Inquiry for Pike River mine
A Royal Commission of Inquiry to determine the causes of the tragic explosion as well as the safety practices at the Pike River mine has been confirmed. “I think it’s a demonstration to the 29 families that we are taking this inquiry absolutely seriously, that we are determined to get answers for those families,” PM John Key told the NZHerald. This announcement came after a fourth powerful explosion at the mine. Chief executive Peter Whittal said: “This smoke has changed, it’s no longer a gas fire, it’s obviously now a coal fire.” A gas fire is easier to put out, he said, a coal fire in a seam would be a “very different beast”. The flames meant that the need to seal the mine had moved up the list of options. A GAG jet engine was being considered to “inertise” the mine. New South Wales Mines Rescue general manager, Paul Healy, was confident the GAG machine would be able to put out the fire.