The re-entry to Pike River won’t go ahead today as planned:
Andrew Little announced on Thursday there has been a set back with the Pike River Mine re-entry due to elevated oxygen levels at the far end of the drift.
The minister described the elevated levels as “unpredicted and unexplained,” and because of this, the mine will not be entered, although there will still be an event for families.
“If you can’t explain it, you stop what you’re doing until you can,” he said.
The shift in oxygen levels means the atmosphere in the drift has changed and the air is no longer breathable. . . .
Calling off the re-entry is the right decision.
But it raises questions: can there be any guarantee that there wouldn’t be “unpredicted and unexplained” elevation in oxygen levels while people were in the drift and what would happen if there was?
That leads to another question: can it ever be safe enough?