Lightning strike leads to tyre explosion

A LIGHTNING strike that caused tyre explosions and heavy vehicle damage at Anglo Coal’s Drayton mine in NSW in late November has prompted warnings about the destructive impact of lightning.

A LIGHTNING strike that caused tyre explosions and heavy vehicle damage at Anglo Coal’s Drayton mine in NSW in late November has prompted warnings about the destructive impact of lightning.

Three tyres exploded on the near side of a Cat 789C rear dump truck parked on the go-line shortly after lightning struck the vehicle during an afternoon storm.

The air blast and shock wave also damaged the truck and broke several windows in surrounding buildings and the windscreen of a water truck parked nearby.

Rim components were found 300 m from the truck. There were no injuries to personnel.

The company enacted recommendations stating that following a lightning strike on trucks the area should be barricaded as a no-go zone, the incident reported to the mines inspectorate, and a no-go zone be in place for at least 24 hours, then reassessed.

Resources Safety – a division of the WA Department of Consumer and Employment Protection has published a guideline on Tyre safety, fires and explosions, which is available online in the mining guidance material and publications section at www.docep.wa.gov.au/ResourcesSafety.

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