Cause of explosion at Lake Macquarie mine still unknown

The cause of an explosion at a Lake Macquarie mine remains unknown.

Two workers at Centennial’s Mandalong Mine were seriously injured last year when installing service pipes underground.

On May 17, three workers were fitting new parts when one of the workers walked over to re-energise the water pipe while the other two remained at the work area.

Somehow, an end cap blew off and high-pressured air escaped blowing the two workers off their feet.

The explosion was so powerful the entire site blacked out.

The workers, one in his 30s and another in his 40s, were both taken to hospital after suffering serious injuries. One of the men was flown to the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney with a head injury while the other man was taken to the John Hunter Hospital.

The NSW Resources Regulator has completed their investigation of the incident and were unable to pinpoint a cause so instead offered a number of safety recommendations.

The Regulator said in their final report, “After a thorough investigation, including the assessment of manufacturing specifications, hydrostatic pressure testing and magnetic particle inspection (MPI) of the plant involved, the Regulator determined there was no evidence to establish the failure of plant to be causally related to the incident. The investigation also considered human factors but was unable to establish, with any certainty, any causal link to the incident”.