THE Department of Mines and Energy (DME) has issued a safety alert after methane-enriched mine air caused severe internal damage to two load haul dump (LHD) vehicles during a longwall relocation in NSW.
According to the DME, two turbo-charged CAT 3126 LHD trucks were operating in a return airway when methane air entered the fuel systems and caused both engines to rev beyond their maximum speeds.
It is believed air from the longwall face short-circuited the engines and caused excess methane to be drawn from the goaf into the return air. No one was injured in the incident.
The DME is urging mine managers to develop and implement procedures to control risks associated with equipment relocation in return airways.
Mines should ensure systems are in place to allow vehicles and equipment to be safely transported without causing ventilation disruptions.
The DME is also urging mines to ensure vehicles are fitted with gas detection devices and ensure operators have been fully trained to maximise workplace safety.