Pike River re-entry delayed

Re-entry into the Pike River mine has been debated and delayed for eight years. Finally everything seemed to be on track for a scheduled start to re-entry today, but it was announced yesterday that this would be further delayed.

Re-entry was always going to be risky. This shows how much of a risk it is, still.

Andrew Little, Minister for Pike River Re-entry:

Safety comes first – Pike River re-entry delayed

“Yesterday unexpected and unexplained readings were reported by the atmospheric monitoring systems in the Pike River mine, leading to re-entry operations being suspended,” Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little has confirmed today.

“Safety has always been our first priority, and will continue to be. In these circumstances the appropriate precaution is to temporarily suspend operations.

“I back the Pike River Recovery Agency to take the time needed to fully understand the cause and significance of these new readings.

“I have spoken with Anna Osborne from the Pike River Families Reference Group. The families will be disappointed at another setback, but safety has always been their first priority too.

“The Prime Minister and I will join the families on the West Coast tonight, and families will receive a comprehensive briefing from the Agency tomorrow,” Andrew Little said.

The Agency will know more after further testing and investigative work is completed over the next week. A meeting of ventilation experts will then convene later in the month.

RNZ:  Unexplained atmospheric readings delay Pike River Mine re-entry

Mr Little told reporters that the readings of elevated oxygen levels were at the borehole, near the rockfall.

The increased levels had not been predicted, and experts advising the government could not explain it, he said.

“When you’ve got a methane-producing environment as you do there – it’s the mix of methane and oxygen that makes it dangerous – that dictates what you do to ventilate the atmosphere, so it is really about making sure that the way we respond through ventilation is going to make sure that the atmosphere continues to be respirable and there is no risk of volatility or explosion.”

There would be a range of possibilities in working to explain the readings – including that the monitoring equipment isn’t accurate – and all would have to be explored, he said.

“We’ve got a discount that possibility, it may well be that oxygen is coming in through the strata, we need to we need to confirm or clarify or discount that possibility. There will be a range of possibilities. Each needs to be explored so that we know how to respond.”

“I back the Pike River Recovery Agency to take the time needed to fully understand the cause and significance of these new readings.

Further testing and investigative work will be completed over the next week and a meeting of ventilation experts will then convene later in the month.

Pike River Recovery Agnecy head Dave Gawn told media in Greymouth the delay was due to an unexpected reading in the gas monitoring.

He said safety was key.

“Dinghy and I would have no hesitation calling stop to the proceedings,” he said.

Dinghy Pattinson – the Pike River Recovery Agencies chief operating officer – said two days ago the agency started a breaching operation of a concrete seal at the start of the mine.

But at the same time they found unusual gas readings at a borehole monitoring point (at borehole 51) deeper in the mine, above rockfall.

He did not know what caused the reading, and had not seen it before.

The cause of it could be something as simple as a damaged tube, he said.

To figure out the cause the agency had lowered another gas detection tube down the same borehole.

But Mr Pattinson said the re-entry would definitely happen, he just could not say when.

They can’t afford to risk another catastrophe in the mine, but there will never be no risk.

RNZ:  Tears shed at news Pike River re-entry would be delayed

Pike River families shed tears when the news came through that today’s re-entry attempt would have to be suspended.

Hopes raised and dashed again for the families who have been pushing for re-entry.

Some want the remains recovered. Some want the cause of the explosions found. Both could be very difficult to achieve.

Is it worth any risk?

 

 

Leave a comment

38 Comments

  1. I’m surprised he gave Peters’ grandstanding consideration.

    Reply
    • From what has been said on RNZ this morning it seems that Peters has been seriously trying to take part in the re-entry.

      It was pointed out that that experience was fifty years ago.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  3rd May 2019

        They wont be doing any ‘mining’, and yes Peters has worked in the Snowy River tunnels in hard rock.

        Reply
        • It was always safe to say that he’d be the first in when he had no chance of being let near it.

