AN investigation is underway into the death of a worker, killed in a horror accident at a coal mine in Central Queensland.
The man was reportedly operating a digger on a shelf inside the Middlemount mine in the Bowen Basin, when the wall collapsed sometime after 2:00 pm on Wednesday.
Emergency services frantically tried reaching the man, who was trapped in the digger buried beneath the rubble, but sadly he could not be saved and died on site.
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It’s believed to be the third fatal mining accident in the Bowen Basin in six months, according to the ABC.
In a statement, Middlemount Coal CEO Gerrie Jordaan said operations at the mine, located about 90km southeast of Emerald, have been suspended “until further notice”.
“It is with great sadness that Middlemount Coal regrets to advise of the loss of one of its valuable team members in a mine site incident this afternoon [Wednesday]”,”Mr Jordaan said.
“The welfare of the family of the deceased and the safety of our people are our highest priorities.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to family and friends at this time and we have offered the company’s full support to them to deal with their devastating loss.
“We are deeply saddened by this news and … are working closely with emergency services and relevant authorities on this incident.”
On Thursday afternoon, Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham confirmed a thorough investigation was underway.
“My deepest sympathy goes out to the family, friends and colleagues of the mine worker who died in yesterday’s incident,” Dr Lynham said.
“Every single worker deserves to come home safe at the end of every day. For that not to happen is a terrible tragedy.
“There will be a thorough investigation by the Mines Inspectorate, as there is with every mining incident.
“Every effort will be made to ensure the ongoing safety of all our mine workers.”
Workplace Health and Safety are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.