21 Dec 2010

Mine closure would be accepted as last resort

12:35 pm on 21 December 2010

West Coast leaders say they would accept the sealing of the Pike River coal mine if all options for reopening it fail.

A machine pumping nitrogen brought in at the weekend has not been able to cool the temperature inside and police say there's now a very real possibility the mine will have to be closed.

Twenty nine men are dead following a series of explosions that began on 19 November.

Greymouth ministers association chair Tim Mora, says most families of the men would be very unhappy, but would accept it if they could be shown every effort had been made.

Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn says sealing the mine would be the community's worst fear, but he knows there is a limit to what police are able to do.