New Zealand High Commission London, United Kingdom
Pike River Coal Mine
A second explosion has occurred at the Pike River Coal Mine on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand which has ended all hope of finding the 29 Pike River miners alive.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has 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 British, two Australian and one South African). The list of names along with information concerning the explosion and recovery efforts can be found on the Police website: www.police.govt.nz.
The British High Commission in Wellington is also in contact with the authorities.
A condolence book has been set up in the reception of New Zealand House (80 Haymarket, SW1Y 4TQ) for members of the public to leave messages. The book will stay open until Friday 3 December, at which point it will be sent to New Zealand.
The Grey District Council has set up a relief fund to offer financial support for the families of the miners. Further details can be found at: http://www.greydc.govt.nz/PikeRiverMinersReliefTrust/. Those in the UK wishing to make a donation can do so through Clydesdale Bank in London. The money raised here will eventually be transferred to NZ with the best possible foreign exchange rate and minimal transfer fees, so that your donation will get to the miners’ families as efficiently as possible. The account details are:
Pike River Appeal Fund
Sort Code: 82 60 13
Account Number: 10148495
Donations to the account can be made by transferring funds electronically using your own internet banking facility or by sending or dropping off a cheque made payable to 'Pike River Appeal Fund' to:
Clydesdale Bank, Piccadilly Branch
35 Regent Street, London SW1Y 4ND
ANZ Bank have also opened an account at branches of the ANZ and National Bank throughout New Zealand for those who wish to make a donation to the families of the miners who lost their lives. Further information and account details can be found at www.anz.co.nz.