The deaths at Pike River Mine have described as the worst disaster in New Zealand since Mount Erebus erupted in 1979. The bodies of 29 miners are still in the mine and this has tormented the next of kin. They desperately need closure.
As of yesterday, flames have been tearing through the mineshaft. Despite this, mine officials are quite adamant that the 29 will be coming home. A GAG jet engine is now assembled on site. There are ample supplies of nitrogen and avgas ready to go.
Mr Kokshoorn the Grey District Mayor said, “If they can put the GAG in place, they’ve got the nitrogen they need to put the fire out, they’ve got avagas here. “The air force brought it in. “It’s all in place. “They just need to set it up and get it moving.”
A Royal Commission of Inquiry is being set up. Already Justice Graham Panckhurst has been named as the chair. Panckhurst is currently a sitting High Court Judge in Christchurch.
John Key, the Prime Minister said Justice Panckhurst was “a highly reputable” High Court Judge.
He will be working on this in a full time capacity and soon two other commissioners will be appointed to assist him. One of these will be an international mining expert.
Mr Key also said, “ It’s important it takes as long as it needs to get the answers that New Zealanders need about what happened at Pike River.” He then added that the inquiry would have wide scope covering the cause of the explosion, the cause of loss of life, the search and rescue operation, the systems at the mine and relevant regulatory rules in the mining industry.