25 Nov 2010

Papers mark 'Darkest Hour'

6:58 am on 25 November 2010

The tragedy at Pike River dominates the front pages of all the morning papers. 'Our Darkest Hour' says Grey District Mayor Tony Kookshorn.

NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald describes 'The Darkest Hour' as Grey District Mayor Tony Kookshorn summed up the grief of his community.

The paper says there were screams and tears, as news of a second explosion snuffed the last flicker of hope and 29 men were pronounced dead.

It describes the scene at on Wednesday as distraught families sobbed and supported each other in the face of news which crushed any hope.

Dominion Post

The front page of The Dominion Post also describes 'Our Darkest Hour,' with a miner's lamp flanked by photos of all 29 men.

Inside, the parents of Blair Sims say rescuers were right to wait and not rush into the mine, while in a separate story, mine boss Peter Whittall is promising to do everything he can to bring the bodies of the men home.

A mayoral fund has been set up for those wishing to donate to the famlies.

The Press

The Press headline reads 'Our Nation Mourns'. A stark black and white front page lists the victims.

Inside, messages of sympathy for the miners and their families have come from around New Zealand and internationally.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has expressed Australia's sorrow and sympathy to the families, including the two Queenslanders killed.


The Otago Daily Times says grief overtook Greymouth on Wednesday night.

Hundreds took part in a candlelight vigil at Holy Trinity Anglican Church and others gathered at homes or pubs as the town mourned the loss of its men.

Prime Minister John Key said New Zealand was a nation in mourning and the disaster was a national tragedy.

Inside: a series of high-level inquiries will be held into the tragedy as the families of the miners demand answers about the loss of their loved ones.