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Strongman disaster remembered

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/01/2017

The 19 men killed at the Strongman Mine 50 years ago are being remembered by events in the West Coast coal mining town near where it happened.

On Thursday people affected by the disaster gathered at the Karoro Lawn Cemetery where a minute's silence was held at 10.04am, exactly 50 years since it happened. In Greymouth, the bell at the clock tower rang 19 times.

On Saturday there's a function at the Runanga Workingmen's Club, followed by a visit to the Strongman Mine site. A sports day and dinner follow.

Opened in 1939, the state-owned mine, 11km northeast of Greymouth, was the flagship of New Zealand's coal industry and the largest underground coal mine in the country.

On January19, 1967, an explosion blew through the section of the mine, killing 19 of the 240 men who were working there at the time.

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