28 November 2015
‘New material’ in Pike disaster book

A BOOK by an award-winning Christchurch-based journalist on “how and why” the Pike River mine disaster occurred will be released on November 11.

Image courtesy of AWA Press.

Simply titled Tragedy at Pike River Mine, publisher AWA Press said it provided a dramatic, suspenseful account of the disaster that claimed 29 lives.

“Pike River was no ordinary mine,” AWA Press said.

“It had been touted by the company and by government ministers as a showcase of modern mining.

“Shares in the company had been rapidly taken up by investors, swept away by predictions of extraordinary returns.

“Beneath the hype, though, lay mismanagement, mistakes and wilful blindness that would cost men their lives.

“Based on extensive research and over a hundred interviews, this powerful book provides chilling insights into the causes of the tragedy and puts a human face on the people who suffered and suffer still.”

While the lengthy Royal Commission into the disaster provided a lot of information, author Rebecca Macfie claims to have discovered new material.

According to Fuseworks Media, she said her aim was “to make the Pike story understandable to a wide audience”.

“Readers will learn of an appalling string of mistakes, from consent being given for the mine in the first place, to lack of proper monitoring equipment, pressure to ignore safety requirements and effectively only a single exit,” Fuseworks said.

“At its heart, Pike is a story of corporate failure and delusion, accompanied by lax government supervision – but it is the human stories that will linger longest in the mind.”

Macfie is a senior writer for the 1939-founded New Zealand Listener magazine and she has also written for a variety of New Zealand press including National Business Review and the NZ Herald.

A staged re-entry to journey about 2.3km into the mine could start in early October, with the New Zealand government agreeing to fund about $NZ7.2 million into this exercise earlier this month.

“We have to be satisfied that the mine atmosphere can be effectively managed before we let anyone back into the tunnel,” Solid Energy chairman Mark Ford said at the time.

Solid acquired Pike River Coal’s assets in 2012.

Share this story:

Click here to read the rest of today's news stories.


Company Search

Story Search

Advanced Search

Coal unions fear job losses after COP21 summit

Malabar sees Spur Hill as a 20 year project

Hogsback on the high hurdle which is the incentive price for new coal mines

News Wrap

$100B of Australian projects at risk: green group

Quality of Aussie coal will diminish, says IEEFA

NSW govt urges truck inspections after incident

Research program seeks ways of replacing stone dust

Ashton truck incident prompts inspectorate investigation

NSW TransGrid lease a setback for renewables: Greens


-Safety and Health
-Coal News
-No manslaughter charges against Pike River
-Families remain hopeful for Pike River re-entry
-Jubilation greets news of Pike River re-entry
-Troops start Pike re-entry plan
-Solid starts plugging Pike River vent shaft
-Printable Version
-Send to a Friend

16th Coaltrans USA
The Coal Operators' Conference
Coal Import to Ukraine
15th Coaltrans India
Australian Domestic Gas Outlook 2016
Australian Coal Preparation Society 16th Conference
  View all events