The Labour Party-led government is racing to shut down the underground investigation of Pike River coal mine. It aims to prevent the recovery of evidence that could lead to prosecutions of those responsible for the disaster which killed 29 workers in November 2010.
The Pike River Recovery Agency (PRRA), which has only explored the mine’s drift or entry tunnel, intends to pull workers and equipment out and start sealing the mine this week.
Nobody from Pike River Coal Ltd. has been prosecuted for the company’s egregious violations of workplace safety legislation, including grossly inadequate ventilation, which allowed methane gas to reach explosive levels. A 2012 royal commission of inquiry established that the company placed production ahead of workers’ safety and ignored numerous warnings of a catastrophe.
Go to our Pike River Mine page to read an investigative report on the gross corruption behind this disaster.