Cabin, machinery hit in explosions
THE State has been forced to sound two alerts in one month after two Central Queensland mines failed to ensure underground explosions were safely carried out.
In two separate incidents, two open-cut coal mines blasted huge volumes of dirt leading, in the first case, to rocks flying more than a kilometre and into the side of a small cabin.
In the second, a gigantic D10 bulldozer was destroyed and a digger "severely damaged" after both were left sitting inside the detonation area.
The warnings were released by the Queensland Department of Mines but specific locations were not disclosed.
According to the department, a "crib hut" sitting 1.2km from the explosive area was struck by debris.
A number of workers were standing on the edge of the defined exclusion area but were not in immediate danger.
The department blamed the wayward rocks on a ground issue that went unnoticed before detonation.
As for the two machines, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time when 400-tonnes of explosives shifted the ground by 90m.
The plan was for it to simply loosen the dirt but it managed to pelt the giant machines with rubble.
Both machines were left in the blast zone but were free of workers.
Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union safety representative Greg Dalliston said both cases put lives at risk.
He said it was a question of who was controlling the area.
"The supervisors just didn't do their job," he said.
A spokesman for Department of Mines said there were no injuries in either incident but it was still important to warn all mines about the risks.
Investigations into both incidents have now wrapped up.