The Queensland Government has vowed to investigate the death of a coal miner near the town of Emerald overnight.
The man, aged in his 60s from Bribie Island, suffered significant injuries after part of the ceiling and wall of the Gregory Crinum Mine, north of the agriculture and mining town of Emerald, collapsed.
He died at the scene, while two other men were hospitalised.
9News understands it was his first week back underground after time off from the industry.
The man’s family were notified of his death this morning.
Shane Brunker from CMFEU Mining and Energy said he sent his “condolences to the family and friends of our lost brother”.
“Union check inspectors are attending the site and will undertake a thorough, independent investigation,” Mr Brunker said.
Two others were injured, including a 25-year-old man who was trapped in the rubble for four hours before he was rescued and airlifted to Rockhampton Base Hospital.
“Our patient was treated for lower limb injuries and stabilised on scene,” Patrick Norton from RACQ Capricorn Rescue said.
“The patient was transported in a serious but stable condition based on the injuries he suffered.”
Another man was taken to Emerald Hospital but has now been discharged.
The three men were working underground in the Gregory Crinum coal mine, north-east of Emerald.
They were doing work on the conveyer belt which transports the coal to the surface, rebolting and securing the roof, when the rock gave way and partially collapsed.
The mine remains closed indefinitely as Resources Safety and Health Queensland inspectors conduct their investigation into the cause of the fatal incident.
Bought by the Sojitz corporation in 2019, the mine has been closed for 14 years.
In that time it has flooded. It is currently undergoing maintenance before reopening.
“This really slams it home that we’ve got issues in the environment in the underground sector,” Mr Brunker said.
It is the ninth death in a Queensland mine in three years, after the industry recently underwent a safety reset.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart pledged in Parliament that a thorough investigation will take place.
“Any loss of life on our mine sites is unacceptable,” Mr Stewart said.
“It is my expectation that the Mines Inspector will investigate this incident thoroughly and with diligence.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk offered her condolences to the late miner’s family.
“I can assure Queenslanders this matter will have a thorough investigation by Resources Health and Safety Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Minerals Council of Australia CEO Tania Constable also expressed her condolences.
“We acknowledge the additional impact on friends, emergency responders and colleagues and we wish the two injured workers well on their recovery,” she said.
“The minerals industry is committed to, and working hard on, eliminating fatalities, injuries and occupational illnesses, with a strong focus on building and sustaining respectful workplaces.”