Man arrested entering Pike River

A man has been arrested and charged for unlawfully entering the Pike River coal mine.

The New Zealand Press is reporting the man was found inside the bath house of the mine, located 9 kilometres from the actual mine, on 26 April.

The mine has remained unstable and dangerous since explosions began inside the mine on 19 November, killing 29 workers.

It was concluded in January that the men would have died in the first explosion, but the discovery of a fully-clothed body inside the mine suggested some may have survived.

Today New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the discovery of the body does not change the inquiry’s conclusion about how and when the men died, or the fact that the mine remains to dangerous for recovery teams to enter.

Tasman Police District Superintendent Gary Knowles told The Press the public should remember the mine site is not safe.

"We’re aware there is significant interest in Pike River, however it is not a tourist attraction and anyone thinking about visiting the site will be disappointed.

"The security gates are a very long way from the mine itself and there is no public access,” he said.

"Any unauthorised person who is found on the site, or attempting to access the site, will be prosecuted," he said.

The man has been charged with unlawfully being in a building and will appear in the Westport District Court next month.
 

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