20 Jun 2017

Pike River families say they've seen footage of intact bodies

From Morning Report, 8:10 am on 20 June 2017

Video footage shows five or six bodies inside the Pike River Mine, say some family members of the victims.

Pike River Mine

Pike River Mine Photo: SUPPLIED/ NZ Police

An explosion at the West Coast mine in 2010 killed 29 men.

Sonya Rockhouse, whose son Ben died in the mine, told Morning Report the footage was handed to her by police a few weeks ago.

Ms Rockhouse said one of the clearer images showed an intact body, and there were other pictures showing bodies in other parts of the mine.

She said the footage, which she understood was taken within four months of the explosion, was not shown in public at the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Solid Energy chief executive Tony King said he was aware one body had been seen on video footage, but not that more bodies might have been seen.

He told Morning Report the company has been asked by the government to look at the feasibility of a robot entering the drift of the mine, but not the main part of the mine.

Mr King said it would be up to police and WorkSafe New Zealand to review the video footage.