Lessons to be learned from mine tragedy

Malcolm Campbell from st andrews who is trapped underground in a mine mining accident in New Zealand'collect photo by dave scott
Malcolm Campbell from st andrews who is trapped underground in a mine mining accident in New Zealand'collect photo by dave scott
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The parents of mining disaster victim Malcolm Campbell are hoping anyone involved in the Pike River Mine will admit any failings on their part after a drilling company pled guilty to three health and safety charges.

The company, VLI Drilling, admitted failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees, contractors and subcontractors.

As employers of three of the victims, they are now expected to be fined by the courts.

MISTAKES

And Malcolm’s father, Malcolm senior, is now calling on any other company that was connected to the mine to admit to any mistakes they may have made in order to make sure lessons are learned from the tragedy.

“This week we have had one of the companies coming forward to put their hands up to admit negligence on their part,” he explained.

“I have been speaking with the lawyers in New Zealand and Bernie Monk, a spokesman for all the families of victims, and they said there had been talk of reconvening the investigation.

“But they are not going to do that now and they will go ahead and make a decision in September.

“Having spoken to the people in New Zealand they’re talking about fines being imposed but we just want them to learn from what happened.

“We want changes implemented, that’s all we can hope for. We want the others that were involved to hold their hands up as well, that would give us a wee bit of closure.

“We are heading out to New Zealand in November and I would like to get some face-to-face time with some of the people that were dealing with the mine.”

Charges over the incident were brought against Pike River Coal, its chief executive and VLI Drilling.

VLI is the only company to plead guilty so far while the receivers for Pike River Coal, which was forced into bankruptcy after the disaster, say they will not enter pleas for the ten health and safety charges the company faces.

Charges against the mine’s former chief executive, Australian Peter Whittall, will be heard in October.