FMG’s dongas not built to cyclone strength

An inquest
into the death of two people at FMG’s Rail
Camp One has heard the dongas
weren’t built to withstand strong winds.

42-year-old Craig Raabe and Perth mother-of-two Debra Till were killed
in 2007 when category-five Cyclone George ripped through the Pilbara mining
camp, lifting dongas and flipping some over.

At the first
day of the inquest held in Perth yesterday, counsel assisting the coroner Philip Urquhartsaid the dongas were not built to withstand
the force of the cyclone.

Urquhart claims evidence will show
the area on which the camps were built was given the lowest cyclone risk

This means the design and
construction of the dongas were subsequently insufficient but the oversight
meant the incorrect standards went through the whole approvals process.

“It would seem that this error in the request for tender influenced
subsequent decisions made in connection with the building and installation of
the dongas at Rail Camp One,” Urquhart said.

“It was an error that was not
picked up until after the devastation caused by Cyclone George. Bluntly put,
all the failsafes that were in place failed.”

The inquest heard Till passed away
after the donga she was sheltering in was ripped from its tie-downs and crashed
into a nearby building.

Raabe suffered critical head injuries when his donga overturned.
He died in hospital the next day.

Fourteen witnesses are set to give evidence at the ten-day inquest including

Last year FMG was cleared of any wrongdoing in
relation to the two deaths.

The Supreme Court rejected a WorkSafe appeal over the incident,
instead upholding a previous decision that Fortescue had not failed in its duty
of care.

The contractor that installed the
dongas, NT Link, was given immunity by WorkSafe as part of the court case.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.