Miner to face court over smoking in underground mine

A former Bowen basin mine worker will face court later this month after allegedly smoking in an underground mine.

In April last year, a contract worker Peabody Energy's North Goonyella mine near Moranbah, was fired for allegedly lighting a cigarette while working underground.

A spokesperson for the Department of Mines and Energy told the ABC after the man's coworkers smelt smoke he was quickly located and taken to the surface.

The man was immediately sacked and months of investigations by The Department of Natural Resources and Mines have found the 24-year-old New Zealand National breached the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act.

The man is due to face Rockhampton Magistrates Court later this month.

The charges against him carry a maximum penalty of $50,000 fine or up to six months in jail.

The news comes after Queensland's mining industry had one of its most unsafe years in more than a decade in 2012.

According to the Queensland Mines and Quarries Safety Performance and Health Report, while fatalities were down from three to one, the number of lost time injuries and injury frequency rate, as well as the number of high potential incidents reported actually increased year on year.

Meanwhile in the U.S.A , a former coal miner in Pennsylvania was charged with risking a catastrophe after being accused of smoking inside an underground mine.

Donald Adams, 51, was also charged with reckless endangerment for the incident that prosecutors say occurred on August 23, 2012.

There were 117 miners working at the mine at the time.

Image: www.in8.uk.com

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