new zealand.jpgNew Zealand police have said that all 29 miners trapped in a mine are now believed to be dead following a second explosion in the Pike River Coal mine.

 

The man in charge of the rescue operation, Superintendent Gary Knowles, said: “Unfortunately I have to inform the public of New Zealand that at (2.37p.m) New Zealand time today there was another massive explosion underground and, based on that explosion, no one survived.”

 

“It is our belief that no one has survived,” he went on to say. “I was at the mine myself when the explosion occurred. The blast was horrific. Just as severe as the first blast – and we are now moving into a recovery mode.”

 

Following the second blast on Wednesday that dashed any hopes of finding the 29 trapped workers, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said his country is a “nation in mourning”.

 

The miners lost contact with authorities since Friday’s blast at the South Island mine. Methane gas is said to have caused the blast.

Rescue workers tried to drill a hole down into the mine to contact the men, but explosive mix of gasses inside made the operation risky for them to enter.