On 19 November 2010 there was an underground explosion at the Pike River Mine, located 46km outside Greymouth in the West Coast Region of the South Island of New Zealand. Two men, Russell Smith and Daniel Rockhouse were able to escape by climbing up a narrow chimney, but 29 more were trapped. It was unclear whether any of the trapped miners were alive after the blast and conditions underground: heat, toxic gases and fires, hampered rescue attempts. Robots were sent in to try to locate the men, but the first broke down, and the second had not reached any signs of humanity when a second major blast occurred on 24th November, effectively eliminating any hope of survivors. The youngest of the victims, Joseph Dunbar, had begun work at the mine that day.

The victims were:

  • Conrad John Adams, 43, Greymouth, New Zealand
  • Malcolm Campbell, 25, Scotland
  • Glen Peter Cruse, 35, Cobden, New Zealand
  • Allan John Dixon, 59, Rununga, New Zealand
  • Zen Wodin Drew, 21, Greymouth, New Zealand
  • Christopher Peter Duggan, 31, Greymouth, New Zealand
  • Joseph Ray Dunbar, 17, Greymouth, New Zealand
  • John Leonard Hale, 45, Ruatapu, New Zealand
  • Daniel Thomas Herk, 36, Rununga, New Zealand
  • David Mark Hoggart, 33, Foxton, New Zealand
  • Richard Bennett Holling, 41, Blackball, New Zealand
  • Andrew David Hurren, 32, Greymouth, New Zealand
  • Jacobus (Koos) Albertus Jonker, 47, South Africa
  • William John Joynson, 49, Dunollie, Australia
  • Riki Steve Keane, 28, Greymouth, New Zealand
  • Terry David Kitchin, 41, Rununga, New Zealand
  • Samuel Peter Mackie, 26, Greymouth, New Zealand
  • Francis Skiddy Marden, 41, Rununga, New Zealand
  • Michael Nolan Hanmer Monk, 23, Greymouth New Zealand
  • Stuart Gilbert Mudge, 31, Rununga, New Zealand
  • Kane Barry Nieper, 33, Greymouth, New Zealand
  • Peter O'Neill, 55, Rununga, New Zealand
  • Milton John Osborne, 54, Ngahere, New Zealand
  • Brendan John Palmer, 27, Cobden, New Zealand
  • Benjamin David Rockhouse, 21, Greymouth, New Zealand
  • Peter James Rodger, 40, Britain
  • Blair David Sims, 28, Greymouth, New Zealand
  • Joshua Adam Ufer, 25, Australia
  • Keith Thomas Valli, 62, Winton, New Zealand

Names and details taken from the New Zealand Herald

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