Pike River Mine Inquiry

For background to this, listen to September 6 2011.

The second stage of the inquiry ended on Friday. This stage was looking at the Search and Rescue to find out why 29 miners died in the Pike River Mine last November. For the last three weeks we have heard many people giving their evidence and heard many sad stories. It seems there were many mistakes made after that explosion.

One mistake was poor communication with the families. The families needed to know immediately who was inside the mine and if it was possible for anyone to be alive after the first explosion. For five days they believed there was a chance the miners were still alive but in fact there was really no chance. A fire was burning inside the mine and toxic gas levels were so high that nobody could have survived. Nobody told the families about the fire.

The Manager of the Mines Rescue Service told the police to seal the mine and cut off oxygen to the fire. Then it would be possible to get the bodies. However, this did not happen and the bodies are still in the mine.

Other mistakes were about the safety training and the lack of a suitable second exit.

The third stage of the Inquiry starts in November. It will focus on what caused the explosion. After Stage 4, there will be recommendations for future safety of mines.

evidence – (noun) witnesses tell what they know
toxic – (adjective) poisonous
survive – (verb) stay alive
seal – (noun, verb) close it tightly
lack – (noun, verb) not have something that you need; (e.g. a lack of food, to lack food)
recommendations – suggestions for changes that need to happen

A Royal Commission of Inquiry (like this one) cannot change laws. It can only make recommendations. Do you think the government will listen to the recommendations?


  1. I think police should have told the relatives what was happening inside the mine, if it not was this way, perhaps because that will produce a terrible tragedy in the mind of all people, and indignation.
    when the police not comunicated that inside the miner there was fire this action is bad, incorrect.

    Perhaps the police wait the time reasonable and not produce terror.

    Greetings to the Madam that writes this blog, from Mexico !!!

  2. I agree, the police commited some mistakes and it was incorrect.

Leave a Reply