Linc Energy workers gas exposure confirmed

Linc Energy are facing allegations of exposing workers to poisonous gases during the course of their employ at the experimental plant near Chinchilla, Qld.

The ABC has reported on documents which show an investigation has supported workers’ claims of ill health after “uncontrolled releases” of gas at the Chinchilla plant between 2007 and 2013.

Medical experts have confirmed the workers’ statements and medical records are consistent with symptoms of exposure to Syngas, the product from UCG, which contains carbon monoxide, benzene and toluene, among other harmful substances.

The Department of Environment has interviewed more than 90 former Linc employees, as well as consultants employed by the company, in investigating the matter.

The underground coal gasification (UCG) plant at Chinchilla recently faced accusations, by activist network Lock The Gate, of having caused an underground coal seam fire which introduced pollutants into soils south of Chinchilla.

Investigations by the Department of Environment are ongoing into the prospect of an underground coal seam fire.

A spokesperson for Linc Energy has said it is impossible for their operations to have caused an underground fire, because of the nature of the gas combustion used to turn the coal into gas suitable for fuel.