More human remains found in Pike River mine

Source: 1News

Police say more human remains have been found in the Pike River mine on the West Coast.

Pike River

Twenty-nine men lost their lives in an explosion at the mine on November 19, 2010.

Detective Superintendent Peter Read, who is in charge of the Pike River criminal investigation, said on Sunday remains had been found in the "westernmost extremities" of the mine thanks to imaging from a bore hole there.

Two probable human remains had been found and there is one set of possible remains, Read said.

Read said five men were believed to be working in that part of the mine when the explosion occurred.

The families were told of the development on Friday evening.

It comes after the first remains were found in November, leaving families feeling "vindicated".

Read said there had also been a second development in the last week — police had approval to bore one more hole and continue their drilling programme.

It was set to finish on December 17 so will now carry on into the early part of next year.

"It's been 11 years of searching to find out what's happened in the mine," Read said.

"We as police officers are going to do everything possible to find out and get answers for the next of kin and family members.

Detective Superintendent Peter Read.

"It's imperative that we can do everything possible in our power to actually find those answers."

Read said hopefully the extra bore hole would give investigators "extra information" about the first explosion and what initiated it.

It will be located in a crosscut between two of the main roadways, he said.

Investigators wanted to see if the stopping, which keeps good air from bad air and maintains ventilation flow throughout a mine, is still intact.

"That’ll give our experts some knowledge on what has actually transpired.”

Read said the purpose of the bore holes was to gain evidence, not to recover bodies. He did not think any more remains would be found from the final bore hole.

He also said investigators were still working to identify the remains found in November.