          Dear Jacinda will be there in a hard hat, emoting empathy in all directions.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  3rd May 2019

            better to be emoting at the re entry rather than as Keys fake motions and false hope he personally gave to the families.

            Reply
        • He must have known that he’d never be let anywhere near it, he’d be a liability.

          Watch for the PM’s photo opportunity in a hard hat, emoting ’empathy’ all over the place with her concerned, caring face on.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  3rd May 2019

            How did that happen ?

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  3rd May 2019

              Emoting means putting on a performance of an emotion in a dramatic way, I don’t know what you think it means.

  2. Reply
  3. Seal it permanently and move on.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  3rd May 2019

      Arty, empathy and closure seems to be a bridge too far in your line of work.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  3rd May 2019

      Like they left the bodies of ANZ DC10 crash on Erebus to be buried in the snow.

      Didnt key make an absolute commitment to the families nearly a year after the disaster ” no matter what” and “dont let others tell you different” about bringing the bodies ( or most of them ) out.
      YES HE DID and its still on Youtube!
      I suppose it was a bit like his promise to the UN general assembly meeting he attended about the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, they made some motions and then shelved it .
      Ahh the Great Communicator.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  3rd May 2019

        He and others could have no way of knowing how difficult it would be.

        If the UN shelved something, I don’t know what he was supposed to do about it.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  3rd May 2019

          The Erebus bodies were recovered (except for some where it was impossible because they were under the fuselage which couldn’t be moved) by men who faced great danger themselves to do so. At one point they thought that they were not going to survive.

          Don’t insult these men by denying their selflessness and courage.

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  3rd May 2019

          The UN didnt shelve anything , it was a speech to the UN about what his government was going to do welch on . The Kermadec bill was introduced in 2016 and after the firsts reading hasn’t been seen since, despite the Greens saying they would support nationals bill. The reality was , even though their votes were necessary, the Maori party vetoed it completely as they had Key by the Scrotum.
          The Great legislator.

          Reply
      • And you know what they did with all those dead bodies. They cremated them. Kinda like what happened in the mine.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  3rd May 2019

          They brought them back to NZ to be identified (if they could be) Some were just body parts. I don’t know what happened after that but would guess that the families either buried or cremated them.

          If you meant John Key welshed (welch is not a word) on the Kermadecs, why did you say that he presented it to the UN and that THEY made some motions and then shelved it ?

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  3rd May 2019

            Winston Peters stuffed it up because he was opposed to what he saw as an invasion of fishing rights; more important than marine life being protected. The Greens didn’t support it either, and Labour has done nothing. The Greens claim to be concerned about the environment. but not in this case.

            What did you expect would happen once the support was withdrawn and the right to fish ad lib in this area made paramount for one race ? You can’t blame John Key for that.

            Reply
  4. lurcher1948

     /  3rd May 2019

    Send Sir Key in,the right said he walked on water,so breathing methane should be a shoe in for Sir Key

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  3rd May 2019

      Ahh. they have purged the O2 with nitrogen, so they will be wearing breathing apparatus no matter what

      Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  3rd May 2019

        Kitty move into this centary,try it,it could be exciting

        Reply
    • adamsmith1922

       /  3rd May 2019

      Pathetic nonsense again from you.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  3rd May 2019

        A man who’s knighted is called Sir Firstname Surname.

        I don’t know what people who say ‘shoe in’ think that this means.

        Reply
  5. adamsmith1922

     /  3rd May 2019

    Total waste of money. Little on a guilt trip. Monk and his group should have been told to move on years ago.From his TV appearance this morning he seems to think his search for vengeance can be met without entry.Therefore it seems the whole reentry is a political grandstanding exercise.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  3rd May 2019

      He thinks what ???

      He has a great future in the travel industry; Guilt Trips and Ego Trips, the latter to be run by Winston Peters as his assistant when AL is off on his other venture, Grandstanding.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  3rd May 2019

      “Therefore it seems the whole reentry is a political grandstanding exercise.” Then why did Key make an absolute promise to the families, well after the tragedy, and then welch on it.
      Was it just another word salad but he doubled down on the promise , almost thrice promising to ‘get them out’ I suppose the money went instead on his next brainwave a FLAG

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  3rd May 2019

        Welch ?

