Pike River: Second explosion, no survivors
Wed, 24 Nov 2010 4:45p.m.
By Angela Beswick
Police have confirmed a second explosion in the Pike River mine, where 29 miners are trapped.
Superintendent Gary Knowles emerged from briefing miners' families, saying it is his belief that nobody could have survived the blast, which occurred at 2.37pm.
Some of the miners' relatives ran from the briefing in tears, pushing through the cordon of waiting journalists, NZPA reported.
The operation to locate the miners is no longer search and rescue, it is a search and recovery mission, Mr Knowles said.
Who are the missing miners?
Mr Knowles, who was at the mine when it exploded, says telling the families was the most tragic thing he has ever had to deal with in his life. He then broke down in tears.
See Supt Gary Knowles full statement
"We had to break the news to the family and they are extremely distraught,” he told reporters after the briefing.
"I was at the mine myself when the explosion occurred. The blast was horrific. Just as severe as the first blast - and we are now moving into a recovery mode."
Read updates from throughout the day at Pike River coal mine
Pike River Coal Mine chief executive Peter Whittall says he is unable to say for sure how the explosion occurred.
However, he said he is confident the explosion was not caused by the actions of the rescue team.
"If the men are no longer alive we still want them back, their families will want them back,” he said.
“But we can't go into an unsafe mine. It's just as unsafe as it was two hours ago."
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said "this is the West Coast's darkest hour".
He described the news as sickening and said families were devastated.
"People were angry, shouting, some fell to the floor when they were told."
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20/04/2011 2:55:51 p.m.
The police did the best that they could but to relatives it didn't seem enough. You just have yo keep on striving to the end. +hope & faith+ RIP
26/11/2010 6:16:30 p.m.
Why are all the explosions all in the middle of the afternoon.
26/11/2010 2:46:13 p.m.
My thoughts, my heart and prayers are with every one.The numbers that one feels for all the people concerned.makes one feel unbelieveable and not real. Prayers and God is with you, and everyone, God Bless you all
25/11/2010 10:01:10 a.m.
rest in paradise peoples..=(=(
25/11/2010 9:24:30 a.m.
I have to agree with Helen, how hard it must be for the families to make the decision to pump gas into the mine with out concrete evidence that all are dead, just saying most likely or very sure is just not good enough,maybe they know more than they are making public, my prayers and sympathy go out to all concerned in this disaster.
25/11/2010 8:06:40 a.m.
Tina Haynes wrote:
We need to pray and give our love and support to the families and loved ones of the miners. God bless you all!!
24/11/2010 11:22:28 p.m.
Our loss Heavens gain god bless them all and the families
24/11/2010 11:16:49 p.m.
Barbara Peddie wrote:
I wish I could do more - but all I can do is cry - and pray, that the miners died instantly in the first explosion.
But I still pray for the families ... May God give you strength, we all weep with you.
24/11/2010 10:07:52 p.m.
I am really dissapointed to see the officials "confirming" that these men are dead and that there are no survivors!
Confirmation of death would be these poor families burying their men!... We havent seen anyone come out of the mine yet, other than the two lucky survivors! But instead of officials saying there is next to no chance of survivors, they are confirming their deaths!
In my mind, you cant confirm that until you bring them out dead. There is always hope until you discover there is not!...
Dont give up hope yet... What would these men think if they heard now that they had been pronounced dead if they were still waiting to be rescued from some small pocket of the mine.
I realise all hope is small but without proof, we should still live in hope until evidence arrives.
God Bless all those involved and God speed the recovery of these men, whether it be alive or otherwise.
You are all in my prayers. xx
24/11/2010 9:17:51 p.m.
A terrible tragedy. Our love and sympathy with all the family and friends. But the 29 miners LIVE, they live on in our memories for as long as we live and commemorate them.
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