Family’s seek closure years after accident
MANY family members have never been able to have closure after thier loved ones became trapped in mines.
Every year a memorial day is held to remember those men more than 20 years ago that have lost their lives in the mines.
The day was emotionally charged with Ron Mckenna being invited to share his stories.
The 82 year old worked as a safety inspector, management and a number of mining roles across 65 years of service which included being on the rescue crew of the Moura Mine No4 mining disaster of 1986 which took the lives of 12 men.
In an emotionally charged service at Kianga Hall in Moura, family members of the fallen miners of Moura looked to McKenna for comfort and closure.
“Apart from the 12 we got out of the mine, the rest are still in tombs in the mines so the family’s still haven’t had closure,” McKenna said.
“Yesterday there were 30-40 year-old adults coming to me and getting comfort for them to tell me how its been without dad.
“A lady yesterday said mom and dad had a big argument because he reckoned it was safe to go back to the no2 mine.
“This guy was one of my leading rescuers and these bodies were eight days old so imagine what we were going through.”
McKenna spoke about mining safety and the need to conduct reviews into the operations of mines to prevent fatalities.
“Since the Moura no2 mining disaster in 1994 we had a legislation change from a prescriptive type legislation to a self-enabling risk based legislation
“That legislation has served us well as we’ve had no major disasters in the last 25 years but we’re still getting fatalities
“The Mines Minister and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) are getting together with the union now to deliberate.”
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said this year’s memorial commemorated the anniversary of the Moura No. 2 mining disaster (7th August) where eleven miners lost their lives 25 years ago.
“This community understands the hurt and pain suffered from a mine fatality and we will pause and remember those who have fallen and honour all the lives of miners who were taken too soon,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“It’s been a difficult year with the death of four mine workers and two quarry workers and we must work together to make mine sites fatality free.”