A moment of truth. The Royal Commission report on the Pike River coalmine tragedy on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, near Greymouth, has been released. Twenty nine mine workers lost their lives on the 19th of November, 2010 after a succession of explosions in the mine over a period of days. Experts claim the men would have been dead after the first explosion.
The Minister of Labour, Kate Wilkinson has resigned her portfolio, effective immediately, because the tragic and fatal accident happened on her watch. The mine company has been accused by the Prime Minister, John key,of being more interested in extracting coal and making profits, than about ensuring the mine was safe to work in. Local manager, David Whittle, has been charged with twelve offences and will appear next year.
The bankrupt Pike River Ltd company has been sold to state owned Solid Energy, who have agreed to assist any body recovery. The Prime Minister, John Key, said after the accident that they would guarantee to get the boys out of the mine - money was no object. But since then he has said it was too dangerous to mount a body recovery operation. There have been no other discussions with families of the dead mine workers. They have had to pay the costs of any expert and legal advice concerning any possible recovery.
And so to the report and public reaction to it: