Pike River 10 years on - a minute of silence, heavy with emotion

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 19 Nov 2020, 4:59PM
29 crosses with mine helmets on the road which leads to the Pike River Mine portal. Photo / Brett Phibbs
29 crosses with mine helmets on the road which leads to the Pike River Mine portal. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Pike River 10 years on - a minute of silence, heavy with emotion

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 19 Nov 2020, 4:59PM

A minute of silence, heavy with emotion, has been observed in Parliament to honour the 29 men who lost their lives in Pike River mine 10 years ago.

Anna Osbourne, Sonya Rockhouse and Rick (Rowdy) Durbridge, members of the Pike River Families Reference Group, fought back tears as they read out the names of those who died after a series of explosions in the mine.

Before the silence, the memorial service listened to a recording of radio communications from just before the first blast, including a request to speak to Milton Osbourne, Anna's husband.

A video recording then showed a wave of debris and dust being blown out of the mine's entrance as the first blast struck.

"Anyone underground? Anyone?" a voice over the radio was heard saying.

As they watched, Rockhouse put her arm around Osbourne, as she wiped her eyes. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, seated next to them, also dabbed her eyes.

On Friday, November 19, 2010, at about 3.44pm, an explosion ripped through the Pike River underground coal mine, followed by subsequent explosions. Two men made it out alive but another 29 were unaccounted for.