AMSJ » BREAKING |Fatal mining accident Curragh mine

BREAKING |Fatal mining accident Curragh mine

Curragh fatal mine accident

BREAKING NEWS | A mineworker has been killed in a fatal machinery accident at the Curragh mine on the 12th of January, 2020.

The Queensland Ambulance Service says that Paramedics were called to the Curragh site just after 4.26 pm following reports that a mineworker being trapped in machinery.

The QAS says that “The male mineworker suffered critical injuries.” It is believed the mineworker was 33 years old and worked for CIMIC Thiess.

The site’s owner Coronado Global Resources (ASX CRN), released an official statement on the fatal incident this morning (see below).

AMSJ has also contacted CIMIC Thiess and Golding Contractors. CIMIC Thiess and Golding run contracts at the site. Thiess has been a major contractor at the site since 2004.

AMSJ will update details as they come to hand (see below). The latest fatality is the first for the Queensland Mining industry this year and follows a horrific eighteen months where seven other mineworkers have died in accidents.

A member of the Queensland Mine Safety Inspectorate and a Union Official are reportedly in attendance with Police at the site gathering evidence for the Coroner.

In 2010 a 55-year-old mineworker (James Brunswick from Woombye) was also killed at the Curragh mine when he became trapped after a vehicle rolled over. According to the investigation information available, the worker was fatally injured in the troop carrier rollover incident. Several causal factors were identified at the time of the investigation including a wet/dry interface point on the road and that the mineworker was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the incident.

More to come…..


UPDATED 10.49 pm: We understand that the employee was at Curragh Main at the time of the incident.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth told the Courier Mail that CFMEU safety inspectors were attending the site and would conduct a thorough and independent investigation. “We are shocked and saddened at the death of a mine worker at Curragh coal mine today,” he said.”Our hearts go out to family, friends and workmates. This is a terrible start to 2020 and the industry must redouble efforts to end the tragic loss of life in our mines.”

UPDATED 8:55 am Queensland Mines Department issues a statement on the incident:

“Sadly, the Queensland Mines Inspectorate was notified of an incident on the evening of 12 January which has resulted in the death of a mine worker at Curragh Coal Mine, near Blackwater in Central Queensland. Our thoughts are with the family of the worker, colleagues, and the local community. Mines inspectors are onsite and have commenced their investigation into the nature and cause of this tragic incident. As our investigation has just commenced we are unable to provide further information at this time.”

UPDATED 9:26 am 13/1/2019 Coronado Resources have issued a statement on the incident stating:

“Coronado and Thiess extend their deepest sympathies to the family of the individual and to all those affected by this tragic incident. Operations at Currago have been suspended until investigators permit the operation to resume. Workers are being progressively being briefed on the incident as they arrive on-site to commence their shift and the company has made counseling services available. Further updates on mine operations will be provided in due course”

UPDATED 10:31 am Statement released by QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane, Queensland Resources Council

“The Queensland Resources Council is saddened by the tragic news of a worker’s death at the Curragh coal mine near Blackwater. On behalf of the industry, QRC offers condolences to the worker’s family, friends and workmates. The resources industry is tight-knit, so this tragedy will deeply affect everyone who works in and with the resources community. Safety is always the resources sector’s number one priority. The industry is working with the Queensland Government and unions to ensure an ongoing safety focus to maximise safety across the sector.”

UPDATE 10.33 AM Stephen Smyth from the CFMEU tells the ABC.

CFMEU district president Steve Smyth said he understood the man had been working as a Thiess contractor. He said the past two years had been the worst period for mining safety in recent history.

“I’m lost for words, a fatal accident in the mining industry a couple of weeks into the new year … this appears to be a continuation of what occurred last year, it’s absolutely terrible”.

Stephen Smyth CFMEU Queensland District President

“Since about 1994 to be honest, this is the worst, statistically and unfortunately fatality-wise, this is the worst time we’ve seen. “I’m really at a loss. Something’s got to occur, we had a safety reset last year. We said one reset wasn’t going to fix it, but there’s certainly going to be a deep dive into why this is happening. We’ve got to stop this spate of fatalities. We’ve got to take more firm action. If that means walking off the job we’ve got to do it.”

Mr. Smyth told the ABC the casualization in the resource industry was contributing to the increase in fatal accidents. We used to walk off the job when we lost one of our comrades at the workplace for 24 hours as a show of respect, that’s what should be happening as a minimum across the industry then people will take notice. Workers are even too concerned to do that for fear of getting fines or sacked. The industry is in a really terrible state of affairs when it comes to pressure on people on the job.”

UPDATED 10:45 amShare price for Coronado takes a tumble

Shares have fallen 2.6% this morning on news of the mining fatality at Curragh mine.

