Pike River coal charges laid

After nearly a year, charges have been laid over the Pike River Coal mine disaster.

The New Zealand Department of Labour is now laying 25 charges against three unnamed parties, according to The Press.

The names of the accused and their charges have not been made public as the parties have existing name suppression or have the right to apply.

However, the Greymouth District Court said each charge had a maximum penalty of NZ$250 000,

It went on to explain that by identifying the specific charges could also lead to identification of the three parties charged so the department is unable to specify the detail of the charges".

Despite this suppression, the Department of Labour says it are taking "urgent steps" to see that the names are published where possible, according to NineMSN.

The families of the 29 miners killed in the underground explosion at the coal mine last year are reportedly cautious about the announcement, and are simply searching for an explanation for why it occurred in the first place.

Nicholas Davidson QC, told The Press "I don’t think there will be any sense of satisfaction".

A Greymouth local labelled the announcement "hollow", stating that "all we want is the answers. We want to know the truth of what happened on 19th November 2010.

"Twenty-nine families lost someone. We want to know something changes, standards are raised and this can never happen again. I don’t think anyone wants blood."

Greymouth mayor Tony Kokshoorn agreed.

"This was 2010, we would have expected the science and technology should have prevented explosions of this type," he told NZ Newswire.

"There is a duty of care to ensure safety here and someone’s got to be accountable so this sort of thing doesn’t occur in the future.

The investigation is now moving into phase three

There were only two survivors from the incident, which took the lives of 20 men.

The commission investigation into the disaster has been labelled as one of the most complex in New Zealand history.

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