Miners recovered from Austar Mine

The body of Phillip Grant was recovered from the Austar underground coal mine at approximately 4:50pm on Thursday afternoon.

Jamie Mitchell’s body was recovered from the mine earlier that morning.

The deceased coal miners were transferred to John Hunter Hospital for examination by the coroner.

The recovery operations were led by Mines Rescue NSW and began at 2am Thursday morning following a risk assessment of the site.

Yancoal Australia said the recovery was conducted mostly by hand under challenging conditions.

Jamie Mitchell, 49, and Phillip Grant, 35, along with fiveother miners were working with a continuous miner on Tuesday April 15 when acatastrophic rock burst, or “pressure bump” caused a 15 metre long wall of coalto collapse, covering the men and the continuous mining machine in many tonnesof coal.

It is believed the two men were killed instantly, as they were working on the side of the machine nearest to the rib of coal that collapsed.

Two other members of the work crew were positioned on the other side of the machine, and remained unscathed.

Yancoal Australia CEO Reinhold Schmidt thanked the members of the Mines Rescue team, emergency services and Yancoal employees for their efforts in the recovery operation.

“We continue to offer our support to the families and colleagues of Mr Grant and Mr Mitchell at this very difficult time,” he said.

An investigation into the cause of the incident is being conducted by the Mine Safety Office of the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Infrastructure and Services.

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