Rescues: Trapped miner dies, missing family found alive

The dead worker was one of 27 trapped underground after a mine collapse on Wednesday.

The dead worker was one of 27 trapped underground after a mine collapse on Wednesday. Photo: AAP

A miner trapped underground after a mine collapse in Ballarat has died.

Two miners were pinned by fallen rocks at the Mount Clear mine on Wednesday afternoon.

Australian Workers Union Victoria state secretary Ronnie Hayden said the union was called to the mine after the men became trapped underground about 5pm on Wednesday.

“Shortly after that, we were actually informed that one of the miners was killed at work,” Hayden told Sunrise on Thursday.

“It’s no longer a rescue – it’s now recovery.”

Police and paramedics stabilised and extracted the other man about 8.30pm on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old Ballarat man was treated for lower body injuries and flown to hospital in a life-threatening condition.

The two workers were undertaking a manual type of mining called air-legging, Hayden said.

“They were, it appears, under unsupported ground and it has collapsed,” he said.

Victoria Police confirmed shortly after 8.30am (AEDT) on Thursday that the body of the dead man, 37-year-old from eastern Victoria, had been recovered.

“The incident occurred approximately three kilometres underground from the mine entry,” police said.

“WorkSafe will investigate the incident while police will prepare a report for the coroner.”

Twenty-five other miners who were also underground in Wednesday’s collapse were able to take refuge in a safety pod. They were successfully brought to the surface soon after.

Mine owner Victory Minerals released a statement saying its emergency response team was working closely with Victoria Police and other authorities.

“Right now our priority is the safety and well-being of our mining workers and their families,” it said.

“We would like to assure the community we are working as quickly and as safely as we can to help bring this worker to the surface.”

Victory Minerals took operational control of the Ballarat Goldmine in December 2023.

“We bring significant experience and expertise to the mine. We are a safety-first mine operator and respect the work that underground miners perform every day,” it’s statement said.

The mine’s website states it has an extensive network of tunnels and operates deep beneath buildings, streets and homes.

In 2007, 27 miners were trapped underground at the mine for several hours before being winched to safety.

Ballarat Gold Mine declined to comment.

The suburb of Mount Clear was most recently also the focus of the search for mother-of-three Samantha Murphy. Local man Patrick Orren Stephenson, 22, has been charged with Murphy’s murder.

Floods at WA's Rawlinna Station

Source: Facebook

Storm-stricken family of seven located

The family group that’s been missing during wild weather in remote WA has been found safe and well.

Western Australian police said late on Wednesday the seven travellers had been found by aerial searchers.

Arrangements were being made to rescue the travellers, and provisions would be provided in the interim, police said.

Two elderly male drivers, four children aged 12 to 17 and an elderly woman set off in two cars from Kalgoorlie Boulder, about 600 kilometres east of Perth, on Sunday.

They were meant to drive about 650 kilometres north-east to the remote community of Tjuntjuntjarra but hadn’t been seen or heard since early Monday.

The group of seven were travelling in two vehicles during wild weather in WA. Photo: AAP

Improved weather meant police were able to mount an air search for the group, after efforts were hampered by storms and flooding in the previous two days.

Early on Wednesday, WA Police said the weather conditions meant helicopters and planes could not be used in the search. Conditions had improved by the afternoon and several aircraft were sent out.

There was a further warning for heavy rainfall over WA’s south-east for parts of Goldfields, Eucla and South Interior districts on Wednesday.

Flooding also continues in the state’s north, with a moderate flood warning for Fitzroy Crossing, Noonkanbah, Looma and Willare in parts of Kimberley on Thursday.

A major road connecting large parts of remote WA had been closed due to the weather. The Eyre Highway between Norseman and Eucla, in the Goldfields-Esperance region, was made accessible to vehicles on Wednesday.

A monsoon trough has redeveloped over northern Australia, bringing showers, rain, thunderstorms and a risk of tropical cyclones to the Top End, northern WA and Far North Queensland.


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.