Longreach miner Sid Cuddy.
Longreach miner Sid Cuddy. Contributed

Popular Longreach miner dies in trench accident

EXPERIENCED Longreach miner Sid Cuddy was found dead in an opal mine in country so remote it took emergency services about six hours to reach him.

Authorities were alerted to the incident about 4pm on Saturday after a friend of the man visited the small open cut mine, located on a station between Winton and Jundah, and noticed a trench had collapsed and was covered in dirt and rock.

A marathon six-hour four-wheel-drive through remote desert country was then undertaken by two police officers and one member of the Queensland Fire and Emergency services.

When officers arrived they found the trench and then had to dig down two metres, with their bare hands, in an effort to save the 62-year-old man.

When they reached him, he was dead.

Police say the cause of the collapse remains unknown however it is being treated as non-suspicious and Workplace Health and Safety and the Department of Mines and Energy will be advised of the incident while a report is prepared for the coroner.

The Central Queensland town is in mourning.

Queensland Boulder Opal Association vice-president Colin Duff spoke to The Courier Mail and described him as "legendary”.

"He will be missed because he was a legendary sort of guy and I know he helped a lot of people.”

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