More heartbreak for family of mine disaster victim

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

The parents of mining disaster victim Malcolm Campbell have been left devastated by the news that it is unlikely their son’s body will ever be recovered.

Jane and Malcolm senior were given the heartbreaking news during a teleconference with Solid Energy, the new owners of the Pike River mine in New Zealand where 29 miners were killed in a series of explosions in November 2010.

There were hopes the bodies could eventually be recovered but the families of the victims have now accepted that dangerous levels of methane in the mine have made such an operation impossible.

Malcolm Campbell’s parents are now preparing themselves to visit New Zealand again to say goodbye to their son.

“This news was like losing Malcolm all over again, the ache is just horrendous,” Jane said this week.

“We got a call to attend an urgent teleconference and we were thinking they were going to tell us their plan to go in to recovery the bodies. The meeting was held by Solid Energy and mining experts and our lawyers.

“We were then told that recovery now would not be an option as it was too dangerous. We have accepted this as we do not wish for any more fatalities.

“At the meeting it was also mentioned that maybe in 10 years time, with new technology, there would be a possibility for recovery - yet another carrot.

“We have been angry as well as they have kept us hanging on and they probably knew this some time ago.

“We are now thinking of going over to New Zealand on the second anniversary to say our goodbyes to Malcolm - we just wish he was laid to rest here so we could visit him often.”

Jane and her family have been overwhelmed by the support they have received from the local community who have rallied round them since news of the disaster first broke.

And she thanked everyone for their help as she and her husband prepare to say a final farewell to Malcolm before trying to move on without him.

“If it wasn’t for our family, friends and the good people of St Andrews and further afield we could not have got through this nightmare,” she explained.

“The fundraising that people took the time to organise and attend - we thank them all from the bottom of our hearts. The support we have had has been amazing and, through the Citizen, we would like to say a huge, heartfelt thank you.

“They say life goes on, but it will never be the same again without our Malcolm.”