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Australia Henty gold miner's loader buried after ground below gave way, union says

06:05  26 january  2020
06:05  26 january  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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A Tasmanian miner presumed killed in an underground collapse has been named as the recovery Efforts to find Mr Goss at Henty Gold Mine on the state' s west coast took a turn for the worse on Mr Goss had been operating a loader 700 metres underground when workmates lost contact with him

Pictured: Much-loved Tasmanian gold miner , 44, who was buried alive in a rock collapse 700metres underground - as the recovery mission for his body Efforts to find Mr Goss at Henty Gold Mine on the state' s west coast took a turn for the worse on Friday, with the rescue mission becoming a recovery

A CAT R1600G loader, similar to those in use at the Henty gold mine. (PYBAR)© Provided by ABC Business A CAT R1600G loader, similar to those in use at the Henty gold mine. (PYBAR)

New details have come to light about how tragedy struck a on Tasmania's west coast — and who was working with him at the time.

The miner, named yesterday as 44-year-old Cameron John Goss, of Queenstown, is presumed dead after a collapse at the Henty Gold Mine near Zeehan early on Thursday morning.

The national arm of the union representing workers at the mine site said it believed the ground underneath Mr Goss's loader caved in after he picked up a second load of earth, plunging his machine down a 15-metre deep crevasse that had not existed moments before.

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Police say it is highly unlikely a missing miner has survived an earth collapse at Henty gold mine on The man believed to be a Queenstown local was working in the lower levels of the mine in a loader , filling Inspector Lefevre said emergency services had come as close as 50 metres from where the

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The national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, Daniel Walton, said it was not clear why the section of earth collapsed.

"He was operating down there with one of his workmates, completing a load and having done so, went back to an area which he had previously been operating in.

"The road beneath him has given way, causing him to fall a number of metres down, somewhere in the vicinity of 10 to 15 metres."

Truck accident© ABC Truck accident

On Friday, Tasmania Police and mining services contractor PYBAR said an assessment of 3D scans and thermal imagery had led them to the conclusion that "with the amount of debris that has fallen into that scene, we think it is highly unlikely the missing miner has survived".

PYBAR's Brendan Rouse on Friday said the loader was "half covered in rock", with the "cabin completely underneath the rock … [it is] unlikely someone could have survived that."

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  Worker killed in Tasmanian gold mine named The worker killed in the gold mine collapse on Tasmania's west coast is named as 44-year-old Cameron John Goss. Mr Goss was working in the Henty Gold Mine, near Zeehan and Queenstown in Tasmania's west, on Thursday when a section of the mine collapsed about 4:00am.His colleagues raised the alarm, with search teams using a drone with 3D laser technology to survey the area.On Friday, police said "using the imagery and technical information to assess the site, it can only be concluded that he died in the incident".

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Mr Walton said the edges of the hole the loader had fallen into were unstable, showering dirt and debris onto the machine and hampering the recovery mission.

"Where the road has given way is quite precarious, it's quite difficult for anyone to get access to it to perform a recovery or to make a true assessment of what is required to make that recovery," Mr Walton said.

Mr Walton agreed with the police assessment that it was "highly unlikely" Mr Goss would be found alive.

"As time has gone on, it's got harder and harder, and yesterday the transition turned from a rescue to recovery."

"Now it's with the experts, be it rescuers, be it engineers, be it geologists, to unveil a safe course of action having full knowledge of what's actually happening underground."

Truck accident© ABC Truck accident

Grandson of miner killed in 2014 was working at Henty

The loss of Mr Goss marks the fifth mining death in the area in six years.

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The tragedy at Henty came almost six years to the day since Michael Welsh, 55, died during an underground mud rush at the nearby Mt Lyell Copper Mine.

The ABC understand Mr Welsh's 19-year-old grandson was working with Cameron Goss at the Henty mine on Thursday when the accident happened.

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Efforts to find the man at Henty Gold Mine took a turn for the worse on Friday, with the rescue The man had been operating a loader 700 metres underground when workmates lost contact with him 'Unfortunately a gold miner went to work and never come home.' The rock collapse happened in

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The circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Welsh at Mt Lyell are the subject of an inquest which is set to resume in May this year.

The inquest is also examining the deaths of two other mine workers, Alistair Lucas and Craig Gleeson, who fell to their deaths in the same mine six weeks before Mr Welsh was killed.

Tasmanian coroner Simon Cooper has travelled to the Henty site to begin an investigation into Mr Goss's death.

Truck accident© ABC Truck accident

On its website, PYBAR lists two different types of loaders in use at Henty, the "Cat R1600G and Cat R1300G".

It is unclear what type of loader Mr Goss was using at the time of last Thursday's accident.

The Henty mine operations extend to a depth of around 800 metres. It is unclear how deep underground Mr Goss was when the accident happened.

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a gold miners ’ bunkhouse after Typhoon Mangkhut set off a landslide, burying the remote northern town of Itogon in a river of debris, officials said mining town of Itogon as workers looking for bodies dug through the mud using shovels and their bare hands — the ground too wet for heavy machinery.

Mr Walton estimated it could take "long days if not weeks" to retrieve Mr Goss's body from where he is thought to be trapped.

Seek help if you need it, colleagues urged

Mr Walton declined to comment on safety measures in place at Henty.

"In the fullness of time, with the coroner involved, they'll be making a fully formed view into how this happened … it would be premature to make any calls on the future of the Henty Mine."

He estimated around 30 of the 120-strong workforce would have been working at the site at the time of the accident.

He urged anyone who had been affected by the loss of their friend or loved one to seek help.

"Everyone in the town shouldn't waste a second to reach out for help, professional help, if they need it — because this is incredibly difficult," he said.

Mr Rouse said PYBAR was "devastated and saddened by these recent developments and our thoughts and prayers are with our missing colleague's family, friends and workmates. We have been in constant contact with family members and continue to provide as much support as we can.

"We are also working to address the impact of this incident on management, staff and emergency personnel through the provision of onsite support and counselling services.

"Staff across all PYBAR operations are being provided support and counselling and have been encouraged to remain focused on their safety and also the welfare and safety of their fellow crews and workmates".

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