Miners rocked by BMA fatality

BLACKWATER miners have been rocked by the death of a colleague after a BMA employee died when a mine bus reportedly rolled on to him yesterday.

Authorities are investigating the fatality at the mine site after a raptor vehicle, used to transport workers, rolled on a down ramp near the open cut mine.

The mine worker had two children and two grandchildren, a statement from BMA said.

Mine management reported the vehicle, believed to be a mini bus, was transporting workers during a change of shift.

The transporter reportedly rolled over just before 7am yesterday.

As a precaution, Blackwater BMA yesterday stopped its on-site operations and sent home its workers until further notice.

A Department of Natural Resources and Mines spokesman says a report will be prepared for the coroner.

The mine worker's next of kin have been notified of the incident.

Authorities did not name the victim.

A BMA miner who was at the Blackwater Hotel Motel yesterday said the mine worker involved in the fatality was pinned to the ground by the mining vehicle after it rolled on to him.

Queensland Mining and Energy division president Stephen Smyth yesterday called on BHP Billiton to be more open and transparent in the investigation of the BMA Blackwater fatality.

He said the mining union knew very little about the tragedy.

This death follows one last month when a Callide Mine worker was killed in Moura after a tyre exploded.

It is the fourth mining death in 12 months following two at Grasstree coal mine.

"These companies have played hard ball with the union in the past," Mr Smyth said. "We don't want them to obstruct the union in these matters.

"This is another worker who won't be going home to his family at the end of his shift... our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this terrible time."

Central Queenslanders took to Facebook to pass on their condolences to family and friends of the miner.

"My thoughts go out to all the D Crew Prestrip boys," one Facebook user wrote.

He went on to say: "Spend time with your friends and family and let them know how much you cherish them, life can be taken away so easily."



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