4 May 2019

Pike River: Faulty monitoring equipment likely to blame for re-entry delay

12:26 pm on 4 May 2019

Faulty monitoring equipment is "almost certainly" to blame for the delay in the re-entry of the Pike River mine, the minister responsible says.

Outside the 30m concrete seal at Pike River mine.

Outside the 30m concrete seal at Pike River mine. Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

The plan to re-enter the mine was called off at the eleventh hour this week, after heightened levels of oxygen were detected inside making it unsafe.

A team had planned to re-enter the mine near Greymouth yesterday. Twenty-nine men died underground in 2010.

Another attempt would be made within weeks, or less.

Mr Little told Newshub Nation that new monitoring gear had been lowered into the mine and showed consistent, stable readings of the atmosphere inside the mine.

"What it means now [is that] all of the monitoring equipment will need to be tested.

"But once we are satisfied about that then the drilling on the 30 metre seal can recommence," Mr Little said.

Yesterday, Pike River Recovery Agency head Dinghy Pattinson said a split in a tube bundling system used to monitor the mine's atmosphere was most likely sucking oxygen into the entry tunnel.

Mr Pattinson said a new tube system was being used to monitor the mine and this was not resulting in any extra oxygen being drawn inside.

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