Miners evacuated at Oaky Creek No.1

NINETY-three miners working underground at Xstrata’s Oaky Creek No. 1 mine were evacuated on Friday, after non-flammable hydraulic fluid spilt onto a hot conveyor gearbox, filling the area with thick smoke.

Staff Reporter

Xstrata spokesman James Rickards told International Longwall News today that after smoke was detected at the Queensland longwall mine, all employees were evacuated within 26 minutes.

Rickards said miners close to the source of the smoke donned self-contained self-rescuers due to the high gas levels and reduced visibility.

Four people were treated for smoke inhalation after the incident, with one miner suffering a sprained ankle.

Following an investigation into the source of the smoke, mine management identified there wasn’t a fire and were able to send workers back into the mine at 6pm on Friday, Rickards said.

“We were very happy with the management of issues and all appropriate emergency procedures were followed – full credit to management and employees who worked together to evacuate the mine,” Rickards said.

He said the incident would now be used as a training example to demonstrate an effective evacuation without a critical incident, by following safety and emergency procedures “to the letter”