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Coal Inspectorate | Alert | No.405 V 1 | 14 March 2022

Failure of goaf well skid safety system

What happened?

On 10 March 2022, a severe weather event occurred in the regional areas of Moranbah. Records have identified that between 4pm and 8pm, 852 cloud to ground lightning strikes occurred in the region.

Lightning is believed to have struck one or more of three goaf gas blower skids, igniting the gas on one of them. The gas burned at the top of the evasee for an unknown period of time before being discovered by a seam gas operator who applied an emergency shutdown of the plant.

The three goaf gas blower skids were in close proximity to each other and were operating on a sealed goaf at the time of the incident.

The goaf gas blower skid was on free vent at the time of the incident, operating at approximately 156lt/sec.

The plant was running high purity of 100% methane and nil oxygen.

A mine evacuation was ordered and the plant scene was secured.

How did it happen?

A severe weather event occurred with multiple lightning strikes at the surface of an underground mine.

Goaf gas blower skids have earthing protection, Flame arrestor and detonation arrestors, by design, do not have lightning protection.

Key issues


All site senior executives should:

The mine where this incident has occurred has added withdrawal from the mine to their lightning TARP triggers while the investigation is ongoing.

Investigations are ongoing and further information may be published as it becomes available. The information in this publication is what is known at the time of writing.

We issue Safety Notices to draw attention to the occurrence of a serious incident, raise awareness of risks, and prompt assessment of your existing controls.

Authorised by Peter Newman - Chief Inspector – Coal

Contact: Paul Brown, Inspector of Mines , +61 7 3199 8001

Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland

Safety: This information is issued to promote safety through experience. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.
Placement: Place this announcement on noticeboards and ensure all relevant people in your organisation receive a copy.

All information on this page (Failure of goaf well skid safety system - is correct as of time of printing (24 May 2022 4:48 pm).