Ventilation concerns at West Coast coal mine site

Ventilation concerns at West Coast coal mine site

National News

Rescuers are concerned about air quality at the site of today's Pike River coal mine explosion on the west coast of the South Island.

Police said tonight that two miners who walked to the surface earlier this evening are being treated for moderate injuries at Grey Hospital. Both men, whose ages and names are not available, are both "walking and talking".

Specialist mine rescue teams and emergency services tonight remain at the scene, 50km north east of Greymouth. Air quality testing is being carried out because of the unknown atmospheric conditions underground.

Superintendent Gary Knowles, the Tasman Police District Commander, is travelling from his Nelson Headquarters tonight to oversee the police response. Police including Search and Rescue specialists are also gathering in Greymouth and at the scene which is cordoned off to the public.

It is not expected police will have any further updates until tomorrow morning.

"We appreciate this is a very uncertain and worrying time for families and friends of the miners and contractors who are at the mine. We are working closely with mine officials and other emergency services to do everything we can to help with the rescue operation," Superintendent Knowles said.

Ends

Kaye Calder
Police Public Affairs: PNHQ
mobile: 027 241 6305

Barbara Dunn
Tasman Police District Communications Manager
mobile: 027 478 0853