21 Aug 2014

Concerns over Pike re-entry delay

7:44 pm on 21 August 2014

A spokesperson for some of the families of the 29 men killed in the Pike River mine explosion is concerned Solid Energy is stalling the mine re-entry.

A memorial at Blackball to the Pike River miners, where the 29 dead included contractors.

A memorial at Blackball to those who died in the Pike River mine. Photo: SUPPLIED

Just two men survived the November 2010 explosion, and the bodies of the 29 who died remain in the mine.

Solid Energy and the Government last September committed to a seven-stage plan to enter the main tunnel. The work was expected to have been completed by April this year.

However, the chief executive of Solid Energy told Carol Rose today a recommendation about the final phase of the mine re-entry had been removed from next week's board meeting agenda.

The state-owned coal miner said the residual risks needed to be addressed before the board considered the proposal.

Ms Rose said the families had it on good authority the mine was safe to re-enter.

"I think the Solid Energy board are being extremely cautious, that they're gun shy. I hope that ... this is not just a stalling tactic to stall it," she said.

"There's all sorts of stuff happening out there at the moment. The Government certainly doesn't want the Pike River families erupting at this point."

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