A continuous miner has been buried during work in a development panel at a NSW underground coal mine in significant-high potential incident that left other mineworkers scrambling for their lives.
According to the NSW Regulator, the continuous miner was operating in a mains development panel. The mine operates in a low-stress environment (depth of coverage in the area was approximately 120m) and has a green level of support of 4 x 1.8m bolts per 1.2m of advance.
Due to some minor guttering, the panel had been working at orange level (TARP level 1) of support of 4 x 1.8m bolts per 0.6m of advance.
The continuous miner had completed an overdrive to 125m chainage and had pulled back and commenced forming the left-hand breakaway at 101m for the 110m centre cut-throughs. The continuous miner had taken an initial wedge cut out to form the outbye side of the intersection. This cut had been completed and spot bolted.
As the continuous miner commenced a second wedge cut to form the inbye corner of the intersection the roof was observed as starting to fall. The fall began on the left-hand side and continued across to the right-hand rib. The miner driver and offsider ran to the back of the shuttle car to avoid injury.
The shuttle car operator was on the shuttle car during the fall. The fall was to a height of around 2.5m above roof level. The fallen material covered the continuous miner and also landed on the back of the shuttle car.
Read the full alert on the incident here
Image: Not actual event | Image Title “Buried Continuous Miner in 1 West section, West Wallsend No. 2 Colliery, NSW, October 1977”, Image Brian R Andrews of Killingworth, NSW Source Flickr
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