Health fears from mine blast

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A Bulga local is claiming a blast from Coal & Allied’s Mount Thorley Warkworth coal mine in the Hunter Valley gave her a headache, breathing difficulties, and nausea.

According to The Singleton Argus Jan Hedley made the complaints after travelling through a red and orange plume from the mine’s blast on Friday.

She said while she was only caught in the edge of the plume she saw a doctor immediately after her exposure.

The Singleton Argus reports a Mount Thorley Warkworth spokesperson said the mine was conducting an internal investigation to reduce the likelihood of future problems.

They said precautionary measures were in place prior to the blast, including checking wind direction and closing a section of public road.

They said the closed road was only opened after mine staff had ensured the blast fume had dissipated.

Late last year a similar incident occurred at New Hope’s New Acland coal mine in Queensland after a mine blast produced potentially toxic gas near a public road.

There were no injuries reported from the New Acland blast.

When blasts go wrong they can potentially give rise to orange plumes containing nitrogen dioxide gas.

If inhaled the gas can turn into nitric acid in a person’s lungs.

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