Explosion Killed NZ Miners Within Minutes: Inquest

30 January 2011 (Last Updated January 30th, 2011 18:30)

An inquest into New Zealand's Pike River mine explosion, which happened in November last year, has found that the 29 miners trapped in the mine were killed within minutes of the initial blast. Rescue officials, who could not enter the mine due to the build-up of poisonous gases, declare

An inquest into New Zealand's Pike River mine explosion, which happened in November last year, has found that the 29 miners trapped in the mine were killed within minutes of the initial blast.

Rescue officials, who could not enter the mine due to the build-up of poisonous gases, declared that the miners were dead five days after a second massive blast.

Chief coroner Neil MacLean said evidence revealed that the miners died from a combination of concussion, burns and hypoxia caused by toxic gases and a lack of oxygen.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry will examine the wider issues concerning the cause and possible prevention of the disaster.