Mines rescue members in Pike River video

Mines rescue have put out a video clarifying what the men in the just released Pike River video were doing and where they were doing it.

Press Release: Mine Rescue Trust



The video footage shown by media in the last 24 hours shows two Mines Rescue members wearing compressed air breathing apparatus completing final tasks before a robot was sent into the main drift at the Pike River mine.

The Mines Rescue personnel are standing in the end of the 40-foot shipping container that was placed into the mine entrance as part of the initial sealing of the main drift in December 2010.

The video clearly shows the drift in the background. NZMRS personnel went no further than two (2) metres into the drift during this operation. The atmosphere in the entire length of the main drift had been made safe by pumping in Nitrogen and no methane was present.

In late June 2011 NZMRS were engaged to conduct a reconnaissance operation 300 metres into the main drift to select a suitable site to construct a temporary seal. The temporary seal was then constructed at the 170 metre mark. This work was also completed with nitrogen injected to prevent the build-up of methane. All of this has been previously reported and summarised during the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

At no stage have Mines Rescue personnel gone further than 300 metres into the drift.

That’s not how it may have appeared in Newshub’s news item on the video last night.

More from NZH: Pike River: Police say they didn’t deliberately withhold footage

Prime Minister Bill English has strongly rejected claims that police withheld video footage from the families of Pike River victims.

Speaking at his weekly press conference this afternoon, English said families had been shown parts of a video taken inside the mine’s drift six years ago.

The Prime Minister also said the suggestion in a Newshub story that Mines Rescue workers had been deep into the mine after an explosion killed 29 miners was incorrect.

English said police had advised him the families were shown excerpts of the footage at meetings in Greymouth in 2011. Around 30 family members and supporters were at the meetings.

The footage was later turned over to a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the mining disaster.

State-owned coal miner Solid Energy, which runs the mine, considered the footage when it assessed whether the mine was safe to re-enter, English said.

It may take a while to get the full story.

This mess of accounts and claims is in part due to Newshub dumping the video into their news for maximum shock effect without getting the full story first.



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  1. Nelly Smickers

     /  1st May 2017

  2. Brown

     /  1st May 2017

    Fake news.

  3. Anonymous Coward

     /  1st May 2017

    I watched the video last night on Newshub, it was raw footage that started with two men and ended with smoke pouring out of the robot. What video did everybody else see?

    • Gezza

       /  1st May 2017

      That’s the one I saw. Mines Rescue has the best explanation. I didn’t really like Gower’s.

  4. Trevors_elbow

     /  2nd May 2017

    What a terrible cover up. Shame! Shame! Shame!


    And our news media wonder why they aren’t trusted

  5. This story has all the impact of a the latest Nicky Hager piece.

  6. High Flying Duck

     /  2nd May 2017

    Says it all really…


    “Clumsy airing of Pike River video recklessly misleading

    The Sunday night airing of footage of a robot in the Piker River Mine drift along with two Mines Rescue personnel was recklessly misleading.

    It has almost certainly led to further distress for Pike River families who may have believed something had happened in the drift that had never happened before.

    The sequence of footage and commentary left the clear impression that rescuers had gone deep into the drift safely.

    It showed a robot going 1.57km into the tunnel, passing a couple of obstacles at least 800m in, breaking down and then being fixed by Mines Rescue personnel deep inside the mine until it came upon a loader and could go no further.

    It is possible those running the footage on Newshub didn’t know what they were looking at, and either made assumptions or decided to create an impression.

    That worked very well. It left a false impression that Mines Rescue had been far deeper into the mine than anybody had ever known.

    But unless the police have lied to Prime Minister Bill English, the devastating truth is that Mines Rescue personnel were only a couple of metres inside the tunnel, working on the robot before setting it off.”


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