Fire ignites in underground mine, workers escape

A vehicle fire in a Victorian gold mine has been brought under control, with no workers injured.

A remote operated LHD caught fire at Mandalay Resources’ Costerfield gold antimony mine yesterday, around 230 metres below the surface, according to the ABC.

The operator quickly raised the alarm, and all workers made it to the underground refuge chambers immediately.

Emergency services were soon on scene, however the fire had been extinguished by the boggers automatic fire suppression system.

“We had 28 people underground at the time, who moved to a safe place while CFA crews extinguished the fire,” the local CFA stated.

“All 28 people have been accounted for; they are safe and well and have been moved to above ground,” CFA district 2 operations office Chris Jacobson said.

“This is a great example of the mine staff having practised an emergency plan which had a successful outcome.”

It is understood that less than an hour passed between the loader catching fire and the site being given the all clear, with the night shift continuing without incident.

Similar incidents occurred in New Zealand, at the Trio and Waihi gold mines, where underground vehicles caught fire and workers were forced to evacuate to refuge chambers.

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