It is the fourth anniversary of the Pike River mine tragedy on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island on November 19 2010. Just last week the families of the 29 men lost in the mine were told the grim and sad news that the state owned company that owns the mine had decided it was too dangerous to re-enter the drift (tunnel to the mine workings) and attempt to recover the remains there. There are conflicting opinions about the actual tragedy. The men were trapped after the first of four explosions over a number of days. Some say rescuers could have entered after the first explosion on the first day. But most accept the men would have been killed by the explosion or the poisonous gas in the mine. Others say it would not necessarily be dangerous to re-enter the mine now.
The company, Solid Energy, has given up its mining licence. The government has said cabinet will make a decision about making the area around the mine part of the national park, and the mine itself would be sealed up forever as a memorial to the 29 men who lost their lives. The families are shattered. One of the men that Friday morning four years ago was seventeen years old on his first day of work. Some of the men were from outside New Zealand.RIP the ‘Pike River 29’.
Read more here:
- Beehive Live: Pike River decision (stuff.co.nz)
- CQ Mum heartbroken by decision to abandon search for Pike River mine victims (blogs.abc.net.au)
- Owners of New Zealand mine rule out retrieving remains of buried miners (theguardian.com)
- The Pike River mine victims’ families sold down the river… (huttswritinglounge.wordpress.com)
- The Pike River mine victims’ families sold down the river… (huttriverofnz.wordpress.com)