08/12/2008 - 09:18

Crane failure at Wesfarmers' coal mine

08/12/2008 - 09:18

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A crane has failed during a maintenance operation at Wesfarmers' Curragh coal mine in Queensland causing major structural damage and leaving one worker injured.

Crane failure at Wesfarmers' coal mine

A crane has failed during a maintenance operation at Wesfarmers' Curragh coal mine in Queensland causing major structural damage and leaving one worker injured.

The incident involved one of the mine's five draglines.

The boom of the dragline was being lowered by four cranes and, as a result of winch failure with one of the cranes, the boom fell around 30 metres causing the injury to the crane operator and significant damage to the dragline's boom.

A full investigation into the incident has been initiated and a damage estimate will be announced soon.

In January, incidents of flooding stopped production at several coal mines in the area but the banks at the Curragh mine held.

Production was hampered, and force majeure was declared, after the waters of the Mackenzie River came within half a metre of the top of the levee banks.

Despite this, the mine achieved record metallurgical coal production in 2007/08.

Shares in Wesfarmers were up 67 cents, or 4.06 per cent, at $17.18 at 1315 AEDT.

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