News24

Year one, NZ mine still holds 29 bodies

2011-11-19 07:19

Wellington - Some families of the 29 New Zealand coal miners killed in an explosion one year ago say on the anniversary that their grieving is not over because the men's bodies remain entombed inside the mine.

Authorities say there is too much deadly gas in the Pike River mine near Greymouth for crews to enter and recover the bodies.

But Bernie Monk, whose 23-year-old son Michael died in the explosion, said on Saturday that he and the other families are frustrated there hasn't been a more concerted effort made to recover the bodies.

Among those who died, is South African Koos Jonker.

About 2 500 people, including New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, were expected to attend a public memorial on Saturday in Greymouth, culminating in a minute's silence at 15:44, when the methane-fuelled explosion occurred on November 19 2010.