Stephen Andrew statement on the underground mine collapse at Gregory Crinum
Central Queensland’s mining community has suffered another cruel blow, with the tragic death of a mine worker at the Gregory Crinum mine near Emerald yesterday. The mine, which had been closed for 14 years, is in the process of having maintenance work done, in preparation for reopening. The accident occurred when a group of miners were carrying out roof support works underground, and a section of the wall and ceiling collapsed on them, trapping two of them for several hours.
Sadly, one of the trapped men, aged in his 60s, passed away at the scene, while the second was eventually freed and airlifted to Rockhampton with serious injuries. A third man was taken to Emerald Hospital for treatment.
Resources Safety Inspectors, together with Union inspectors, are carrying out investigations at the mine, to find out the cause of the collapse.
This is the ninth death we have had in a Queensland mine in just three years. It also follows the Moranbah mine explosion last year, which left five mine workers seriously injured.
Hopefully, this time, the inspectors can get to the bottom of what is going on to cause all these tragic and avoidable deaths and injuries in our mines.
For now, my thoughts are with all the friends, family and co-workers of these men, especially the one who tragically lost his life in this incident.
I also pay tribute to all the tens of thousands of mine workers throughout Central Queensland, who I know will be grieving the loss of another ‘brother’.
My thoughts are also with you and your families at this sad time.