Kianga No. 1 Mine Explosion 1975

20/09/1975 - Kianga No 1 - Explosion / Gas Explosion, Coal Dust Explosion

At approximately 5.10p.m. on September 20, 1975, an explosion occurred in the underground workings of the Kianga No. 1 mine in Central Queensland. Thirteen men who were underground at the time attempting to seal off a heating in the 4 North Section were killed.

As a result of the fatalities an inquiry was held in Rockhampton, conducted by the mining warden with assistance from four persons having practical mining knowledge. The inquiry commenced on November 10, 1975, and closed on November 24, 1975.

During the inquiry evidence showed the mine to be worked by a bord and pillar system. The seam being worked was not extracted to the full height and the coal was liable to spontaneous combustion. Methane had also been found in the workings.

The inquiry found that an explosion was initiated by a spontaneous combustion source which ignited inflammable gas and was propagated involving coal dust. The explosion flame front did not reach the surface.

This accident claimed the lives of 13 people, these were: Bruce Douglas Elliott, Clifford John Strudwick, Eric Leslie Fletcher, George Sidney Widt, James Clarence Ferris, John Raymond Tebbit, Kevin John Widderick, Leslie Arthur Deeth, Leslie Gordon Williams, Mervyn James Walker, Michael Lennox Cariage, Murray William Martin, Ronald Thomas Linderburg


It was recommended by the inquiry that:-

(a) the knowledge of all member of the coal mining industry in queensland be upgraded with regard to spontaneous combustion.

(b) changes be made in the Queensland Coal Mining Act to provide for:

additional protection against the propagation of coal dust explosions,

  • monitoring or sampling of ventilation,
  • preparatory seals and the recognition and delineation of responsibilities of persons with technical authority superior to a manager.

(c) additional analytical facilities to be provided for the industry.