This content is not available in your region

Trapped miners in NZ believed to be dead

Trapped miners in NZ believed to be dead
Text size Aa Aa

The families have received the worst possible news.

Relatives of 29 trapped miners in New Zealand have been told there is no chance the men survived after a second explosion in a South Island coal mine.

Hope had been fading for the miners ever since surveillance camera footage showed the strength of a first blast on Friday.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, said: “This is a national tragedy. A tragedy for the men’s families, for their workmates and friends, for their community and our nation. New Zealand is a small country, a country where we are our brothers’ keeper, so to lose this many brothers at once strikes an agonising blow.”

Some families are angry that rescuers did not enter the mine straight after the first explosion.

Laurie Drew, the father of one of the victims, said: “Well, the company has got what it wanted, they had the window of opportunity that Friday night and now the truth can’t come out because no one alive will be able to come out and tell the truth about what went on down there.”

Some families say straight after the first explosion the deadly mix of gases would’ve been consumed, making a rescue possible. But that is a theory rejected by officials.