The Chief Coroner has found that the 29 dead miners in Pike River died within minutes of the initial explosion. While not the final word on the disaster, it is reassuring to family and friends that any suffering was relatively brief.
Chief Coroner Neil MacLean found the Pike River miners would have died either from the impact of the blast or from the poisonous atmosphere it created in the mine.
Evidence showed those that survived the explosion would have lost consciousness and died from hypoxic hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, within minutes, he said.
The focus will soon shift to the Royal Commission.