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 explosion following a major mine fire which had developed from Spontaneous Combustion. 14 men who were underground in #7 Mine with an intention to seal intake drifts between the two mines and three miners who were working to remove belt structure in preparation to seal the conveyor roadway in #5 mine. A Mines Rescue volunteer who was standing in the Deputy Cabin near the entrance to #7 Mine (along with 20 other persons) suffered severe injuries and died during surgery approximately 18 months later.

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


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.







9.  That any person who is appointed to make technical decisions that affect 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.