Greymouth, October 3, 2018: The Pike River Recovery Agency has taken delivery of equipment at the damaged Pike River coal mine site that will be used to purge the mine of methane gas.
About eight years ago a major methane blast at this coal mine saw 29 miners lose their lives and the Government through this new agency is seeking entry into the mine to recover some of the remains of the men.
To negate methane gas in the mine a nitrogen gas plant has arrived on the West Coast mine site.
Radio New Zealand reported that once the methane has been removed, the nitrogen will be pumped out, allowing a recovery team to enter the main entry tunnel in fresh air without the need for breathing equipment.
The plant - which was used in the aftermath of the mine explosion - arrived in several containers from Australia. It was expected to be on the site for a year.
Radio NZ said a final decision on whether to enter the mine will be made by the Pike River Recovery Minister Andrew Little in early November.