Pike River Mine Inquiry

Phase 3 of the Inquiry began 14th November and will stop for one week until December 5th. This part of the inquiry will look at the causes of the explosion, safety at the mine and the rescue attempts. 29 men died in the explosion at the Pike River Mine on November 19th 2010.

Two former inspectors who visited the mine gave evidence in the first week. They both said that the Department of Labour did not have enough inspectors to check mine safety. The inspector could only check once every three months because he was the only inspector for all the mines in New Zealand. Both men became very upset when talking about conditions in the mine.

Last week, a Japanese expert gave evidence about safety worries. He began his employment in July 2010 but left on October 20th because he did not think the mine was safe. He thought the ventilation system was poor, there was no second exit and there were high methane levels in the mine.

For more about the Pike River Coal Mine, type “coal” in the search box.


inquiry – this is like a court with a judge and commissioners
phase – stage, part
former – ex-inspectors, these men worked as inspectors before,
evidence – witnesses tell the court what they know
upset – they cried
ventilation system brings in fresh air
methane – CH4

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