As many as 30 miners are unaccounted for after a huge explosion at a coal mine in New Zealand.
The blast happened at the Pike River coal mine on the South Island, some 50 kilometres north of the town of Greymouth.
It is one of very few underground mines in New Zealand, and has only been operational for two years.
Mine officials say they do not know how deep the explosion was or what caused it.
Two miners are reported to have surfaced but there is no news of the others. The mayor of Greymouth, Tony Kokshoorn, said: “we’re keeping our fingers crossed but it’s not good”.
Reports suggest an evacuation shaft does exist in case the main tunnel entrance is blocked but it is unclear whether the trapped miners can access it.