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Families finally see inside Box Flat on 50th anniversary of mining disaster

Ipswich – as its native newspaper stated in its headline – mourned the loss to its mining group which had steadily grown since Queensland’s first coal was found at Redbank in 1823.

Ipswich cartoonist Wil Mitchell caught the underlying links between coal miners and Ipswich in this cartoon in The Queensland Times when the Box Flat mine memorial was opened several years after the explosion.

Ipswich cartoonist Wil Mitchell caught the underlying hyperlinks between coal miners and Ipswich on this cartoon in The Queensland Occasions when the Field Flat mine memorial was opened a number of years after the explosion.Credit score:Courtesy Ipswich Historic Society

Earlier than the Field Flat mine explosion, Ipswich was booming. Virtually 60,000 individuals lived within the metropolis which as soon as rivalled Brisbane because the state’s capital.

The mine had an enormous contract offering coal to the newly commissioned Swanbank Energy Station to maintain lights and energy to south-east Queensland.

The roles of 1 in each 4 households in Ipswich in 1972 – both straight or not directly – relied on the mines.

However Field Flat mine by no means reopened after the explosion.

Her remaining employees went to Ipswich Metropolis Council, to Moreton Shire Council or to the dozen or so smaller mines who rushed to fulfill Swanbank’s starvation for coal.

Now mining households and mining security specialists can see contained in the sealed Field Flat mine on Swanbank Street.

Ipswich Historical Society president Hugh Taylor points to the location of the fire in the 1972 Box Flat mine about 100 metres beneath the surface of the ground at Swanbank.

Ipswich Historic Society president Hugh Taylor factors to the placement of the hearth within the 1972 Field Flat mine about 100 metres beneath the floor of the bottom at Swanbank.Credit score:Tony Moore

Ipswich Historic Society president Hugh Taylor – himself a mine supervisor at close by Rhonda Collieries – requested mine security advisor Mark Parcell to “recreate” Field Flat, after his earlier work depicting Queensland’s Moura and Tasmania’s Pike River mine explosions.

With English mechanical engineer Alan Andrews, Mark Parcell has blended technical mine data and drawings with trendy video graphics to open the Field Flat mine.

“I’ve recreated the Field Flat mine explosion in digital actuality,” Parcell stated.

“And we are able to now put you within the mine.”

Mark Parcell runs the Mines Security Institute of Australia and an Australian authority on mine security.

His presentation was the particular function of a fiftieth anniversary dinner at Ipswich Turf Membership to honour the boys who misplaced their lives and the advances in mine security since 1972.

“What we hope is that by recreating the mine in digital actuality the teachings from the previous accidents could be extra accessible for coaching and training and knowledge for present and future generations in order that they don’t have to return and be taught the teachings.”

Mines Minster Scott Stewart additionally spoke on the dinner.

Parcell stated he all the time wished to work on recreating Field Flat as a result of classes weren’t realized from Queensland’s subsequent mine explosions.

He stated the mine examiner after the Moura 2 mine explosion in 1975 the place 13 individuals died stated: “If we fail to revisit previous accidents and be certain that we don’t neglect the teachings we’ll invite additional disasters.”

“All I’m doing is taking the data that we already have, changing it into a contemporary, digital format and speaking it to individuals in a more practical method.”

Taylor stated recognising the 50 years for the reason that Field Flat mine explosion was nonetheless essential – not just for Ipswich – however for Queensland.

“It is vital for our group and for our previous coal miners,” Taylor stated.

“However can also be essential for mining on the whole.”

Box Flat mine memorial on Swanbank Road at Ipswich recognising the 17 miners who lost their lives in 1972 and the 18th who died later as a result of explosion injuries.

Field Flat mine memorial on Swanbank Street at Ipswich recognising the 17 miners who misplaced their lives in 1972 and the 18th who died later because of explosion accidents.Credit score:Tony Moore

“It is very important proceed on with this legacy that we don’t let the names of those males and the protection enhancements their deaths commenced, be misplaced.

“It’s a very well timed factor.”

Taylor stated Ipswich has recovered for the reason that trauma of the mine explosion.

“However there are nonetheless many individuals in our group who bear in mind the catastrophe,” he stated.

“They bear in mind households rising up with out their fathers.

“It created a deep scare for the group for alongside time period and there’s nonetheless a whole lot of the mining group round right here.”

He stated there was a satisfaction in Ipswich for its position in offering the coal for an increasing Queensland till different mines opened elsewhere within the state within the Seventies.

’Folks coming alongside to those fiftieth anniversary commemorations are bringing their kids and their grandchildren.

“So I’m hopeful these youngsters will lean quite a bit about this implies to their households, and they’re going to hold this legacy going for the longer term.”

The 18 who died on July 31, 1972 and after the Field Flat mine explosion.

  • Kenneth Frank Cobbin
  • William Alexander Drewett
  • William Rae Drysdale
  • Andrew Charles Haywood
  • Robert Lloyd Jones
  • William Alfred Marshall
  • John James McNamara
  • Walter Michael Murphy
  • Brian Henry Randolph
  • Brian Rasmussen
  • Daryl Trevor Reinhardt
  • Harold Charles Reinhardt
  • John Dudley Roach
  • Lenard Arthur Rogers
  • Maurice John Tait
  • Mervyn Verrenkamp
  • Walter Benjamin Williams
  • Clarence Edwin Wolski died in 1974, because of the accidents brought about within the explosion.

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