Grim clear up begins after NZ mine blast

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Grim clear up begins after NZ mine blast

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Equipment has arrived to begin clearing a coal mine in New Zealand where 29 miners died after an explosion last week.

Efforts to evacuate the corpses will take more time; the mine was hit by a new explosion on Friday without causing injury.

Authorities have promised a full enquiry. Andrew Little of the New Zealand Miners’ Union said:

“We need to know whether it was pure science and just the nature of mining or whether there were systems and technology failures or procedural failures or failures by people – whether it’s the miners or the management.”

The 29 miners were aged between 17 and 62 years old. Two of the victims were British, two Australian and one South African. The 24 others were New Zealanders.

The head of the mining company has promised that compensating their families will be a priority. John Dow, chairman of Pike River Coal told a press conference:

“Christmas is coming. Their families are torn apart already by this tragedy. We don’t need there to be ongoing financial concerns.”

A mass has been held to remember the dead miners and rock group U2 paid tribute to the victims by projecting their names onto a screen during a concert in Auckland.