Pike River mine crisis: Five things you need to know

Photo / NZPA
Photo / NZPA

If you haven't got time to read all our in-depth coverage of the Pike River Mine disaster, here's a quick summary of five key things you need to know on Day 6:


1. Drill makes it through

Air came out of a bore hole completed at the Pike River mine today, but it was high in carbon monoxide and methane levels, Pike River CEO Peter Whittall said.

The drill broke through to the mine earlier this morning.

Mr Whittall told a media conference this morning air samples would be taken from the bore hole at 15 minute intervals.

Mr Whittall said a second bore hole would be drilled on an angle in a slightly different location, leading to the roadway to where the miners were thought to have been.

2. Robot(s) on the move

A Defence Force robot that broke down in the Pike River mine yesterday has been restarted and has gone deeper into the mine, with a second Army robot also moving into the tunnel.

A more advanced robot from Western Australia has also arrived at the West Coast mine to help in the rescue.

Police said the first Defence Force robot had been restarted overnight and had travelled another 500m into the tunnel, before being stopped at the 1km mark.

3. For the families: hope, frustration, numbness

Yesterday families of the miners were shown CCTV vision of the explosion at the mine entrance and this was repeated at a media briefing.

The video was to demonstrate how big the blast was and that it lasted for about 50 seconds.

Superintendent Gary Knowles, the officer in charge of the operation, described the situation as "bleak and grave".

"We have to understand the risk of a second explosion is real."

Mr Knowles said there was so far no chance of anyone going into the mine until police could guarantee their safety.

Meanwhile, police minister Judith Collins, who visited Greynouth yesterday, expressed her full praise for the resilience of Knowles and his team.

4. Expressions of faith

Churches throughout the country are throwing open their doors to welcome anyone wishing to say prayers for the trapped Pike River miners, or to just sit in quiet contemplation.

St Matthews in the City, in Federal St, Auckland offers one such place of gathering. There is a special service, focusing on the miners, today at 12.20pm.

St Andrews Anglican Church, Cambridge is open daily and will hold a service at 10.00 this morning with special focus for all those involved in the mining crisis and their communities.

All churches are invited to contact nzherald.co.nz to inform their communities of special services they are holding in support of the 29 miners and their families.

5. Online shows of support

Don't forget that if you're on Twitter, you can read tweets related to the Pike River story in the #PikeRiver hashtag stream.

You can follow nzherald.co.nz on Twitter and "like" us on Facebook, and debate the news as it happens.

To read messages of support to the Pike River mining community from New Zealand and around the world, click here.

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