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Bodies intact in Pike River: Miner's wife

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/06/2017

Several bodies can been seen intact in new footage from inside the Pike River Mine, the wife of one of the disaster's victims says.

Anna Osborne, whose husband Milton was one of the 29 men killed in the explosive 2010 underground coal mine disaster, says she had seen as many as six bodies in footage families were going through.

"There are a number of bodies, we're talking probably four, five, six at the moment, we're still going through footage, but at the request of the families at this stage we're not going to release those," she told Three's AM Show on Tuesday.

"There are definitely loved ones' bodies fully intact."

She said the footage backed a call by families to re-enter the mine.

Labour leader Andrew Little sympathised with the families who he said fear the issue will be pushed on past the election.

He described the footage as showing combustible material having not combusted "in an area we were told had been part of a fire".

"It does give more compulsion to the idea that the government's got to work with the families to get re-entry to the mine so that we know what's going on," he said.

It follows the release of footage on Sunday showing glasses and paper intact in the mine's drift.

Victim Ben Rockhouse's mother Sonya believes the footage means her son's body is still intact in the drift.

"New Zealand has been told there's nothing but ashes and dust down there, they've been told that the drift can't be made safe to enter and investigate," she said.

"That's just not true, my boy is down there and if pallets and paper are intact then so is his body."

But Mr English on Monday said there was nothing new about the footage and that it had been been around for years.

He has previously ruled out re-entry, relying on expert advice that it is too risky to go into the potentially explosive methane-filled drift.

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