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Pike River families to enter mine

A driftrunner prepares to take families to the 170 metre mark at the Pike River mine drift
Families will have an opportunity to travel to the 170 metre mark in the mine's drift

Families of the 29 miners killed in the Pike River mine disaster will be offered a trip in a drift runner to travel to the 170-metre mark in the mine’s drift.

The symbolic move comes after the Pike River Recovery Agency has prepared the mine for re-entry removing a 30-metre barrier and substantial improvements to the drifts ventilation.

Anna Osbourne (Families spokesperson) said this week “The Agency is taking families who wish to go to the 170 metre seal the opportunity to do so late next week. “

“The Agency have Risk Assessments to complete for this and are working on them now. Exciting times with things moving more quickly now. It will be a tough trip for most families down the drift but a necessary one for most I would think.”

The invitation for the Pike River families has been extended by the Pike River Recovery Agency and is set for Thursday, October 3 if weather permits.

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The agency says it will transport family members – aged 15 and over – in a driftrunner up to the 170m barrier in groups with an experienced agency guide, starting at 9 am.

Each visit to the barrier is estimated to last around 20 minutes.

The Pike River Recovery Agency is planning to enter the full 2.3 km of the mine’s drift where conditions permit. Once the agency moves past the 170m mark a LHD, a shuttle car and several mine rescue robots (that broke down trying to enter the mine after the disaster) together with the main drift will be examined for evidence by Police Forensic Experts. The agency will need to navigate a rockfall as part of the re-entry.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PIKE RIVER MINE DISASTER

See the latest update video from Dinghy and Dave on the progress of the re-entry.

Read more Mining Safety News

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AMSJ April 2022