What really happened at Pike River?

Had the Department of Labour been doing its job properly, Pike ought to have been shut down before November 19. Mines inspector Kevin Poynter – not to mention the men working underground – was concerned that Pike had gone into coal production without first meeting its legal requirement to establish a second means of exit. He knew that the 110m vertical ventilation shaft nominated by the company as its temporary emergency exit was completely unsuitable. Even under non-emergency conditions, those who tested it found it virtually impassable.