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Families to protest at Pike River mine

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/11/2016

Mines Rescue staff prepare to enter Pike River mine on June 28, 2011 in Greymouth, New Zealand. © Getty Images Mines Rescue staff prepare to enter Pike River mine on June 28, 2011 in Greymouth, New Zealand. The families of the 29 men killed in the Pike River mine disaster are going to protest at the mine in a bid to have it opened.

The families believe it's safe enough to enter the 2.5-kilometre drift, an access tunnel, to the mine proper.

Two years ago owner Solid Energy decided the drift was too risky to enter and it should be permanently sealed but families spokesman Bernie Monk has said as a result of the work being done to seal the mine he had discovered the gas levels were safe enough to allow entry.

Anna Osborne, whose husband Milton died in the November 2010 disaster, has organised a protest at the mine on Saturday at 10am.

"Don't seal the drift until we know there's no bodies in there. If we seal the drift, we are allowing the evidence to be sealed forever too," she says on Facebook.

The protest will be as close to the mine gates as possible.

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