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Receivers pledge "commitment" to retrieve bodies from New Zealand disaster mine

07-04-2011 16:09 BJT

WELLINGTON, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The receivers of New Zealand's Pike River coal mine said Monday they were unable to make recovery of the 29 miners' bodies trapped in the shaft since November last year a condition of sale.

However, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said they would "use their commercially reasonable endeavours to secure a continuing commitment from any purchaser that ensures access and recovery of the bodies of the 29 deceased miners is not impeded."

An undertaking to recover the bodies of the men killed in a series of underground explosions would be an important consideration in evaluating and responding to expressions of interest and final bids for Pike River Coal Ltd..

The receivers and the government have been under constant pressure from the miners' families and the local community as well as unions at home and abroad to retrieve the bodies since the disaster blocked the shaft and filled it with poisonous gas.

Searchers wearing breathing apparatus last week made the first entry into the mine since the tragedy, at the start of a recovery operation that is expected to take two years.

"The receivers agree that nobody wants a sale of the mine to impede the potential recovery of the miners' bodies," said PwC receiver Malcolm Hollis.

"Equally however, we are confident that the paramount importance of mine stabilisation and the safety of potential recovery operations is recognised and that we must all take this process one step at a time."

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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