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Police release nationalities of trapped miners

Police release nationalities of trapped miners

20 November, 2010 - 21:32

Police have released the nationalities of the 29 miners tripped underground at the Pike River coal mine.

Superintendent Gary Knowles said that based on information provided by the mining company Police believe there are 24 New Zealanders, two Australians, two British citizens and one South African.

Superintendent Knowles said air samples taken late this afternoon continued to indicate that gas levels in the mine were high, and the risk to rescuers entering the mine was too great.

"Further samples will be taken in the morning, when the risks will be reassessed," he said.

"It is a very complex situation and there are numerous risks we have to consider. We will continue to work through the night, and constantly reassess the situation."

"Everyone here is totally focussed on getting these men out and returning them to their families," Superintendent Knowles said.

Police continue to receive offers of support from within New Zealand and internationally. Superintendent Knowles said Police were assessing those offers.

"In the meantime we have excellent input from the experts already here, specially the mine rescue specialists.

"There is also significant support and back up being provided by Police from around the country.We are bringing in extra staff to provide help accross a range of roles and support functions."

"There is also coordination and liasion support being provided by Police staff in other parts of the country," Superintendent Knowles said.

Media note: There will be no further updates tonight. A media conference will be held at Greymouth Police Station at 0800 tomorrow (Sunday).

© Scoop Media

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