Emergency Exercise Only

Media release # 4

12.30pm, Friday 8 March

Due to this morning’s seismic event on the West Coast, an incident has occurred at the Pike River Mine.

The Agency has made contact with the six men stuck underground on the inward side of the Hawera Fault at the end of the drift, who are alive but two are injured.

A Rescue Plan based on one of two options is being developed to free the six men trapped near the end of the Pike River Mine drift. 

Four miners and two police officers were working underground when the seismic event on the West Coast caused them to be trapped.  Two of the men have sustained injuries – one a suspected spinal injury and the other a broken leg. 

The two options being considered by the Agency in conjunction with emergency services on site are developing are to rescue the men:

  1. 1.    Via supported access through the Portal, to create a safe entrance.  This option would also mean finding a way to get through a roof fall in the Hawera Fault area which is trapping the men on the other side
  2. 2.    By developing a large diameter borehole for access into the area where the men are trapped.

The drift is a 2.3km tunnel which culminates in a roof fall.  On the other side of the roof fall is the mine workings area. 

We will continue to provide updates on our website and to media as they come to hand.

Lee Harris

Pike River Recovery Agency

www.pikeriverrecovery.govt.nz