Third explosion rocks New Zealand's Pike River mine

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Wellington, Nov 26 (ANI): A third explosion roared through New Zealand's Pike River mine on Friday almost a week to the minute after an earlier blast caused the country's worst mining disaster in decades, killing 29 people.

A first blast took place in the Pike River mine at 3:44pm last Friday, and the second one rocked New Zealand on Wednesday killing 29 trapped men in the mine.

According to stuff.co.nz, this explosion was smaller than the previous two blasts and no injuries were reported.

Pike River chairman John Dow said that the blast had occurred at 3:39pm.

"It lasted about 20 seconds and was smaller in magnitude than previous ones," he added.

The third blast will not affect planning for recovering the bodies of dead miners. Officials have said it could take weeks or months to complete the recovery operation.

"The environment continues to remain unstable. The plans we have in place will continue. We have expected this will always be a possibility," he said.

Meanwhile Police Minister Judith Collins has said that Pike River Coal would fully co-operate with all inquiries.

A national memorial service is to be held Thursday (December 2) in Greymouth, the main town on the west coast of the South Island, which overlooks the hills where the dead miners are entombed, it added. (ANI)

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