UPDATED 10:51 am Queensland Opposition says mine safety overhaul is needed in wake of LATEST DEATH

UPDATED 12:10 pm Queensland Politician calls for Mines Minister Dr. Anthony Lynham to resign in midst of mine safety crisis.

“Today I have called for Labor’s Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham to resign. Why? Well, yesterday afternoon at the Curragh coal mine, near Blackwater, we had yet another fatality on the CQ coalfields. That’s eight (8) fatalities in 20 months & you can’t have a Mines Minister staying in the job with that sort of record. In anyone’s language, it’s utterly disgraceful & worse still, we have the Palaszcuk Labor Government failing to embrace all of the recommendations of the Parliament’s Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis (CWP) Select Committee, which started with the recommendation to set up the Mine Safety & Health Authority in Mackay. How do I know this? Because I was part of that committee which travelled here, there & everywhere doing its job in the hope of making the system better. Sadly, that hasn’t happened & along the way, more & more fatalities on our coalfields. It’s just not good enough. If Dr. Lynham won’t quit, then the Premier needs to step up & sack him…simple as that.”

UPDATED 13/1/2019 7:22 pm Name of mineworker released

The name of the mineworker killed at the Curragh mine has been released. Donald Rabbitt, 33, Tyre Fitter formerly of Goondiwindi. 

UPDATED 13/1/2019 8:48 pm Statement by Acting Minister for Mines Mark Ryan

Acting Mines Minister Mark Ryan said inspectors were on-site investigating the accident. “My thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of the mine worker,” he said. “I do not want to make any comment about this particular incident, both out of respect for everyone affected, and in light of the independent investigation.

“Any death in our resources workplaces is unacceptable, and this Government is committed to working with employers, unions and peak bodies to continue to improve protections for our workers. This Labor Government has already extensively reformed mine safety and health over the past five years.”

He said “Queensland now has the toughest mine safety and health laws in the world. There is further reform to come. We will introduce legislation this year to make industrial manslaughter an offence, as it is in other Queensland workplaces, and we have legislation before the Parliament to establish an independent resources health and safety authority.”

What was the cause of the accident that the mineworker died in at Curragh Mine?

It’s too early to say. Basic information has only been released at this stage. The worker was reportedly working on a mining equipment float at Curragh Main mine workshop. An equipment float is like a low loader and is used to move mining equipment around a mine site. It is believed that during tyre changeout on the float the mineworker was fatally injured. The mineworker’s father has told media that he believes that his son was fatally injured when a 4.5-tonne tyre fell on him.
mining floatTyre Handler

Was the worker working alone?

At this stage the company has not released a statement on this issue. The father of the miner has been advised that the mineworker may have been working alone. AMSJ will update the industry as information comes to hand.

Has the company made a statement in relation to the death of the mineworker at Curragh mine?

Yes, a statement has been supplied by the site owners, Coronado Global Resources. See the above summary of the statement. You can also read more information here

Which company did the employee who was fatally injured work for?

The mineworker worked for Thiess Mining Services. In September 2019 Thiess was awarded a six-year A$1.3 billion contract extension by Coronado Global Resources Inc to provide mining services at the Curragh Mine in Queensland, Australia.

What was the name of the mineworker who was tragically killed at the Curragh mine?

Donald Rabbit, Tyre Fitter formerly of Goondiwindi.
Donald Rabbitt

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  • Thiess, and yes Safety, why, because a few tyre fitters have had accidents across Australia. I was working in a site in WA, and the tyre compliance (THA or a JHA) was not signed, and yes tyre fitter were working on a site working on tyres.
    Another employee said that the cost was difficult working in Thiess.
    Yes this employee passed away.

    • Your comment makes no sense whatsoever. This is a tragic incident which should never have occurred, I too have worked for Thiess, formerly Leighton, not only on the east coast but the west as well, both as an operator and as a mining supervisor and I can tell you don’t be so quick to blame Thiess as a company for allowing this to happen, so many times I have been involved in investigations where the client or mine owner place unrealistic targets and pressure on not only the leadership team but the crew as a whole as well. It is every individuals responsibility to ensure their own safety, this tragedy should never have occurred, regardless of who the company was he was employed by my question is why was he working alone especially changing tires on a 785 float. Every person onsite has a duty of care to ensure their own safety, it is not always the company who is liable when accidents occur, we have all been inducted and all had the safety talk rammed into us that every task has to be risk assessed, had an assessment been completed the individual would have picked up as one of the risks and hazards that working alone with a tire handler and 5 tonne tire was of a risk greater than at an acceptable level and therefore would possibly have stopped and requested assistance. We must all be vigilant not only at work but in our private lives as well, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this fellow worker and really hope a lot more people learn from this incident. Safety starts with you, if it is not safe, stop, make it safe.

AMSJ April 2022