by Kevin Hague
As many of you know, I live close to Greymouth and to the nearby Pike River coal mine. At the time of writing I am anxiously awaiting further news of the mine workers and contractors who are still underground following an explosion in the mine this afternoon.
Mining disasters cast a long shadow on the Coast. The memory or legacy of the Strongman mine disaster in 1967 comes immediately to mind when incidents like this are reported. We all know people who work in the mines, and there will be few West Coasters who don’t know someone in the mine today.
Regardless of our views about coal mining, our thoughts and hopes are tonight with those who are underground and with their families. We wish the Mines Rescue team the very best. I have chosen not to make my way to the mine itself. Mines Rescue and the emergency services personnel need the space to do their jobs as efficiently as possible, and I can’t see that a bunch of politicians will do anything but get in the way.
Will update this as I hear more.