Government to hold inquiry into mine disaster, says Key

A Commission of inquiry into the coalmine disaster is likely to be held, Prime Minister John Key says.

Mr Key spent yesterday morning in Greymouth and travelled to the mine site.

Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson was also at the mine and briefed the Cabinet on the crisis yesterday afternoon.

Mr Key said Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee would stay on at the mine for the time being.

The explosion at the mine was a "highly, highly irregular event" and the Government would try to establish the cause once the rescue effort was over, he said.

"There will be an inquiry, if not inquiries, into what has taken place at Pike River.

"I don't want to speculate on the nature of those inquiries, nor what they may or may not find. We need to understand better what's gone on and why and in due course we'll seek to find those answers."