ELEVEN miners have been taken to hospital after they were exposed to toxic gases at Fosterville gold mine, 20 km east of Bendigo.
The men had re-entered the mine after underground rock blasting yesterday afternoon.
They suffered breathing problems after being exposed to toxic gases, and had to be helped to the surface.
Ten men were taken to Bendigo Hospital, while another man, 41, was airlifted to Melbourne in a critical condition.
The toxic gases were said to include nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and, possibly carbon monoxide.
The mine, operated by Perseverance Corporation, is investigating the cause of the incident.
“Until the reason for the incident has been determined, works in that area of the mine have been discontinued,” Perseverance executive general manager Mark Mitchell said.
Fosterville is Victoria’s second biggest gold mine after Stawell, also operated by Perseverance, with annual production of around 80,000 ounces.