10 Sep 2011

Miners' mother says police admit mistakes made

6:14 am on 10 September 2011

The mother of a survivor and a victim of the Pike River Coal mine disaster says police have admitted to her they made mistakes in the aftermath of the explosions.

A Royal Commission is being held in Greymouth into the deaths of 29 men killed in a series of explosions at the West Coast mine from 19 November last year.

Sonya Rockhouse lost her son Ben in the mine. This week, Mrs Rockhouse heard her other son Daniel tell the commission about his frantic efforts to get out of the mine alive.

Mrs Rockhouse told Checkpoint on Friday she expects the police, who took the lead on the day of the first explosion on 19 November, to come under scrutiny next week.

She says it is becoming apparent that, had they entered the mine in the initial stages, some of the men might have still been alive.

Mrs Rockhouse said the officer told her on Friday that police had made some mistakes and some things could have been done differently.

"He wasn't specific about what, but it was nice actually to hear him say that. My son's lost his life along with 28 others - and you like to think they haven't lost their life for nothing."

The hearing continues next week.