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Blast mine goes into receivership

The New Zealand company that operates the coal mine where 29 miners including two Britons died in a series of explosions last month, has been placed in receivership.

Pike River Coal chairman John Dow said the largest shareholder, NZ Oil & Gas, has appointed accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers as receivers. The mine is expected to announce mass redundancies on Tuesday.

The first major methane-fuelled explosion ripped through the mine more than three weeks ago, and the 29 miners including Pete Rodger, 40, from Perthshire, and Malcolm Campbell, 25, from St Andrews, Scotland, were declared dead after a second major blast five days later.

Their bodies still have not been recovered because of a fire burning in a coal seam.

Details of the company's financial position have not been released.

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