DEATHS

Conrad John Adams, 43, Greymouth Conrad John Adams, 43, Greymouth CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Glen Peter Cruse, 35, Cobden Glen Peter Cruse, 35, Cobden CREDIT: New Zealand Police
John Leonard Hale, 45, Ruatapu John Leonard Hale, 45, Ruatapu CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Andrew David Hurren, 32, Greymouth Andrew David Hurren, 32, Greymouth CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Riki Steve Keane, 28, Greymouth Riki Steve Keane, 28, Greymouth CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Keith Thomas Valli, 62, Winton Keith Thomas Valli, 62, Winton CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Joshua Adam Ufer, 25, Australia Joshua Adam Ufer, 25, Australia CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Blair David Sims, 28 Blair David Sims, 28 CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Peter James Rodger, 40, Greymouth, British Peter James Rodger, 40, Greymouth, British CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Benjamin David Rockhouse, 21 Benjamin David Rockhouse, 21 CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Peter O'Neill, 55, Rununga Peter O'Neill, 55, Rununga CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Kane Barry Nieper, 33 Kane Barry Nieper, 33 CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Michael Nolan Hanmer Monk, 23 Michael Nolan Hanmer Monk, 23 CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Samuel Peter McKie, 26 Samuel Peter McKie, 26 CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Terry David Kitchin, 41, Runanga Terry David Kitchin, 41, Runanga CREDIT: New Zealand Police
William John Joynson, 49, Dunollie, Australia William John Joynson, 49, Dunollie, Australia CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Jacobus (Koos) Albertus Jonker, 47, Cobden, South Africa Jacobus (Koos) Albertus Jonker, 47, Cobden, South Africa CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Richard Bennett Holling, 41, Blackball Richard Bennett Holling, 41, Blackball CREDIT: New Zealand Police
David Mark Hoggart, 33, Foxton David Mark Hoggart, 33, Foxton CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Daniel Thomas Herk, 36, Rununga Daniel Thomas Herk, 36, Rununga CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Joseph Ray Dunbar, 17, Greymouth Joseph Ray Dunbar, 17, Greymouth CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Christopher Peter Duggan, 31, Greymouth Christopher Peter Duggan, 31, Greymouth CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Zen Wodin Drew, 21, Greymouth Zen Wodin Drew, 21, Greymouth CREDIT: New Zealand Police
Allan John Dixon, 59, Rununga Allan John Dixon, 59, Rununga CREDIT: New Zealand Police

Second explosion leaves no hope for trapped miners

Wednesday 24 November 2010, 5:40PM
By Infonews Editor
1109 views , 1 comments


WEST COAST

Superintendent Gary KnowlesSuperintendent Gary Knowles has told families there is no hope for the 29 men trapped in Pike River mine, after a second explosion today.

Knowles says no-one could have survived the explosion and the search and rescue operation is now a search and recovery mission.

Knowles was at the Mine when the explosion occurred.

He told families today's explosion was larger than the first. 

Knowles would not speculate on what caused the latest explosion, but Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn says families were told the cause of the explosion was a result of a build up of gases over the last six days.

Kokshoorn says families were distraught when Knowles told them the news and some expressed anger at police over the handling of the incident.

Knowles says telling the families was the most tragic thing he has had to do as a police officer.

Pike River CEO Peter WhittallPike River CEO Peter Whittall spoke to media a short time ago and was unsure how the second explosion occurred, but said results from the bore hole drilled top test the air showed 95 percent methane.

He said he was confident the rescue actions had not been the cause of the explosion and said it is extremely unlikely that anyone survived the second explosion.

Whittall says the mine is still unsafe to enter and no one had gone inside despite reports searchers had entered the mine after the second explosion.

Whittall says he is still committed to "getting the men back" for their families.

He asked for media to respect families as they grieve.

Prime Minister John KeyA short time ago Prime Minister John Key labeled the incident a national tragedy saying, "we are our brothers keeper, so to lose so many brothers at once strikes an agonising blow".

"Today all New Zealanders grieve for these men. We are a nation in mourning".

"Our heart felt sympathies go out the the families of these men".

"New Zealand stands shoulder to shoulder with you. Though we cannot possibly feel this pain as you do, we have you in our hearts and our thoughts. Like you, we had all longed for that miracle to occur. That your men would be returned home to you."

"Tonight, on behalf of the people of New Zealand we send our sympathy to the children who have lost their fathers, to the parents who have lost sons, the wives who have lost husbands, the girlfriends who have lost their partners and the siblings who have lost their brothers."

Key went on to say the loss would be felt in every home and acknowledged Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom who also lost lives in the tragedy.

Tomorrow Key will travel to Greymouth to express condolences to families and to thank those who worked in the effort to rescue the miners.

Key also announced that tomorrow all flags on government buildings will fly at half mast.

Key says questions need to be answered and a commission of inquiry will be initiated and ACC will be responsible for compensation to families.

Key says to his knowledge all efforts were made to recover the men from the mine during the rescue operation and would not be drawn in to speculation.

The explosion occurred at 2:37pm.

The miners lost in the tragedy are:

Name Age From Nationality
Conrad John Adams   43 Greymouth New Zealand
Malcolm Campbell   25 Greymouth Scottish
Glen Peter Cruse  35 Cobden New Zealand
Allan John Dixon   59 Rununga New Zealand
Zen Wodin Drew  21 Greymouth New Zealand
Christopher Peter Duggan   31 Greymouth New Zealand
Joseph Ray Dunbar 17 Greymouth  
John Leonard Hale   45 Ruatapu New Zealand
Daniel Thomas Herk  36 Rununga New Zealand
David Mark Hoggart  33 Foxton New Zealand
Richard Bennett Holling  41 Blackball New Zealand
Andrew David Hurren  32 Greymouth New Zealand
Jacobus (Koos) Albertus Jonker   47 Cobden South Africa
William John Joynson   49 Dunollie Australia
Riki Steve Keane  28 Greymouth New Zealand
Terry David Kitchin   41 Rununga New Zealand
Samuel Peter Mackie 26 Greymouth New Zealand
Francis Skiddy Marden   41 Rununga New Zealand
Michael Nolan Hanmer Monk  23 Greymouth New Zealand
Stuart Gilbert Mudge  31 Rununga New Zealand
Kane Barry Nieper  33 Greymouth New Zealand
Peter O'Neill   55 Rununga New Zealand
Milton John Osborne   54 Ngahere New Zealand
Brendan John Palmer  27 Cobden New Zealand
Benjamin David Rockhouse  21 Greymouth New Zealand
Peter James Rodger  40 Greymouth British
Blair David Sims   28 Greymouth New Zealand
Joshua Adam Ufer  25   Australia
Keith Thomas Valli  62 Winton New Zealand