Leaked Pike River Mine footage could prove there were survivors after first explosion

Newshub has been leaked more footage from inside Pike River Mine, but this time it's not the vision that's significant - it's the audio.

It was filmed before the second explosion in 2010 when there was still hope the 29 men could be alive.

Mines Rescue are heard saying they can see something moving inside the mine, four days after the first explosion and while a rescue effort was still underway.

After rescue staff lower the camera from above, they can be heard talking about what they see. The picture quality is poor but the sound is clear.

"Wait... what's over there? We can see an image... or something's moving. And it's not us. Right here."

It's recorded at the bottom of what's called the Slimline Shaft, at the end of the access tunnel or drift.

Leaked Pike River Mine footage could prove there were survivors after first explosion
Photo credit: Newshub.

It's important because it's the Fresh Air Base, where miners could access breathing masks in an emergency.

"That's where they were meant to go in a situation like that," says Sonya Rockhouse, the mother of one of the victims. "So that's where they should have gone."

Just hours after the leaked video was taken, the mine exploded a second time.

Clearer footage filmed a few months later appears to show a breathing mask hanging out of an open bin.

Leaked Pike River Mine footage could prove there were survivors after first explosion
Photo credit: Newshub.

"There was a self-rescuer box open and eight sets of gear went missing," says father of a victim Bernie Monk. "We don't know if they went missing before the explosion or after the explosion.

"We've got a right to get those bodies back and I think the country has a right to know the truth."

The footage was only given to the families three months ago, which Ms Rockhouse says is "very upsetting".

"I've had a few tears, that's for sure... It made me feel sick and angry... frustrated."

"There's a whole different story here," Pike River widow Anna Osbourne added. "There's truth to be told and it hasn't been yet."

A police spokesman says the video was subject to considerable review, and the movement seen by the rescuers might have just been water.

Pike River Minister Nick Smith says the video isn't as significant as it seems:

"Relitigating what might or might not have been said or seen in those very dramatic days at the time of the explosion... I'm not sure that's particularly helpful for anybody."

It has taken six and a half years for the footage to emerge, making the Pike River families more and more concerned about what else has been kept from the public and making it for them, at least, an election issue.

Newshub.

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