The risk culture at Pike River Mine

By Rebecca Macfie In Current Affairs

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The balance-of-probabilities explanation of what happened at Pike River coal mine at 3.45pm on November 19, 2010, was delivered bloodlessly in the ninth week of inquiry hearings. Australian mining man David Reece – one of five experts hired by the Department of Labour and police to investigate the disaster – said a slug of methane gas had probably been expelled from the coalface by a large collapse of the “goaf” (the void left after coal has been extracted). As it travelled down the mine, it would have mixed with fresh air to form an explosive concentration. Around the same time, a ...

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