New Zealand Pike River Mine Explosion 'Could Have Been Prevented'

A gas explosion that ripped through a New Zealand coal mine killing 29 people, including two Britons, could have been prevented, an investigation has found.

Malcolm Campbell, 25, from St Andrews in Fife, and Pete Rodger, 40, from Perthshire, died in the disaster at the Pike River mine two years ago.

An official report released today revealed that the company that ran the mine ignored 21 warnings that methane had accumulated to explosive levels.

The explosion which claimed 29 lives could have been prevented, the report found

Investigators also said the now-bankrupt Pike River Coal company was exposing miners to unacceptable risks as it strove to meet its financial targets.

The Royal Commission report, which follows nearly three months of hearings into the disaster, concluded New Zealand has a poor safety record in its workplaces.

The mine, in Atarau on the country's South Island, was rocked by an initial explosion that trapped 29 workers in November 2010.

A second major explosion five days later dashed hopes that any of the workers had survived.

Mr Campbell's father, Malcolm Campbell senior, said he still hopes to bring his son home to be buried.

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