to do to distract them. “She is going to be fine, just keep her comfortable and let me
know as soon as she comes round.”
John took a step back and surveyed the rest of the group. He handed out water to those
who did not have. “I need someone to tell me what happened to your group,” John
instructed. “I also need to know the ages of those who are here and if any of you are
injured.” One of the older looking boys came forward and said he would tell John what
had happened. Before he started John asked one of the girls who had been sitting on
her own with her head between her knees if she would take stock of any injuries. She
looked up and agreed, another one grateful for the distraction. Before he stepped aside
with the boy to hear what had happened he issued an assurance to the group. “Don’t
worry, we will get you out of here, I promise.” His words gave the group hope and they
focused on the girl who was to check for injuries.
“What’s your name?” he asked the boy standing next to him.
“M..M…M..Michael,” he stammered.
“Don’t worry Michael, we will get out of here, just tell me what happened, where is your
group leader?”
Michael took a while to answer. “Both of them are dead” he said bluntly. “They were
crushed by a boulder right in front of us.” The tears were running down his cheeks. John
put a hand on his shoulder to give him some comfort. “We were camping up at Lang’s
Pass, just a few kilometres from
the old mine. We had just started moving down the
mountain path when the quake hit. It was horrible.” Michael closed his eyes.
“Go on” John encouraged him.