Deidre Mussen at The Press reports:

’s mine manager job-hunted in the minutes after its fatal November 2010 explosion despite knowing power and communications had been lost, the inquiry into the deaths of 29 men has heard.

His revelation prompted one of the dead men’s mothers to call out: “This is while my boy was dying, Jesus Christ,” before she fled in tears from the royal commission into the tragedy.

Former general manager Doug White began giving evidence in Greymouth District Court yesterday, his second time in the inquiry’s witness stand.

Commission lawyer Simon Mount said White emailed two people at 4.02pm and 4.03pm on November 19, 2010, less than 15 minutes after being told communication and power had been lost to the underground West Coast mine. It exploded at 3.45pm that day.

He was the mine general manager and he had been told the mine had lost power and communications, and he carried on with his e-mail!

I would have thought the general manager would immediately drop everything else, and personally co-ordinate the efforts to establish what has happened in the mine. A loss of power and communications is no minor incident.

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