There will be no attempt to rescue 29 coal miners trapped underground in New Zealand until at least Sunday.
Rising gas levels in a ventilation shaft forced testing at the River Pike mine on the country’s South Island to be suspended, amid fears of a second explosion following the initial blast on Friday.
Families face a further wait. There has been no contact with the miners and it is not known whether or not they are alive.
“You go and sit there and listen to what they tell us at the office and listen to that and it’s just the same old run-around and excuses for why things can’t be done instead of trying to find solutions,” said the father of one of the trapped men.
“Everyone just wants them home, they are brothers, dads, uncles, sons, work mates,”, said another man, visibly upset after leaving a special church service in Greymouth.
The miners, whose ages range from 17 to 62, include two Britons, two Australians and a South African.
The local mayor has said people are “hanging onto every hope”, remembering the mine in Chile where everyone was rescued.