Disaster at Pike River Coal: 35-plus miners unaccounted for
by Pattrick Smellie
Nov. 19 (BusinessDesk) – Tragedy has struck at the Pike River Coal Ltd. mine, inland from Greymouth, with more than 35 miners and management staff unaccounted for in the mine after an explosion at about 5 p.m.
Emergency services have had no contact at this stage with the missing miners, TV3 is reporting.
Newly appointed chief executive Peter Whittall, in Wellington tonight, confirmed two men had returned to the surface, walking 2 kilometres.
The disaster is the latest in a string of difficulties that have dogged the NZX-listed coking coal miner, 29%-owned by New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd., which has also lent substantial sums to Pike River.
“There have been reports of an explosion around 4.30 pm this afternoon and there are people known to be in the mine,” a police statement said.