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End Of Drift A Milestone On Path To Justice - Pike Families

For Pike River families reaching the end of the Pike River drift is a bittersweet moment that opens the door to criminal investigation of the deaths of their loved ones, but also marks the closest point they will come to recovering their remains.

Pike River widow Anna Osborne says the end of the drift recovery process has left her with mixed emotions. “I’m incredibly proud that we have got this far and so thankful that the people of New Zealand have backed us getting this done and gathering the evidence that is crucial to getting justice for our boys.

“But it’s also hard to know that this is as far as we will go and that Milt is still in there. I think every family member will be feeling that same mixture of pride and sadness.

Sonya Rockhouse lost her son Ben in the explosion. She says the end of the drift is another milestone on the way to justice. “I’m really pleased that the agency has got to the end of the drift, but this recovery process was never going to be the final chapter.

“The drift recovery was always about retrieving evidence and, if they were there, remains. Now that the mining work is done the in-depth forensics can be completed and the legal work can begin.

Rowdy Durbridge worked at Pike and lost his boy Dan in the explosion. He says coming to the end of the drift is hard. “Let’s face it, we didn’t get what we want in our hearts - to get our boys back - but we knew that wasn’t likely when we started. The next best thing for me is getting some justice for Dan and the fellas down there and I think they’d be proud that we’ve got to that.”

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