Pike River Coal Mine Inquest

An inquest is a court which tries to find out the cause of death after an accident or violent death. A coroner is the judge in this court. Yesterday, the chief coroner held an inquest in Greymouth to find out the cause of death in the Pike River Mine tragedy.

After he listened to experts, he said it was clear that the 29 men died at the time of the first explosion on Nov 19th 2010. Listen to Nov 20th 2010 and later items tagged “coal” for more about this tragedy.

Medical experts said the miners died from poisonous gases, lack of oxygen and burning from the explosion. Of course families had hopes that the men were still alive after the first explosion because the Chilean miners had survived so long. However, a coal mine is very different from a copper mine. A coal mine is much more dangerous because of the presence of methane gas.

The coroner will now sign death certificates for the 29 men.

There will be a royal commission of inquiry this year to try to find out why this accident happened and how to make coal mining safer.

Why is a coroner’s court necessary? Does your country have a coroner’s court?
Who usually signs the death certificate when someone dies?

One Comments

  1. Harrynetnz@inbox.com Ph 07 8247724 I am 6oyr old BE CVIL REA and submitter to Pike River Royal commission. I attended Cave Creek Commission as was the olny person to have taken this 1995 systemic failure to select committee 8-3-2002 HSE Amendment. Ruth Dyson confirmed changes to HSE ACt section 54 allowing others to lay information; if OSH does not prosecute.PIKE/solid energy and OSh argued self regulation was acceptable 1998, 2008. and hence PW arguees on 24-11-2010 he did not know if ventialation working. I am not employed as an engineer but volunteered. Hence rang UK HSE.gov.uk pleased to read 77 years better history.

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