Equipment that killed miner had previously malfunctioned

The equipment that crushed and killed a worker under ten tonnes of coal waste at Xstrata's Ravensworth mine in 2009 had malfunctioned previously, an inquiry has heard.

According to the Newcastle Herald the bin that was programmed to dump waste into trucks had previously released two loads within seconds of each other before the truck driver was ready.

Yesterday the inquiry found that a programming fault could have been the cause of 59 year-old David Oldknow's death after coal waste collapsed on his truck.

The Newcastle Herald reports the inquest has also found Oldknow's death may have been caused by using a different drive pattern to avoid corrosive liquid pouring from the bin.

Yesterday workers at the mine told the inquest how they had used their hands to recover Oldknow immediately after the accident.

One of the workers said he "never went back" to Ravensworth after the accident.

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