Gympie man reportedly one of critically injured miners
A GYMPIE man is reportedly one of five men injured in the horrific Moranbah Grosvenor coalmine explosion last Wednesday that has left four men fighting for life with critical burns to their torsos.
Last reports indicate two 51-year-olds, and two men aged 43 and 45 were still clinging to life in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.
The fifth injured worker, aged 44, was in a "good condition".
One man is a local Moranbah man and it is understood the other men are from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
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The men were working underground at the Anglo American Grosvenor Mine in Moranbah near Mackay when an ignition of gas is believed to have caused the explosion about 3.15pm last Wednesday.
They suffered serious burns to their bodies and were initially taken to Moranbah Hospital where a nursing team treated the men for three hours before they were taken to Brisbane.
A fleet of RACQ Lifeflight Rescue Air Ambulance jets each flown the injured men to Brisbane where they were transported by QAS teams to hospital.
Four of the men who suffered burns to the upper torso and airways were intubated and were on ventilators undergoing treatment in Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.
Workmates of the five men have rallied for their comrades, raising more than $156,000 to support their families.
The B crew longwall team at the Anglo American mine started an online fundraiser when members of the A crew suffered horrific injuries in the explosion.
Organiser Robin Buchanan wrote on the Grosvenor LW Boys gofundme fundraiser:
"We work with these boys every tour. This accident has shocked us all, and this is the least we can do to assist their families.
Together let's financially assist the boys affected by the incident that occurred at Grosvenor, having a family member injured is always difficult, let's dig deep to support them."
Last week an Anglo American spokeswoman said the company was continuing to provide support to the families.
A staged re-entry to Grosvenor Mine has begun as Anglo American's Metallurgical Coal CEO Tyler Mitchelson said finding out what went wrong last Wednesday was the priority.
"Our focus remains on the care of our injured colleagues and their families, and finding out what went wrong," he said.
"Earlier today, a staged re-entry to the Grosvenor mine commenced, after our risk assessment received approval from the Mines Inspectorate.
"The staged re-entry ensures that all safety controls are in place including reconnecting the gas monitoring equipment, restoring power to the underground and pumping excess water from the mine.
"Re-entry to the mine will enable investigations into the incident to commence and we will ensure our investigation draws on the best possible expert advice.
"We will not resume mining until we are satisfied that we know what happened and how we can avoid it happening again."
Mr Mitchelson acknowledged his team for their tireless work under the challenging circumstances.
He said the company had sent home coal workers on full pay and would continue to approach things day by day as the investigation continued.