Pike River mine fire speculation "premature".

Pike River mine fire speculation "premature".

National News

Reports that the fire is out in the Pike River mine are premature says Tasman District Commander Superintendent Gary Knowles.

"Conditions are constantly changing and we are currently validating the information we have.

"The mine is still very volatile and extremely hot.

"Test results change so quickly and we would need several days of validated results before we could conclude the fire was out.

"Even with the fire extinguished this does not mean we can enter the mine.

"At this stage we are pleased with the progress of the GAG unit and that flames are still not visible at the vent shaft.

"The risk assessment for capping the vent shaft is ongoing. Even with the flames gone there is still a significant risk from methane coming up the shaft and the risk this poses to helicopters above.

We are working with the NZ Defence to mitigate these risks and come up with a safe operational plan.

ENDS

Police media liaison in Greymouth: 027 501 5742