'Surreal': Pike River victim's mother reacts to discovery of human remains

Lloyd Burr 17/11/2021

LISTEN: The remains of at least two victims who died in the Pike River Mine explosion have been found.

Over a decade on from the disaster that killed 29 men, police announced on Wednesday that images taken last week showed two sets of human remains plus a possible third.

Sonya Rockhouse, the mother of Pike River victim Ben Rockhouse, said the announcement was a "bit surreal".

"To believe that actually they did find something because we'd all but given up hope," she told Lloyd Burr Live.

Rockhouse said she was told the news earlier on Wednesday and that some of the families were shown new footage from the mine, but they did not see the remains.

Up until this point, video taken from within the mine was "grainy" and not very clear. 

"My sister went [to view the footage] and she was gobsmacked at the clarity and what an incredible difference there was."

Rockhouse says she has been thinking all day about how she would feel if it was her son Ben's remains.

"I'm not quite sure how to feel or how you're meant to feel or how you're going to feel if you find out it is your loved one," she told Magic Talk.

Police said despite remains being found, they will not be able to recover them.

Listen to the full interview with Sonya Rockhouse above.

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