Safety shafted at Lightning Ridge

THE New South Wales Resources Regulator has warned of the hazards of accessing and egressing from open mine shafts, in the wake of three recent incidents at the Lightning Ridge opal fields in New South Wales.

Safety shafted at Lightning Ridge Safety shafted at Lightning Ridge Safety shafted at Lightning Ridge Safety shafted at Lightning Ridge Safety shafted at Lightning Ridge

Signs warning of the dangers at Lightning Ridge.

There are four designated opal prospecting blocks at Lightning Ridge that prospectors with opal prospecting licences can search for opals on.

In the first incident on December 16, a resident living near a disused shaft fell about 6m down the shaft and stayed there for more than 24 hours before being found and rescued.

In the second incident on April 29 a claim holder suffered spinal fractures when he fell to the bottom of a mine shaft while working on the ladder in the shaft.

On May 11 a claim holder suffered compound fractures to both ankles and a fractured femur when he fell down a shaft while using the mine shaft access ladder to exit it.

While most mine shafts are generally only a hazard to the miners using them, the shafts at Lightning Ridge ...