Allan Houston and his daughter Cassie. Alan died in a mine accident at Saraji mine on December 31, 2018.
Allan Houston and his daughter Cassie. Alan died in a mine accident at Saraji mine on December 31, 2018. Contributed

Tributes flow for Gracemere miner killed in dozer tragedy

TRIBUTES are flowing for a Gracemere man killed in a mining accident tragedy near Dysart on New Year's Eve.

Allan Houston, 49, was driving a dozer at the Saraji Mine when it rolled off a 50m high bench, turning over a number of times.

The mine was shut down following the incident and workers were sent home early.

Since the news of the fatality friends and family of 'Big Al', as he known by his friends, have taken to social media to pay their respects to a well-loved man.

Hundreds of people have honoured Mr Houston as they expressed their condolences to his family.

Many of the tributes and posts said he was 'taken too soon' as Gracemere and the wider Central Queensland community grieve the loss of a 'great man' who was respected and cherished by those who knew him.

 

Allan Houston has been remembered by friends and family after he tragically passed away on New Year's Eve in a workplace accident at Saraji Mine near Dysart.
Allan Houston has been remembered by friends and family after he tragically passed away on New Year's Eve in a workplace accident at Saraji Mine near Dysart. Jason Richmond

One woman sent her respects to Mr Houston's family, saying 'My deepest sympathies to your family, and his daughter who he clearly cherished and adored'.

One close friend of the man took to Facebook to express his grief, saying 'this news has greatly saddened me as he was a great mate and a great man and was a grooms man at my wedding.'

Another friend expressed her grief over the loss of Mr Houston, saying 'We are praying for you & your family. I can't believe Allan has left us'.

Others expressed their sadness over the incident saying it was a sad day for the industry.

Many others saying how sad the loss is for the family and the community.

"Rest in peace brother," one friend said.

"So sad, RIP buddy. Condolences to the family," another wrote.

Mining giant speaks out after worker dies in Bowen Basin

Workers from Saraji are also mourning the loss of one of their own.

One Rockhampton man who worked in the same crew as man took to social media to say it was a very hard day and 'the operator was a good fellow'.

The investigation into the accident at the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Saraji Mine, near Moranbah, continued today, with BMA working closely with the relevant authorities.

In a statement BMA said it was saddened to confirm that 49 year-old Allan Houston from the Rockhampton Region died during an incident where the dozer he was operating at Saraji rolled from an elevated position at around 10pm (Queensland time) on Monday.

"The site Emergency Response Team was activated immediately following the incident and appropriate authorities engaged," BMA said.

"Our immediate focus is to support Allan's family and friends as well as our people that may be affected by this incident. Allan was a well-known and popular member of the Saraji and Workpac team.

"Allan began his career as an apprentice boilermaker at Blackwater Mine in approximately 1988 and since then, worked in the industry at various mines in Queensland. Allan's father, Winston, had a long history in the Blackwater region and was a well-known and respected Dragline Operator for many years.

"Allan's family is especially proud of his reputation as a highly skilled dozer and dragline operator.

"We extend our deepest sympathy to Allan's loving mother, 23 year-old daughter, sister and brother as well as his friends and colleagues. BMA representatives have met with Allan's family and will continue to provide whatever support possible during this deeply emotional time."

Mining and Energy Union, CFMEU have said they will be running their own investigation into the workplace accident.

BMA's Employee Assistance Program provider is available to support employees and their families affected by this incident: 1800 056 076.



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