Mine worker Jack Gerdes had previously worked for Golding at another project for a number of years.
Mine worker Jack Gerdes had previously worked for Golding at another project for a number of years. Lee Constable

Miner in Baralaba North tragedy identified as a CQ man

THE MINER who died in Sunday's mine tragedy has been identified as Central Queensland man Jack Gerdes.

The experienced mining operator, who had been engaged at Baralaba North coal mine since December 2018, suffered fatal injuries to his head, face and limbs after an incident in the early hours.

Mr Gerdes, who has lived in many places around Central Queensland, had previously worked for Golding at another project for a number of years.

A statement from Golding detailed how Mr Gerdes, whose family is from Mount Perry, was delivered to an excavator in the open mining pit where he was to begin waste mining activities about 1.30am on Sunday.

"The operator of the first truck to present for loading received no response from Mr Gerdes and exited the truck to check on him," the statement said.

"Subsequently the truck operator initiated the emergency response.

"Emergency responders attended the scene quickly and found Mr Gerdes on the stairs of the excavator with injuries to his head, face and limbs.

"Mr Gerdes was transported to Baralaba hospital, 5km away.

"It is believed that Mr Gerdes became caught between the body of the excavator and the safety rails of the stairs, sustaining injuries as the stairs descended.

"At this point, it remains unclear as to how this sequence of events occurred and this remains the focus of the investigation.

"No other mining equipment or personnel were involved.

"The site was immediately shut down and remains shut down at this point in time."

Golding said mining activities were expected to recommence on Wednesday 10 July, depending on the progress of the investigation.

"While the investigation is ongoing and we continue to work closely with the relevant authorities, we are now able to provide some additional information regarding this incident," the statement said.

"We previously did not include the identity of the deceased, at the request of his family.

"We can now confirm the deceased was Jack Gerdes."

Golding Chief Executive Officer Geoff Caton visited Mr Gerdes' family and partner today.

"We are committed to working with the authorities in every way possible in their investigation process," Mr Caton said.

"I'd like to reiterate our deepest condolences to Jack's family, friends and work-mates during this very difficult time."

Counselling services have been made available to all staff.

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