Robot sent in to assess Pike River Mine damage after explosion is first big find of re-entry

Source: 1News

A robot has been announced as the first big find of the Pike River Mine re-entry effort.

It is one of the many robots that were sent in to assess the damage in the mine, never to return following the explosion that killed 29 men on November 19, 2010.

The robot was retrieved from the mine two weeks ago.

“There is another one we can see just in front of where we are now, so we should recover that robot either late today or tomorrow,” Dinghy Pattinson from the Pike River Recovery Agency told 1 NEWS.

In a statement, police say the robot will be retained as part of the ongoing investigation and at this stage they're not in a position to comment on what, if any, footage was captured by the robot.

The next milestone for the re-entry is to find a loader sitting 1500 metres up the tunnel.

“It's important because we all know that was being driven in the tunnel at the time of the explosion,” Mr Pattinson says.

Just before lockdown, Cabinet approved a further $11 million for the re-entry to be completed.

Officials are expecting to reach the end of the tunnel later this year, with the hope of finding answers as to what caused the fatal explosion.