        How can someone do something ‘almost thrice’ ?

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  3rd May 2019

          The flag was Labour’s idea in the first place.

          Reply
  6. Trevors_elbow

     /  3rd May 2019

    Where is Winston???? First man in etc etc….

    This is a colossal waste of time, money and valuable individuals time.

    The men are dead. Move on…

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  3rd May 2019

      Sssshhhh….the Put-Words-In-Other-Peoples-Mouths Brigade will hear you.

      Reply
  7. duperez

     /  3rd May 2019

    The weird ways of fate. The wrong people from the wrong families were killed in the wrong event.

    Some of the reactions about Pike remind me of times people are held up on a road because of vehicle crashes. You know the calls, “Too slow to clear it, shouldn’t have taken them that long to re-open the road,” and so on. Easy to be pissed off when you’re going to be an hour later getting to the beach than you wanted to be. Good to have the luxury of being pissed off and not trapped in a vehicle smashed up. Good to not be getting the call or the knock at the door that you never want to get.

    “The men are dead. Move on”? Ah, the luxury, the ease of being able to discard the feelings of others so easily.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  3rd May 2019

      They are dead. Let them rest in peace and not be used as tools for other people’s ego trips and political point scoring. They deserve better than that.

      That money could be used for better things. It’s disgraceful that the men are being used as an excuse to spend millions on a PR exercise for Andrew Little.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  3rd May 2019

        Rest in peace…. when there is some evidence some survived the first explosion and opened some rescue cabinets for the survival gear and wait for rescue ?

        Reply
      • duperez

         /  3rd May 2019

        Yes, and when there is a ‘medical misadventure’ or death in other whatever circumstances let’s say, “They are dead, let’s not waste money on following through. The families should just get over it.”

        You read an ego trip for Andrew Little into it, some read a political ego trip for Jacinda Ardern into it. My observations have it that those making accusations about political points scoring are themselves turning the tragedy into some political game.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  3rd May 2019

          That’s a stupid analogy and you know it. In the case of murder or death because of drunk driving, nobody would say that. You might think that, don’t put words into other people’s mouths. I have never said that about the families just getting over it; quite the opposite, I think that they are being used as pawns and their grief exploited (and have said this) Your observations are wrong here.

          Even if the men survived the first explosion, could they have survived the other/s ?

          Of course it’s an ego trip for the PM and a great chance to show ’empathy’. If you think that it wasn’t one for Winston Peters, you must be very naive.

          Reply
          • duperez

             /  3rd May 2019

            Okay you have it an ego trip for the PM and a great chance to show ’empathy’.

            To avoid it being those things what is she supposed to do? Say “They are dead. Let them rest in peace.” With the implication to any families who aren’t happy about that a “Get over it,” attached but not said?

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  3rd May 2019

              Do stop the rude habit of putting words in other people’s mouths. It’s bad manners and shows a paucity of any real argument.

              PS Using a real argument does not mean being argumentative.

    • Trevors_elbow

       /  4th May 2019

      You specialise in fwittery. Comparing this to a dangerous road in regular use which can be easily fix without risking workers lives

      The pike miners bodies are gone. Incinerated. The mine is not correctly ventilated..never was.. should have been an open pit or a tunnel system with multiple entries and vent shafts with assisted airflow to keep the methane levels safe…

      It’s a death trap. Simple. Seal it permanently. Put a remembrance garden at the adit and the families have the final resting place to visit.

      Marineers die at sea and never come home. Pit workers get sealed up and never come home. Its life. Its unfair and brutal… wallowing in despair endlessly is wasted time that should be lived before it’s gone.

      This is a colossal waste of time, effort, money…it all could be better targeted at the living…

      Reply

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