Air test results not yet received for West Coast coal mine rescue operation

Air test results not yet received for West Coast coal mine rescue operation

National News

Police, emergency services and Peak River Coal are yet to receive the results from the latest testing of vents at the scene of yesterday's mine explosion at Atarau, between Reefton and Greymouth on the South Island's West Coast.

Superintendent Gary Knowles, Tasman Police District Commander and the officer in charge of the rescue operation, said the latest in a series of four air quality tests over vent shafts at the remote mine had now been completed.

"These tests are now being analysed and we are yet to receive the results. Until we receive this information no decisions will be made on when a mine rescue team might be able to access the tunnel.

"We know that families and friends of the miners and contractors trapped in the mine are anxious for news. But until we get the results back I cannot give a time frame on when access to the mine itself is feasible.

"Speculation that we've got the test results or that police and mine rescue teams are about to enter the mine is unhelpful for families and all those affected by this operation."

The next media briefing is at 2pm, Greymouth Police Station.

Ends

Kaye Calder
Public Affairs: Police National Headquarters - in Wellington
Mobile: 027 241 6305

Barbara Dunn
Tasman Police District Communications Manager - in Greymouth
Mobile 027 478 0853

Grant Ogilvie
Police Public Affairs, PNHQ
Mobile 027236 9974 - in Greymouth