16 Jan 2011

Pike River GAG unit to be handed back to owners

5:50 am on 16 January 2011

The modified jet engine being used to stabilise the atmosphere in the Pike River Mine will be returned to Australia before the end of this month.

The GAG unit was flown from Queensland to suppress fires and prevent any further explosions in the mine where 29 men died in November.

Queensland Mines Rescue Service state manager Wayne Hartley says under an agreement with the police it will be handed back to the service on 25 January.

The unit needs repairs due to the length of time it's been running. A rebuilt jet engine flown in from the United States will have to be fitted before it is returned to Australia.

A spokesperson for the families of those who died in the mine, Bernie Monk, says the machine has done what it was meant to.