportunity?

bkcunningham's avatar

They were guests at the Bristol Motor Speedway for the Sharpie race right after the mine disaster. A friend of mine owns the Food City grocery stores and they sponsor a race at Bristol. He and his wife invited me to spend the day with the men. It was an amazing opportunity.

digitalimpression's avatar

@bkcunningham I didn’t suspect I’d find such a great survival story when bringing up this question!

bkcunningham's avatar

I got all of their autographs (minus the one man who didn’t attend) on a coal miner’s hard hat that belonged to my husband’s father.

Thinking their fate was sealed and they were going to die inside the mine, they wrote farewell letters to their families and loved ones and sealed them in a waterproof aluminum dinner bucket. They still have the bucket and told me that it will never be opened and unsealed until the death of every last one of the nine men who shared the experience.

bkcunningham's avatar

Not that I’m wishing the death of the men, but I’d love to have the opportunity to see those letters and see their families reactions when they are read.

digitalimpression's avatar

@bkcunningham I wonder if any of them want to take their letters and re-write them. =)

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