The situation at the Pike River mine is now too dangerous to attempt a rescue officials have said.
“We can not risk a crew going in,” Police minister Judith Collins has said.
With the risk secondary explosion high as rescue teams drill down, the decision has been made to not send people into the underground mine.
This latest news follows on the back of the release of footage of the 52 second gas explosion which trapped 29 miners underground.
“It was continuous and the frightening thing is, it was probably up to 2.5km from the source. We are talking about what was being blown out of the exterior mine mouth,” local mayor Tony Kokshoorn has said.
Talk is now being made of a recovery, rather than a rescue.