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.