Gas outburst not responsible for deaths of two miners in Hunter Valley in April

AustarCoalMinePreliminary investigations into the deaths of two miners at the Austar Coal Mine in the Hunter Valley in April suggest that the rib burst event was not related to a gas outburst.

NSW Mine Safety’s Investigation Unit has released an early report into the incident which claims there was no evidence of elevated gas readings before, during or after the event.

“Given the geological features of the incident site, the investigation is examining the design of the mine, the incident site geotechnical conditions, the suitability of engineering and strata controls, the systems of mining and safe work procedures and the conditions related to the mining activities. Mining engineering and geotechnical consultants have been engaged to assist with the investigation,” the report said.

Two mine workers died on 15 April at the underground coal mine when a major rib/sidewall burst event occurred in a longwall development gate road during mining operations. Material from the rib engulfed the two workers who died at the scene. Five other members of the mining crew escaped injury and initiated the mine emergency response system.

Further analysis of data and geological conditions is continuing  and a full investigation report will be prepared for the Secretary of NSW Trade & Investment and the NSW Coroner.

Further details about the incident and the ongoing investigations are available from the NSW Mine Safety Investigation Unit Information Release.

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