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Pike families’ experts put timeline to Prime Minister

Pike families’ experts put timeline to Prime Minister

Stand with Pike media release - 27 February 2017

Mining and mines rescue experts working on behalf of the Pike River families have provided the Prime Minister with a framework and timeline to gather further evidence from the Pike River drift and mine workings.

The proposal, written by mining experts Dr David Creedy and Bob Stevenson, and mines rescue expert Brian Robinson, is in response to the Prime Minister’s offer of further inspection via drilling, cameras, and drones made on Wednesday 15 February at a meeting with family members.

Bernie Monk, who lost his son Michael in the disaster, says the expert advice shows a full inspection can be finished by July. “We’re not planning to mess around on this. Bill English has made us this offer and we’re going to make sure it’s done quickly and properly.

“We still believe there’s enough information available now to show the drift can be safely re-entered to retrieve remains and evidence of what happened, but more information can only make that case even stronger.

“The timeline shows some fresh inspections could happen pretty much straight away, like getting a high resolution camera down borehole 47 to properly identify remains. We’d also like to get a camera down the borehole above the rockfall at the far end of the drift to see what evidence is there.

“Our experts are working up a full plan as we speak and we’re looking forward to working with the Prime Minister and Solid Energy to get this process underway this month.

“We need them to get cracking so we can prove our case for safe re-entry once and for all, and get into the drift.”

Family members have also filed an Official Information Act request seeking police-held footage and images from within the mine as described by Minister Paula Bennett in her response to written questions.



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