Police and other emergency services are responding to a possible explosion at a West Coast, New Zealand, coal mine.
Communications are difficult at the scene which is at the remote Pike River coal mine, 50km north east of Greymouth.
Early indications are that there was a power outage at the late this afternoon. Police say an electrician went into the mine about 3.50pm to investigate the outage and discovered a loader driver who had been blown off his machine about 1500 metres into the mine shaft.
There are 36 tags still on the board at the mine. Those miners have not yet been heard from. No further details are available.
A specialist mine rescue team, Police and other emergency services are at the scene and information will be updated as it comes to hand.
Media enquires to
Tasman Police Communications Manager
Kaye Calder: Public Affairs, Police National HQ
tel: 04 460 2986 or mobile 027 241 6305
Grant Ogilvie: Public Affairs, Police National HQ
tel: 04460 2986 or 027 236 9974
PNHQ Public Affairs pager: 026 10 1082