On 7 August 1994 at about 11.30pm a massive explosion at Moura No. 2 mine took the lives of 11 mineworkers.
There were 21 workers underground at the time and only 10 of them made it back to the surface after the explosion. The 11 victims were working 265 metres underground and 3 kilometres from the mine entrance.
The Moura Mines Rescue team was thwarted in their rescue attempts by high levels of gas. Exploratory holes were drilled to determine underground conditions but any hope of reaching the area was shattered by a huge second underground blast. After this it was decided to seal the mine.
The disaster was the third to hit the Moura community in less than 20 years, following Kianga in 1975 and Moura No. 4 in 1986. The people of Moura have a constant reminder of the high price paid for coal.
Queensland District Vice President Glenn Power said,
“We must never allow the nation to forget the price workers have paid and the burden of death and injuries that their families still carry to this day. Our Union will always honour their memory and in doing so redouble our efforts to keep this industry as safe as possible for all who work in it. We must remain vigilant in maintaining and improving our world’s best practice statutory coal mining safety and health legislation.”
At the time of the disaster a review of the Queensland Coal Mining Act was underway. A cessation of the review was ordered while an investigation and Mining Warden’s Inquiry into the disaster was undertaken. Following the completion of both the review was recommenced, with a commitment from the Queensland Government that all of the recommendations emanating from the Inquiry would be addressed and implemented.