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Box Flat Mine 1972

31/07/1972 - Box Flat Mine - Explosion / Gas Explosion, Coal Dust Explosion

The Box Flat Mine disaster occurred on the 31 July 1972 when 17 miners lost their lives after an underground gas explosion, 14 men who were working in the vicinity of the explosion and three miners who were working on a belt adjacent to the mine entrance. A mine worker who was sent to investigate the explosion died later as a result of his injuries and some workers at the surface were also injured in the explosion.

The incident was the worst mining disaster in Ipswich's history.  After the explosion the mine closed and the tunnel's entrances were sealed.  The miners' bodies were never retrieved from the mine.

This accident claimed the lives of 17 people, these were: A. C. Haywood, B. H. Randolph, B. Rasmussen, D. T. Reinhardt, H. C. Reinhardt, J. D. Roach, J. J. McNamara, K. F Cobbin, L. A. Rogers, M. J. Tait, M. Verrenkamp, R. L. Jones, W. A. Marshall, W. B. Williams, W. M. Murphy, W. R. Drysdale, W.A Drewett

Recommendations

1. A Safety in Mines Organisation be established.

2a) That a literature review be performed of material concerning the fighting of mine fires and that a concise, easily read manual covering the cardinal principles of dealing with mine fires be produced.

b) That senior personnel from all branches of the coal mining industry be brought together in groups to be advised by a fully competent person on the developments in techniques in fire fighting, of new equipment available, of explosive mixtures generated by a fire, of the production of water gas and on kindred matters.

3. COAL DUST

4. FIRE FIGHTING

5. MINE GASES

6. VENTILATION

7.  FOAM GENERATORS

8.  SPALL FROM RIBS

9.  That any person who is appointed to make technical decisions that effect the Manager’s authority regarding the safety of the mine must be qualified as a Manager under the Act and shall be responsible under the Act.