WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Eight years after a methane explosion in an underground coal mine killed 29 workers, New Zealand’s government says crews will re-enter the mine to better understand what went wrong and hopefully recover some of the bodies.
The announcement Wednesday by Justice Minister Andrew Little was greeted with jubilation by family members of workers killed at the Pike River mine, who for years have lobbied for the move.
The mine was sealed soon after the November 2010 explosion.
New Zealand’s previous conservative government concluded the mine remained too unsafe to re-enter. But after winning power a year ago, liberal Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised to re-examine the issue.
The plan calls for the mine to first be flushed of methane and crews to re-enter by about February.
The Associated Press