The news coming out from the Pike River mine disaster is not sounding good. A short time ago The Herald was reporting:
Twenty-two hours on from an explosion at the West Coast’s Pike River mine and the message for families of the 29 trapped miners is bleak.
“We haven’t heard a thing,” Pike River Coal chief executive Peter Whittall told a press conference this afternoon. There has been no contact with the miners since the explosion just before 4pm yesterday.
Air samples being taken from the mine were being analysed for traces of methane, carbon monoxide, ethane and other trace gases.
They especially wanted to see lowering levels of carbon monoxide but that had not happened yet, Mr Whittall said.
Tasman District police area commander Superintendent Gary Knowles said rescuers wanted to go into the mine but could not until it was safe to do so, and air quality tests were so far ruling that out.
“We are still waiting for a window of opportunity where we can do this. As the search commander I am not prepared to put people underground until we can prove it is a safe environment,” he said.
“We still remain positive, and we believe that once that window of opportunity opens we are ready to go.
Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas, and if the levels are too high for rescuers then it can only be extremely dangerous for anyone trapped below. Spare a thought tonight for the miners and their families.