Father killed in mine gas trap left a family behind. SAD LOSS: Electrician Paul McGuire.
Father killed in mine gas trap left a family behind. SAD LOSS: Electrician Paul McGuire.

Inquest to probe methane gas death at CQ mine

A CORONIAL investigation over the death of an Anglo Coal miner, who asphyxiated after being sent to a lethal area at a Central Queensland mine, begins today and will shine a spotlight on criminal prosecutions into the case.

Electrician Paul McGuire was killed on May 6, 2014, after he was directed to the wrong site to work on a gas sensor within a goaf at Grasstree mine at Middlemount.

The 34-year-old father died almost instantly from inhaling methane gas at the site, however it was uncovered the gas sensor he had been sent to maintain had been moved to a different location in January that year.

Between February and April, also that year, three job cards had been issued for electricians to go to the incorrect site.

Anglo Coal pleaded guilty to failing its safety obligations and causing Mr McGuire's death, was fined $137,500 and also ordered to pay $1500 in professional costs.

A conviction was not recorded.

The inquest will probe a number of issues including what factors contributed to Mr McGuire's death and whether the process of prosecution, the discontinuation of particular prosecutions, was appropriate to the circumstances of this case.

Central Coroner David O'Connell will also investigate the actions of employees following the "high high methane" alarm at 1.07pm until Mr McGuire was found and whether any changes should be made to the systems of work applicable to the performance of his duties.



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