Nothing happened. They're all so passionate about wanting to find out what exactly happened down there - even after everyone's telling them to get over it and move on, they've just refused to. … Pike River widow Anna Osborne said waiting and watching for the loader to come out took her back to the day of the explosion. “It finally feels like we might be able to get some truth.”. Why wouldn't you give it a go?". Man arrested after alleged stabbing in Parnell backpackers, 'It's not good news at all': Snake-bitten Pete Bethune's health deteriorates, Dramatic pic shows injured climbers roped to side of mountain, Waikeria Prison riot: Prisoners light 'significant fires' overnight, 'Only in New Zealand': Jacinda Ardern's 'Kiwi as' start to the year in beach town, 'World will be amazed': UK writer's bold America's Cup predictions. We've had a lot of time to think while we've been at the gate. Smith’s loader was towed out on Tuesday night by the Pike River Recovery Agency. "Without a doubt in my mind, there are people in that mine that survived that first explosion, just like I did. “We were told that it was too dangerous to go into the drift, that there was nothing but ash and that we should put it behind us. "I still have dreams about it. It was found 1563 metres up the 2.3-kilometre drift access tunnel. "I believe that some of them survived and made an attempt to escape the mine. The Pike River Recovery Agency has recovered a loader last driven by survivor Russell Smith from 1581m up the Pike River mine drift. Rockhouse said the fight for answers had been traumatising, stressful and emotional - to the point where he had stepped away. September 2014: An Official Information Act (OIA) reveals WorkSafe New Zealand and Mine Rescue's advice to Solid Energy it was technically feasible to re-enter the mine. The journey down the Pike River mine drift. They're just kicking us in the guts once more.". If litigation funders take up the case, and are successful, these parties will regret that they didn’t take the … He thinks about Pike River on an hourly basis. Nick Smith's announcement to delay the final closure of the mine was bittersweet for Daniel Rockhouse. On Friday 19 November 2010 at 3:45pm there was an underground explosion at the Pike River coal mine. He came across Smith on his way, and dragged him to safety. When Pike River Mine survivor Daniel Rockhouse stumbled into an underground haven intended to save him after a massive blast at the coal mine, he found the phone and fresh air valve were not working, there was no first-aid kit. Pike River Mine underground mine workers withdrawn after the presence of carcinogens found. Two men survived the explosion. I was 1.8km in the mine when it blew. April 18, 2019. November 2014: Solid Energy decide to abandon recovery efforts, and Government Ministers confirm the mine will be converted into conservation land and preserved as a memorial. Pike River survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes it's safe to enter: RNZ Checkpoint - Duration: 6:30. If the Government seals that mine, they seal more than just our families' hopes with it. Smiles on families faces at moment of Pike River … Now we know that’s false. Pike River survivor twice delayed from entering mine. Police have been accused of endangering potential survivors and jeopardising a body recovery operation by refusing to seal the explosion-hit Pike River mine. October 2014: Solid Energy delays its decision on whether to go ahead with re-entering the Pike River Mine drift. So could the remains of some of his mates. Labour leader Andrew Little said independent, objective advice from mines experts had shown the drift near the entrance of the mine was safe to re-enter. The company first listed and began trading on the New Zealand Exchange on 20 July 2007. The mine is then to be pumped full of nitrogen to force out any methane gas, and allow experts to walk down a 2.3km shaft to a rockfall. September 22, 2011: John Key tells Pike River families "I'm here to give you absolute reassurance we're committed to getting the boys out, and nothing's going to change that... when people try and tell you we're not... they're playing with your emotions". One of the things we need is an explosives expert underground. A spokesman for the Prime Minister said the Government had done everything it could to allow the recovery of the bodies, but ultimately the decision whether to re-enter the mine was Solid Energy's. Pike River father Bernie Monk, who is involved in a private investigation into the disaster said he wanted the evidence handled with extreme care in the hopes of a successful criminal prosecution. The loader driven by one of the two men to survive the Pike River Mine explosion 10 years ago was pulled out of the drift this week by the Pike River Recovery Agency underground team. Smith has described the recovered loader as “a lost friend” that saved his life. "If the advice that they now seem to be receiving is accurate ... then what possible impediment is there to go and check that out. "I deal with it, it's just part of my life. But nobody was held to account. A spokesman for Key says: "At the time the Prime Minister said the Government would do everything it reasonably could to try and find a safe re-entry method, to allow the recovery of the bodies of the 29 men and to fulfil the wishes of their families, and it has absolutely done that. He returned it to the person who serviced it because the accelerator was sticking. I go to bed at night - my partner wakes up to find me shaking. Pike River survivor Russell Smith and Pike River family members Sonya Rockhouse and Anna Osborne talk about an important milestone in the drift (mine access tunnel) recovery. Smith said the loader took the force of the blast as he hunkered down behind the door of the vehicle when the explosion and debris ripped past him. I walked out of that mine pulling another guy out with me. I feel closer to my darling son Ben, still lying in that mine just up the road. We lived a pretty normal life - a pretty normal Kiwi life. They could have fallen unconscious like I did. The team spent about 30 hours recovering it. People have to realise that the rock fall did not happen until many days after the first blast and there was no fire until the third and fourth explosions days later. It sits about 1900m up the tunnel, but the Australian-based underground miner won’t be back to see its removal. RNZ 8,117 views. November 5, 2012: Royal Commission found the disaster was a preventable tragedy, but it could not pinpoint the actual cause of the explosions. “Daniel was concerned about how Russell was, seeing it come out. What's to say some or all of these men didn't do exactly as I did: survive the initial blast and attempt to make their way out, pass out just like I did, but not not regain consciousness? July 31, 2012: