Former Howard son Willy Joynson is missing in a New Zealand mine where a gas explosion left 29 men trapped.
Former Howard son Willy Joynson is missing in a New Zealand mine where a gas explosion left 29 men trapped. Contributed

Fraser Coast dad in NZ mine crisis

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



WATCH: Boy injured after being run over by 4WD

WATCH: Boy injured after being run over by 4WD

The Chronicle understands the boy had upper abdominal injuries

Fire fighters on scene at Brooweena

Fire fighters on scene at Brooweena

This fire broke out about 3pm and crews are working to contain it

WATCH: Cattle escape after truck rollover west of Maryborough

WATCH: Cattle escape after truck rollover west of...

A Maryborough couple has been transported to Hervey Bay Hospital.

Local Partners