Pike River NZ 2010

19/11/2010 - Pike River Underground Coal Mine - Explosion / Gas Explosion

The Pike River Mine disaster was a coal mining accident that began on 19 November 2010 in the Pike River Mine, 46 kilometres (29 mi) northeast of Greymouth, in the West Coast Region of New Zealand's South Island. An explosion occurred in the mine at approximately 3:44 pm. At the time of the explosion 31 miners and contractors were present in the mine. Two miners managed to walk from the mine; they were treated for moderate injuries and released from Greymouth Hospital the next day. The remaining 16 miners and 13 contractors, often referred to as the twenty-nine, were believed to be at least 1,500 metres from the mine's entrance.

Following a second explosion on 24 November at 2:37 pm, the 29 remaining men were believed by police to be dead. A third explosion occurred at 3:39 pm on 26 November 2010, and a fourth explosion occurred just before 2 pm on 28 November 2010.


If ONLY someone had acted just once, on the 48 occasions that the level of methane had risen to 2% or higher in the seven weeks prior to the fatal explosion that claimed the lives of 29 men at Pike River.  

If ONLY we had our son Michael to touch and hold and be in our everyday lives. All we can do now, is have those thoughts in our minds and hearts.  

If ONLY corporate greed and production at all costs were not a priority, rather making sure that the workers are returned home safely at the end of the working day.  

If ONLY we could have said goodbye to our darling son and brother Michael.

IF ONLY................. 

Bernie and Kath Monk

This accident claimed the lives of 29 people, these were: Allan John Dixon, Andrew David Hurren, Benjamin David Rockhouse, Blair David Sims, Brendan John Palmer, Christopher Peter Duggan, Conrad John Adams, Daniel Thomas Herk, David Mark Hoggart, Francis Skiddy Marden, Glen Peter Cruse, Jacobus (Koos) Albertus Jonker, John Leonard Hale, Joshua Adam Ufer, Kane Barry Nieper, Keith Thomas Valli, Malcolm Campbell, Michael Nolan Hanmer Monk, Milton John Osborne, Peter James Rodger, Peter O'Neill, Richard Bennett Holling, Riki Steve Keane, Samuel Peter Mackie, Stuart Mudge, Terry David Kitchin, William John Joynson, Zen Wodin Drew


Recommendation 1:
To improve New Zealand’s poor record in health and safety, a new Crown agent focusing solely on health and safety should be established.

Recommendation 2:
An effective regulatory framework for underground coal mining should be established urgently.

Recommendation 3:
Regulators need to collaborate to ensure that health and safety is considered as early as possible and before permits are issued.

Recommendation 4:
The Crown minerals regime should be changed to ensure that health and safety is an integral part of permit allocation and monitoring.

Recommendation 5:
The statutory responsibilities of directors for health and safety in the workplace should be reviewed to better reflect their governance responsibilities.

Recommendation 6:
The health and safety regulator should issue an approved code of practice to guide directors on how good governance practices can be used to manage health and safety risks.

Recommendation 7:
Directors should rigorously review and monitor their organisation’s compliance with health and safety law and best practice.

Recommendation 8:
Managers in underground coal mines should be appropriately trained in health and safety.

Recommendation 9:
The health and safety regulator should issue an approved code of practice to guide managers on health and safety risks, drawing on both their legal responsibilities and best practice. In the meantime, managers should consult the best practice guidance available.

Recommendation 10:
Current regulations imposing general health and safety duties on the statutory mine manager should be extended to include detailed responsibilities for overseeing critical features of the company’s health and safety management systems.

Recommendation 11:
Worker participation in health and safety in underground coal mines should be improved through legislative and administrative changes.

Recommendation 12:
The regulator should supervise the granting of mining qualifications to mining managers and workers.

Recommendation 13:
Emergency management in underground coal mines needs urgent attention.

Recommendation 14:
The implementation of the co-ordinated incident management system (CIMS) in underground coal mine emergencies should be reviewed urgently.

Recommendation 15:
The activities of the New Zealand Mines Rescue Service need to be supported by legislation.

Recommendation 16:
To support effective emergency management, operators of underground coal mines should be required to have modern equipment and facilities.

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