VLI Drilling pleads guilty to three health and safety-related charges, and is later fined $46,800. Sonya Rockhouse says Key made a commitment to get the 29 out in 2014. He was driving up the drift in the loader when he was nearly killed by the force of the blast. He soon lost conscious… They were in the stone access tunnel (drift), a distance from the pit bottom area where the main workplaces were located. July 2010: Royal Commission hearings into the disaster begin, with 57 witnesses appearing and 200 written submissions received. He's worked in mines underground in Australia and Canada. Now six years later, the Government is moving to seal the mine with four massive concrete plugs. "[The families] have tried everything they can to get everyone out. August 2013: The board of Solid Energy signs off a plan to re-enter the tunnel. Pike River survivor Russell Smith and Pike River family members Sonya Rockhouse and Anna Osborne talk about an important milestone in the … NEW ZEALAND Pike manager more concerned with rescuers' safety. What I've decided is that it's because many, many New Zealanders still want to live in a country where when terrible things like the Pike River explosion happen, someone is held to account, justice is delivered, and people are supported. Explosion would have left no survivors, but rescue teams not to blame says Pike River mine executive. Daniel Rockhouse, 24, lost his younger brother Ben in the Pike River coal mine on November 19 when an explosion killed 29 men. 5 minutes to read . December 2013: The Crown announces that charges against former Pike River Coal boss Peter Whittall have been dropped. Peter Walker, Lee Glendinning and agencies. The Pike River Mine disaster was a coal mining accident that began on 19 November 2010 in the Pike River Mine, 46 km (29 mi) northeast of Greymouth, in the West Coast region of New Zealand's South Island following a methane explosion at approximately 3:44 pm (NZDT, UTC+13.The accident resulted in the deaths of 29 miners whose remains have never been recovered. I would have been badly injured, maybe killed, but that’s what saved me, tucked behind that door,” he said. November 26, 2010: A third, smaller explosion is followed by a fourth explosion which ignites coal in the mine. October 25, 2012: Former CEO Peter Whittall pleads not guilty to 12 health and safety-related charges, and a trial date is set for March 2013. Daniel Rockhouse rescued colleague Russell Smith from the access tunnel after the 2010 explosion, which killed 29 other men. November 19, 2010: Methane ignites, causing an explosion in the mine. December 23, 2013: John Key apologises to the families for the role that "lack of regulatory effectiveness played in the tragedy.". It sucks, but I don't choose to dream about it.". Pike River survivor tells his story. He'd like to sit down in a room with John Key. Now I don't. Police have taken possession of the loader and it will be retained as part of the ongoing investigation. Yesterday, after two days of protesting at its gates - led by Rockhouse's mother Sonya, who lost her son Benjamin, 21, and Anna Osborne, whose husband Milton, 54, died in the disaster - Environment Minister Nick Smith announced the work would be delayed a week. He believed evidence of what caused the series of explosions could still be gathered from equipment the mine. At the time of the explosion, Rockhouse was slammed against the side of the mine. November 24, 2010: After a second explosion, Pike River chief executive Peter Whittall tells families of the 29 miners that there is no chance the workers are still alive. We've got a caravan and a couple of BBQs, people have been bringing us food and aroha, occasionally the plainclothes cop car swings by to keep an eye on us. Nothing changed. July 2013: Pike River Coal is ordered to pay $3.41 million in reparation - $110,000 for the family of each victim and survivors. The protesters say they'll remain there until John Key "makes good his promise to the families". August 2014: Solid Energy announces "potentially fatal risks" are still needed to be examined before attempting to enter. John Key is confronted by Pike River families in Greymouth. He's been diagnosed with PTSD and depression, and suffers from anxiety from time to time, though it's not so bad anymore, he says. Pike River survivor Daniel Rockhouse returns to the coalface. Inside Pike River: Interactive graphic shows extent of disaster Russell Smith suffocated in the first explosion, only to survive - dragged out of the mine by Daniel Rockhouse. He lost consciousness, but woke up and was able to make his way out. Although initially overcome, Daniel Rockhouse rescued himself and his colleague Russell Smith. On the afternoon of Friday 19 November, men employed by the Pike River mine were underground alongside employees of five different contracting companies. “He is really sad about it but, he can’t come home because of the two weeks’ quarantine he would have to do either side of it,” his mother, Sonya Rockhouse, said. Being underground makes him feel connected to his brother Ben Rockhouse, who died - along with 28 others - at Pike River. "I think they've just tried to ease us into it by delaying it and pushing it back and back year after year. Nothing changed. And I used to think that if the Prime Minister made a promise about something as important about this it would be kept. The Pike River mine drift will be re-entered, eight years since multiple explosions occurred at the mine on November 19, 2010. 6 Sep, 2011 7:38pm. “While nearly 1600 metres of the 2300m drift has now been recovered, there is still around 600 metres of roadway in the Pit Bottom in Stone area that will also need to be explored and examined when that area is reached. February 26, 2013: After a five hour meeting of 21 global mining experts, including representatives of the Government's newly-formed High Hazards Unit, Solid Energy, Mines Rescue, and consultants hired by Pike families, families are left confident bodies could be recovered. November 28, 2010: Prime Minister John Key announces Royal Commission inquiry into the mine tragedy, to be chaired by High Court judge Graham Panckhurst. So why couldn't they have tried to escape? The mine was sold to Solid Energy, and we thought that in buying the mine the Government would finally keep its leader's word. There were two to five men in particular who were 2.2 to 2.4 km in the mine, who I had spoken to just minutes before it went bang. The sandflies are appreciating our company. Their names and details appear on pages 4–5 (see: Pike River mine memorial). Pike River Coal chairman John Dow repeats police comments on the prospect of a rescue that night, saying it was unlikely to happen. The gases inside the mine remain volatile, preventing recovery of the bodies. 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