GREYMOUTH, New Zealand — All 29 workers missing underground in a New Zealand coal mine are believed to have died after a second explosion, police said.
Police superintendent Gary Knowles said the second explosion occurred mid-afternoon today, almost exactly five days after the first blast in the Pike River mine.
Potentially explosive methane gas had been swirling in the mine since the initial blast, keeping rescuers from entering to search for 29 men unaccounted for.
"Today there was another massive explosion underground and based on that explosion no one would have survived," said police superintendent Gary Knowles, the head of the rescue operation. "We are now in recovery mode."