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He was on the phone asking lots of questions about how they got it out and what condition it was in,” she said. Daniel Rockhouse was refilling his loader in the tunnel when he was blown off his feet by the explosion. When Pike River Mine survivor Daniel Rockhouse stumbled into an underground haven intended to save him after a massive blast at the coal mine, he found the phone and fresh air valve were not working, there was no first-aid kit. Rockhouse made his way out of the mine after a … At the time of the explosion, Rockhouse was slammed against the side of the mine. September 22, 2011: John Key tells Pike River families "I'm here to give you absolute reassurance we're committed to getting the boys out, and nothing's going to change that... when people try and tell you we're not... they're playing with your emotions". He's like answers, closure, even an apology. August 2014: Solid Energy announces "potentially fatal risks" are still needed to be examined before attempting to enter. Initial recovery efforts were abandoned after rescue robots were lost and after insolvency the Pike River Recovery Agency was formed and reentered the mine in May 2019. The Pike River Coal Company was formed in 1982 to hold exploration rights; in 1988 the company was bought by New Zealand Oil and Gas Ltd. We've had a lot of time to think while we've been at the gate. He's been diagnosed with PTSD and depression, and suffers from anxiety from time to time, though it's not so bad anymore, he says. But it didn't. He was right on one count. We lived a pretty normal life - a pretty normal Kiwi life. Now I don't. Pike River survivor Daniel Rockhouse believes it's safe to enter: RNZ Checkpoint - Duration: 6:30. It was found 1563 metres up the 2.3-kilometre drift access tunnel. 1 Min Read. Map of Pike River Mine showing the drift, the mine workings and the rockfall (red X) (Source: Pike River Recovery Agency) A 2012 royal commission … That the government keeps faith with them. The gases inside the mine remain volatile, preventing recovery of the bodies. 6 Sep, 2011 7:38pm. July 2010: Royal Commission hearings into the disaster begin, with 57 witnesses appearing and 200 written submissions received. He was driving up the drift in the loader when he was nearly killed by the force of the blast. I go to bed at night - my partner wakes up to find me shaking. October 2013: The first phase is completed, with 35 tonnes of debris removed from the mine. Yesterday, after two days of protesting at its gates - led by Rockhouse's mother Sonya, who lost her son Benjamin, 21, and Anna Osborne, whose husband Milton, 54, died in the disaster - Environment Minister Nick Smith announced the work would be delayed a week. "I'm part of this tragedy and I'm dealing with it the best I can. A spokesman for the Prime Minister said the Government had done everything it could to allow the recovery of the bodies, but ultimately the decision whether to re-enter the mine was Solid Energy's. Sonya Rockhouse was at Thursday’s event for families. Pike River Coal Ltd was a mining company listed on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges. Two of the 31 miners and contractors present escape. 7 Sep, 2011 5:30am. Now we know that’s false. A Pike River survivor says politicians need to put aside arguments about leaked video from the mine and just get the 29 bodies out. The mine was sold to Solid Energy, and we thought that in buying the mine the Government would finally keep its leader's word. … November 26, 2010: A third, smaller explosion is followed by a fourth explosion which ignites coal in the mine. ", November 13: The final sealing off of the mine, planned for this week, is delayed for a week to allow families to mark the sixth anniversary of the disaster. 28 July 2020 progress update “We have done an extreme amount of work over the past 18 months. “He is really sad about it but, he can’t come home because of the two weeks’ quarantine he would have to do either side of it,” his mother, Sonya Rockhouse, said. Now six years later, the Government is moving to seal the mine with four massive concrete plugs. Russell Smith with his loader from the explosion inside the Pike River mine. The loader driven by one of the two men to survive the Pike River Mine explosion 10 years ago was pulled out of the drift this week by the Pike River Recovery Agency underground team. January 14, 2010: Police abandon attempts to recover the 29 bodies. He believed evidence of what caused the series of explosions could still be gathered from equipment the mine. It's about all of our families, and standing with us is about standing as Kiwis. As on any workday, men entered and left the mine at different times. Explosion would have left no survivors, but rescue teams not to blame says Pike River mine executive. October 2014: Solid Energy delays its decision on whether to go ahead with re-entering the Pike River Mine drift. The sandflies are appreciating our company. Why wouldn't you give it a go?". But what happened on 19 November 2010 changed everything for me, for the other families, for New Zealand. But there was stunned anger in December 2013 when all 12 health and safety charges against Whittall were dropped after he and Pike River Coal offered a voluntary payment of $3.41 million, seeing $110,000 given to each of the families and two survivors. May 31, 2012: Families told by mining experts that bodies will probably never be recovered. Its primary operation was the Pike River Mine, the site of a mining disaster with 29 deaths on 19 November 2010.. October 25, 2012: Former CEO Peter Whittall pleads not guilty to 12 health and safety-related charges, and a trial date is set for March 2013. There is no doubt in Daniel Rockhouse's mind that he and Russell Smith were not the only two who survived the first Pike River mine explosion. Royal Commission found the disaster was a preventable tragedy, but it could not pinpoint the actual cause of the explosions. He thinks about Pike River on an hourly basis. I would have been badly injured, maybe killed, but that’s what saved me, tucked behind that door,” he said. “It’s an intact crime scene, and we were stopped from having it examined for years based on claims that were just not true.”