A worker has been fired for not following emergency procedures when a truck caught fire at Newmont Waihi Gold's underground mine.
The company has released its accident investigation report on the July 17 event, detailing the incidents which led up to the fire and subsequent safe rescue of 28 miners who were underground at the time.
The company said, in a statement, that a separate review of staff actions during the emergency found one staff member who was underground at the time of the incident did not follow emergency procedures and had been dismissed as a result. The company would not comment further as it was an employment matter.
Newmont's report said there were four trucks hauling ore to the surface when a driver noticed a burning smell and white smoke and later a spark coming from the engine. He left the vehicle and caught a lift to the portal on another truck where the stench gas was activated and all personnel underground proceeded to their closest refuge chambers where they waited rescue. They were rescued later that day and the fire allowed to burn out.
The review found that the truck's fire suppression system did not cover the underside of the hydraulic componantry where the fire started and this would be reviewed along with their start-up inspection checks.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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