Thursday, January 18, 2024
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Queensland's regulator for the resources sector, Resources Safety and Health Investigation (RSHQ), has launched an investigation into an incident at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance's (BMA) Saraji mine on Monday 15 January 2024.
Two men were working in the fuel-bay area of the open-cut mine around midday when an interaction between two vehicles left a 27-year-old coal mine worker with significant crush injuries.
Luke O’Brien has been identified as the victim of a tragic incident that occurred. He was taken to Dysart Hospital but later died from his injuries.
Mr O’Brien’s mother, Yvette, shared her heartbreak on social media.
“A piece of my heart has been shattered,” she wrote.
“My baby boy is gone.”
RSHQ CEO Rob Djukic said the death will impact the entire Queensland mining community.
"We'd like to offer our sincere condolences to the family of the victim, his friends and his co-workers," said Mr Djukic.
"As soon as we were notified of the incident, we launched an investigation sending multiple investigators and inspectors from our Serious Incident Investigation Unit and Coal Inspectorate to the site.
"We're also working closely with BMA to find out what went wrong and prevent this from happening again."
The Mining and Energy Union released a statement saying the whole mining community is shocked and saddened at news of a fatality.
“We are devastated that a coal miner is not returning home at the end of their shift,” the statement read.
“Our hearts go out to friends and family. We offer our deepest thanks to first responders and support to workmates who may be traumatised.”
The union said safety inspectors were also on site to conduct a thorough investigation.
“We will ensure no stone is left unturned in understanding what has occurred and preventing future fatalities and injuries.”
Saraji Coal Mine. Photo source: Wikipedia
Luke O’Brien died due to injuries from an incident at Saraji mine near Dysart. Photo source: Yvette O'Brien