Mount Arthur coalmine accident on Christmas Eve

INVESTIGATIONS are under way into a Christmas Eve motor vehicle accident at the entrance to the Mount Arthur coalmine near Muswellbrook.

COLLISION: The accident vehicle, with a steel gate still embedded in its engine bay, on the back of a transport truck. Investigations are continuing.

COLLISION: The accident vehicle, with a steel gate still embedded in its engine bay, on the back of a transport truck. Investigations are continuing.

Industry sources said the accident happened at about 4pm on December 24, as the mineworker was leaving the mine site. Photographs show the vehicle hit a steel gate, which remained embedded in the front of the car after the accident.

Asked about the accident, mine owner BHP Billiton said: “Safety is our number one priority and we take incidents like this very seriously. Our thoughts are with the employee involved and their family.”

A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Industry said that although the NSW Resources Regulator had not been formally notified of the accident, mine safety inspectors had “been made aware of a possible incident and will investigate further”.  The Herald understands the driver is in hospital with serious injuries.