Second blast at Pike River extinguishes hope for survivors
Nov. 24 (BusinessDesk) – A second catastrophic explosion has occurred at the Pike River coal mine, leading police coordinating attempts to rescue 29 trapped miners to say no survivors could now be expected.
The Stuff website is reporting that an explosion at around 2.37 p.m. ripped through the mine.
"I was at the mine myself when the explosion occurred. The blast was horrific. Just as severe as the first blast - and we are now moving into a recovery mode," said Superintendant Gary Knowles, who has been heading the operation.
“Recovery mode” is the term used for recovering deceased victims of an incident, as opposed to “rescue mode”, for survivors.
Up until this afternoon, police and mine representatives have insisted they were planning for “all eventualities.”
"We had to break the news to the family and they are extremely distraught,” Knowles said.
A press conference is scheduled shortly in Greymouth, and Prime Minister John Key will hold another in Wellington at 6.30 p.m. this evening.