Eleven years after the mine disaster that killed 29 people in New Zealand, Investigators said Wednesday they found the remains of at least two of the victims. But the possibility of their recovery is unknown.
The 2010 Bike River coal mine disaster was one of New Zealand’s worst industrial accidents. It also sparked several attempts to rescue the victims and a criminal investigation.
The catastrophe is believed to have been caused by an explosion caused by a methane compound.
Only two of the 31 miners who were working were able to evacuate it alive.
Recovery work was completed after several tunnels collapsed. But by drilling, experts were able to collect pictures of the deeper parts of the mine.
Police said they were able to observe two bodies and the remains of one-third of the bodies.
“At the moment we have not been able to identify the remains, but we will consult with forensic experts,” Detective Peter Reid said, adding that because of the location, police could not recover the bodies.
“Based on our investigation, we believe six to eight men worked in the area where the remains were found.” Added.
However, Minister for Rescue Services Andrew Little commented, “(The bodies) are unlikely to be recovered … I know some families want to go further, but that is not possible.”
The families of the victims said they hoped the discovery would help in potential lawsuits.
“We have been fighting hard for years to get justice for our children, and this is part of it,” said Rowdy Durbridge, whose son Daniel was killed in the bombing.
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