No Survivors in New Zealand Mine Explosion – Since Friday, 29 miners were trapped in a New Zealand coal pit. They are believed to be dead after a second explosion.
According to Police Supt Gary Knowles, there was no hope that anyone could have survived the massive underground blast at the Pike River mine on South Island. Furthermore, there had been no communication with the miners, 24 New Zealanders, two Australians, two Britons and a South African, since the first explosion on Friday.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said the loss of life was a national tragedy. The mayor of Greymouth, the town nearest the mine, said that the miners’ families were in absolute despair after hearing of the news.
Police Supt Knowles was leading the rescue operation. There had been another explosion at 1437 local time (0137 GMT) inside the mine. His team had been preparing to go into the mine on Wednesday, but unfortunately, information suggested the levels of methane gas were too high.
The second blast was larger and stronger than Friday’s blast and it lasted about 30 seconds. The chief executive of Pike River Coal, Peter Whittall, said that it would make every effort to retrieve the bodies of the men.