5 May 2011

Pike River receiver still wants to recover bodies

5:46 pm on 5 May 2011

The receiver of the Pike River Coal says the priority remains to recover the bodies of the men inside the West Coast mine.

Twenty-nine miners and contractors died in a series of explosions that began at the mine near Greymouth on 19 November last year. The mine went into receivership in December.

Receiver John Fisk from PricewaterhouseCoopers says a number of companies have registered on Thursday to buy the assets of the mine - the last day to do so.

Once due diligence is undertaken, the receiver will announce which companies have been chosen as the front-runners for a more formal selection process.

Mr Fisk says the receiver wants to get back inside the mine before a buyer is chosen.

But the mother of Stuart Mudge, who died in the mine, says the Government needs to step in and organise a recovery effort.

Carol Rose has told Prime Minister John Key that the families have no faith that the receiver will try to recover the men's bodies.

The families met with police and the company on Wednesday night for their weekly update.

Spokesperson Bernie Monk says Pike River Coal Ltd has suggested getting all interested parties together to discuss options for getting the remains out of the mine. He says that has to happen, as the families are getting very frustrated.

Mr Monk believes the receivers are focusing too much on selling the mine without any focus on the bodies.