5 Aug 2020

Loader driven by Pike River miner removed from tunnel

11:00 am on 5 August 2020

A loader being driven by one of the miners when the Pike River mine exploded has been removed from the tunnel.

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Pike River mine exterior (file photo). Photo: Supplied / Pike River Recovery Agency

Russell Smith had been driving the vehicle and was was found lying on the ground 15m metres away from it by Daniel Rockhouse.

The two managed to find a supply of fresh air and stumbled out of the mine together.

They are the only survivors of the disaster in 2010 that claimed 29 lives.

The loader was 1600m down the main entry tunnel, only 700m from a large rockfall that blocks entry to the mine workings.

It will be forensically examined by police as they search for clues to what caused the explosion.

Last month two robots sent in after the deadly explosions were recovered from the access tunnel.