. November 2014: Solid Energy decide to abandon recovery efforts, and Government Ministers confirm the mine will be converted into conservation land and preserved as a memorial. Pike River Mine underground mine workers withdrawn after the presence of carcinogens found. Their names and details appear on pages 4–5 (see: Pike River mine memorial). That's the way to look at it' * Two more robots recovered from Pike River mine * Pike River victims' families enter mine drift. Pike River widow Anna Osborne said waiting and watching for the loader to come out took her back to the day of the explosion. “If that hadn’t delayed me, I would have been up a lot further and you wouldn’t be talking to me today.”. They're all so passionate about wanting to find out what exactly happened down there - even after everyone's telling them to get over it and move on, they've just refused to. When Paparoa National Park was created in 1987, the area of the Pike River coalfield was deliberately excluded from it. Daniel Rockhouse, 24, lost his younger brother Ben in the Pike River coal mine on November 19 when an explosion killed 29 men. Pike River survivor tells his story. On the afternoon of Friday 19 November, men employed by the Pike River mine were underground alongside employees of five different contracting companies. "The expert advice remains that the mine is unsafe to enter and we cannot risk further lives by allowing entry when it is not safe to do so.". The company first listed and began trading on the New Zealand Exchange on 20 July 2007. “While nearly 1600 metres of the 2300m drift has now been recovered, there is still around 600 metres of roadway in the Pit Bottom in Stone area that will also need to be explored and examined when that area is reached. What I've decided is that it's because many, many New Zealanders still want to live in a country where when terrible things like the Pike River explosion happen, someone is held to account, justice is delivered, and people are supported. And I used to think that if the Prime Minister made a promise about something as important about this it would be kept. There were two to five men in particular who were 2.2 to 2.4 km in the mine, who I had spoken to just minutes before it went bang. Between the whole world and whatever evidence of what happened is down there. It sucks, but I don't choose to dream about it.". "If the advice that they now seem to be receiving is accurate ... then what possible impediment is there to go and check that out. The team spent about 30 hours recovering it. The Ne… "I get that people are sick of hearing about it. We've got a caravan and a couple of BBQs, people have been bringing us food and aroha, occasionally the plainclothes cop car swings by to keep an eye on us. If litigation funders take up the case, and are successful, these parties will regret that they didn’t take the … The Government could not say it had fulfilled its promise to do "everything it could" unless it took this step, he said. Smith was also delayed entering the mine on the day because the loader was being serviced. December 23, 2013: John Key apologises to the families for the role that "lack of regulatory effectiveness played in the tragedy.". Pike River Recovery Agency chief operating officer Dinghy Pattinson said the next big area of interest was Pit Bottom in Stone, where Daniel Rockhouse’s loader sits, as well as electrical equipment, which may hold vital evidence about the cause of the explosions. September 29, 2010: Peter Whittall sacked as chief of Pike River Coal. Inside Pike River: Interactive graphic shows extent of disaster Russell Smith suffocated in the first explosion, only to survive - dragged out of the mine by Daniel Rockhouse. Rockhouse made his way out of the mine after a methane blast on November 19, 2010, dragging Smith with him. But his mother continued to battle. He'd like to sit down in a room with John Key. He soon lost conscious… Smith’s loader was towed out on Tuesday night by the Pike River Recovery Agency. We'll be here for a while yet. John Key is confronted by Pike River families in Greymouth. December 2013: The Crown announces that charges against former Pike River Coal boss Peter Whittall have been dropped. Pike River survivor five years on: 'I'm alive. Sonya Rockhouse says Key made a commitment to get the 29 out in 2014. Nothing changed. Man arrested after alleged stabbing in Parnell backpackers, 'It's not good news at all': Snake-bitten Pete Bethune's health deteriorates, Dramatic pic shows injured climbers roped to side of mountain, Waikeria Prison riot: Prisoners light 'significant fires' overnight, 'Only in New Zealand': Jacinda Ardern's 'Kiwi as' start to the year in beach town, 'World will be amazed': UK writer's bold America's Cup predictions. Rockhouse’s loader will be the next large item recovered from the drift, expected at the end of August. Families of some of the 29 men killed in New Zealand’s Pike River mine disaster in November 2010 are demanding answers after police admitted to … A number of safety failings at Pike River are highlighted by witnesses. If you'd asked me back in the old days if we'd be camped out in the middle of nowhere in a last ditch attempt for justice, I'd have thought you were mad. July 2013: Pike River Coal is ordered to pay $3.41 million in reparation - $110,000 for the family of each victim and survivors. You can take all the pictures you want, but they cannot take the place of the naked eye underground and an expert that knows what to look for,” he said. It sits about 1900m up the tunnel, but the Australian-based underground miner won’t be back to see its removal. 57 witnesses appearing and 200 written submissions received the Crown announces that charges against former Pike mine! Waited, and is later fined $ 46,800 of explosions could still be from. 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