Disasters & Accidents

Human remains found 11 years after New Zealand mine explosion

Sydney, Australia, Nov 17 (EFE).- New Zealand police said Wednesday it captured images of human remains of at least two people 11 years after a coal mine explosion in the country trapped and killed 29 workers.

Police said in a statement that the remains, reviewed by experts, were captured in an area far from the Pike River mine and will not be recoverable because of the location’s remoteness.

“At this point we have been unable to identify the remains, however, we will consult with forensic experts. Based on our investigation we believe there were six to eight men working in the area where the remains have been located,” Superintendent Peter Read said at the release.

Images of the remains were captured as part of a drilling operation, which began in June and will end next month, to investigate the death of the miners, 23 New Zealanders, three Britons, two Australians and one South African, all aged between 17 and 62.

Anna Osborne, who lost her husband in the explosion, told Radio New Zealand she cannot give details about the images to not “put any future prosecution at risk,” although she said they help “give real clarity about what happened down there.”

For now, it is known the miners died from trauma, burns or suffocation after a methane gas explosion left them buried 2.5 kilometers deep inside a gallery lacking alternative exits.

Five days later they were presumed dead after a second explosion at the site, in the town of Greymouth, on the South Island, in what was the second largest mining accident in New Zealand’s history.

In March, the New Zealand government stopped efforts to recover the bodies, although police investigations into the explosion continue. EFE


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