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Third explosion rocks NZ mine

November 26, 2010 – 11:49AM

There has been a third explosion at New Zealand’s Pike River mine – almost exactly one week after the blast that trapped 29 miners, including two Australians.

The explosion occurred at 3.39pm local time (1.39pm AEDT) and lasted for 20 seconds, Pike River Coal chairman John Dow said.

There were no reports of injuries and the explosion was smaller than the previous two blasts.

“It lasted about 20 seconds and was smaller in magnitude [than previous ones],” Mr Dow said.

Superintendent Gary Knowles said the blast occurred as emergency services representatives gathered at the mine site.

The group was some kilometres away from the mine portal at the time and not in any danger.

“This will not impede the recovery work we are doing at the site and we are continuing with our forward planning as scheduled,” he said.

Family members observing the minute’s silence would not have heard the explosion because it was only noted on CCTV footage, Mr Dow said.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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