Man dies as tyres explodes at Queensland mine
THE tyre on a large mining truck exploded at the Dawson mine, just outside Moura, about 4.30am (AEST) on Monday.
The injured man suffered a possible fractured shoulder. It’s the latest in a string of similar fatalities that has unions considering the need for a new education campaign and better inspection processes to ensure dangerous tyres are not left on vehicles.
Investigators from the Mining Inspectorate, a division of the Department of Resources and Natural Environment, will lead an investigation into the cause of the accident. Union officials are also heading to the site.
Anglo American, which has a 51-per cent stake in and operates the mine, and mine contractor Leighton Holdings are due to issue statements later in the day.
The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union says the circumstances of the Dawson mine incident are still being established. CFMEU senior vice president Mitch Hughes told AAP it wasn’t clear if the incident happened during a tyre change or whether the men were simply standing beside the truck when the tyre exploded. He said a number of factors could cause tyres on large mining vehicles to explode, including damage caused by rocks, heat, and general wear and tear. But, he said, it was best practice to release pressure from tyres before they were changed to eliminate the risk of explosion.
Anglo American later said the mine site’s operations had been suspended.
The incident involved two contractors, it said.”At this point in time, our focus will be on ensuring the safety of all people at the mine site while the incident is being managed,” the company said in a statement.” Anglo American’s employee assistance program has been made available to provide support and counselling to employees as required.”
SIMILAR MINING DEATHS IN RECENT YEARS
* Dec 18, 2010: A mine worker in his 50s is killed while changing a tyre on a large mine truck at the Foxleigh coal mine, in central Queensland’s Bowen Basin, also 71-per cent owned by Anglo American
* Aug 8, 2005: A 29-year-old contractor is killed by an exploding tyre on a coal hauling truck at the Foxleigh mine
* Feb 9, 2004: A 47-year-old man is killed and a second is seriously injured while changing a truck tyre in the workshop of the Pasminco Century zinc mine in far northwest Queensland
* Nov 14, 1996: A man in his 30s is killed when a tyre explodes on a crane at the Bullabulling mine, in the West Australian Goldfields.