Strongman Strengthens TV3’s HD Grip

TV3 has just confirmed Strongman — The Tragedy will air in HD when it premieres 7pm on Sunday. The 90-minute, commemorative docudrama recounts how, on 19 January 1967, a methane gas explosion ripped through the Greens Section of the Strongman Mine on the West Coast. The 11,000 feet-per-second fireball killed nineteen men; 15 bodies were recovered on the same day, two more two weeks later and two were never found. Programme-maker Paula McTaggart, who comes from a long line of coal miners, has been developing the project since 2007. Her uncle, the late Ron Gibb, was one of five men from Mines Rescue who received the British Empire Medal for their actions during the tragedy. “Listening to his story I was acutely aware of the pain and suffering the tragedy had wrought on such a small community,” she says. “The more he spoke, the more I felt that this was a critical piece of New Zealand history that had been largely overlooked outside of the West Coast. My uncle and I talked about the possibility of a documentary and he shared with me his knowledge of the tragedy along with the material to go forward. Ron had a strong desire that the truth be told.” TV3’s head of factual, Sue Woodfield, says the documentary’s gripping story of bravery and human resilience in the face of disaster will resonate with all New Zealanders. “There’s a terrible sense of history repeating itself with the recent tragic events at Pike River, and the current Royal Commission. This is a very important film.”

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2 Responses to “Strongman Strengthens TV3’s HD Grip”

  1. I hear it’s very good and can’t wait to see it.

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