Decision looming over plans to re-enter NZ’s Pike River mine

Mine experts have been brought in by the families of the 29 men killed in New Zealand’s Pike River mine disaster to decide whether it’s safe to enter the first section of the mine.

Former UK principal mines inspector Bob Stevenson said there is precedent for the experts to follow, they will need to work out whether to ventilate the mine or make it inert.

"Re-entering sealed mines isn't new. It's not an impossible situation, but it's a situation fraught with risk and emotion”, he said.

Representing the families, Bernie Monk said they will listen to the expert advice.

The Herad Sun reported a decision regarding mine re-entry will be reached by the weekend.

The Royal Commission this week released the Pike River Mining report, provoking an extensive upheaval in New Zealand’s mining safety regulations.

The report, presented on Friday to the families of the Pike River miners by ministers Gerry Brownlee and Christopher Finlayson, is the result of a comprehensive inquiry.

“It examines what happened in the Pike River mine, and also important policy questions around the mining industry, and makes recommendations as to how to avoid this kind of tragedy occurring again. This is an important milestone for the families, and it is essential that they are able to see the results of this very thorough investigation which they have patiently observed and taken part in" Finlayson said.

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