New Zealand Embassy Berlin, Germany
Pike River Mine Tragedy
On 24 November 2010 a second explosion occurred in the Pike River Mine, near Greymouth on the West Coast of the South Island, ending all hopes of finding the 29 miners alive.
The Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key, made the following statement:
"Where this morning we held on to hope, we must now make way for sorrow. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families of these 29 brave men. After days of waiting - of both preparing for the worst and hoping for the best - they have been delivered the cruellest of news. So to all of those who have lost a loved one in the Pike River mine, let me say this: New Zealand stands shoulder to shoulder with you. Though we cannot possibly feel this pain as you do, we have you in our hearts and our thoughts. Like you, we had all longed for that miracle to occur - that your men would be returned home to you. Tonight, on behalf of the people of New Zealand, we send our sympathy to the children who have lost their fathers, to the parents who have lost sons, to the wives who have lost their husbands, to the girlfriends who have lost their partners, to the siblings who have lost their brothers."
The Prime Minister’s statement can be viewed here.
The first explosion took place on Friday 19 November. New Zealand Police have released the names of the 29 coal miners believed to be in the mine. These include five foreign nationals (two Britons, two Australians and one South African). The list of names along with information concerning the explosion and recovery efforts can be found on the Police website.