20 Nov 2013

Families want remains of Pike victims back

11:06 am on 20 November 2013

Some of the families of the 29 men who died at Pike River mine are as desperate as ever to retrieve the remains, three years on from the explosions.

About 100 people attended a public memorial service at Blackball Museum on Tuesday, where families placed white roses on an iron memorial wheel which has the names of the men around the edge.

The men were killed during a series of explosions that began at the West Coast mine on 19 November 2010.

Rick Durbridge, who lost his son, Dan Herk, interrupted the ceremony to speak to the crowd.

He told them Solid Energy is only going so far in sealing the mine's main entry tunnel, and it will take a lot more pushing to get access to the coalface where most of the men would have been at the time of the first explosion.

Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn said many of the victims' families are still grieving heavily.

He said that for them it was not acceptable that the 29 men were still up in the mountain, and they wanted the remains back.