April 19, 2019

Pike River families going it alone with body recovery plan

Stop the talk lets have some action please. Since day one there has only been excuses about why nothing can be done.

The families of the Pike River Mine disaster victims have had enough of nothing happening and are putting their own body recovery team together.

Lawyer Nicholas Davidson QC today said the families were putting together a team of experienced mine rescue experts to create a credible plan for retrieving the 29 men still lying dead in the Pike River mine.

Mr Davidson says “A meeting between families, receivers, police and mines rescue on Monday showed receivers never had any intention of planning a recovery.”

“From the moment police handed the mine over the receivers, nothing has happened.”

“We are not waiting any longer for the company or the receivers to produce such a plan because they have done nothing… the only interest they have is an economic one.”

“Families are going to ensure a plan is now developed by someone other than the receivers or the company.”

He threatened to take “any necessary action” to prevent the Pike River mine being sold without a new owner committing to a recovery plan.

“If that doesn’t happen then those who believe that it should have happened are going to take proper steps to make sure it should have happened.”

Spokesman for the families Bernie Monk said a recently announced delay to stabilisation work at the mine showed why families were looking to take over the recovery.

“Receivers could have begun sealing work at the mine portal months ago – when the mine was stable and weather conditions were fine,” he said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers receiver John Fisk said receivers had been working to stabilise the mine for two and a half months.

That work had been delayed by mines rescue staff having to commit to other jobs and bad weather, he said.

“It’s not the case that we have deliberately slowed any process down or deliberately sat on our hands. That’s definitely not the case.

“As I’ve always said our focus is very much on getting the mine stablised. Until you’ve achieved stability you can’t achieve recovery. You can’t go into a mine that is not stable.”

He called for families to work together with receivers to come up with a recovery plan.

Newswarped fully supports the families on this one. The rescue/recovery operation has been botched from the begining. It is time to put the families first and the economics second.