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.