31 Jan 2012

Pike River Coal health and safety case adjourned

9:18 pm on 31 January 2012

The Department of Labour says a court hearing about health and safety charges at the Pike River Coal mine has been adjourned for two months.

The first hearing in the case was held on Tuesday morning at the Greymouth District Court.

Pike River Coal, its former chief executive Peter Whittall and Valley Longwall Drilling International face 25 charges related to the explosions at the mine in 2010 that killed 29 mine workers.

One of Mr Whittall's lawyers, Stacey Shortall, says they are considering applying to have some of the charges against him dropped because of the time-frame in which they were laid.

Ms Shortall says there is also a possibility they may ask for the case to be moved to Wellington.

Pleas are expected to be entered at the next court appearance in late March.