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Australia’s worst mine disasters

Australia's worst mine disasters - links to information on mine disasters, mining disasters, mining accidents
Australia has had its' fair share of mining disasters.

With a mining industry as large as Australia’s it should come as no surprise that we have a vast history of accidents, varying in size. We’ve listed some of Australia’s worst mine disaster and provided links to our content on those disasters.

  • The worst mining disaster in the history of Australia occurred in 1902 at Mount Kembla mine and claimed the lives of 96 miners. The incident was the result of an explosion.
  • 81 miners were killed in the 1887 gas explosion in the Bulli Mine. The loss of life left 150 children fatherless and around 50 women were suddenly widows.
  • In 1898 14 men were killed in a massive methane explosion in the Dudley Colliery in Newcastle.
  • On September 6, 1908, seven miners were entombed in 3000 ton of rock during a rockfall at Mount Morgan gold mine.
  • At Mount Lyell in 1912, a disaster of epic proportions left many suffocating in the mine from a fire.
  • In 1921 a coal dust explosion in the brand new Mount Mulligan Mine caused the death of at least 75 workers. From the time of the accident to the recovery of the 75th body a full five months had passed.
  • The Briseis Tin mine in Tasmania was struck with a flooding disaster in 1929 left a town in mourning
  • The Collinsville mine disaster at the Collinsville State mine on 13 October 1954. A gas outburst – later said to have been almost pure (about 98 per cent) carbon dioxide, CO2 – left seven men dead from asphyxiation
  • An underground explosion at Kianga Mine in 1975 claimed 13 lives. The bodies were never recovered as the mine was immediately sealed.
  • Moura mine experienced another disaster, claiming 12 lives, in 1986. This, too, was due to an underground explosion.
  • A mine that had been abandoned 80 years previously became a tragedy for four men who were mining near Newcastle in 1996 in the Gretley mine disaster
  • In 1999 four miners were killed at Northparkes mine due to a wind-blast.
  • The 2006 Beaconsfield Mine disaster resulted in one death, however, it could have been much worse. 14 miners escaped immediately and two remained trapped until they were rescued 14 days later.
  • In 2014, the Hazlewood mine fire burned for 45 days and left a community in peril. It is considered a significant environmental disaster in Australian mining.

Read more Mining Safety News, information and case studies.

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