How does this happen? Six years of grief for these families and it turns out rescue teams have been down there and taken footage and pictures.
This kind of thing doesn’t stay under wraps, especially under the circumstances, without someone wanting to cover up.
Radio NZ Report below:
The lawyer representing some Pike River families says footage showing workers inside the drift is both extraordinary and alarming.
Newshub has released footage of two men and a robot inside the drift of the Pike River mine, three months after the final explosion.
The two men are wearing Mines Rescue uniforms and using breathing apparatus.
The robot appears to emit smoke or steam when it overheats, but there’s no fire or flame, which is at odds with claims by the government that the mine is too unsafe to re-enter.
Nigel Hampton, QC, said this was the first time in six years he had seen or heard about the video.
“The families, or at least some of them, will be incandescent over this. They will be extraordinarily angered by this,” he said.
And he said it was extraordinary that the footage was not shown to the Royal Commission, as it was relevant to the issues they had looked at.
Mr Hampton said it meant that state agencies, the police and a state owned entity, Solid Energy, had known about the exploration for quite some time, and yet it had never been divulged or revealed to the families.
He was concerned by the police’s role in the case, Mr Hampton said.
“First, it was the police intervention that prevented rescuers going into that mine in what was a window of opportunity after the first explosion, before the subsequent explosions,” he said.
The mine collapsed in the subsequent explosions.
“To have this material in their hands and not reveal it, I find quite alarming,” Mr Hampton said.
“It is relevant to all the issues that have been discussed over the last six years about re-entry.
“It shows that what the family and the family experts have been saying, namely that this drift is recoverable,” he said.
The footage also showed that the drift was inert, making re-entry possible providing those who went in wore breathing apparatus, Mr Hampton said.
He urged the government and Worksafe to take another look at the advice they had been given and to make a concerted effort to enable a proper staged recovery of the drift
UPDATE: VIDEO AVAILABLE AT LINK-