Shock as mine reopens while body of dead worker remains trapped inside

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The coal miners union says work at Sojitz’s Gregory Crinum complex in central Queensland should stop until the body of a fellow worker is recovered from underground.

A 60-year-old miner named by media outlets as Graham Dawson was fatally injured on Tuesday when a roof collapsed while another miner was seriously injured.

The Mining and Energy Union Qld District says mineworkers are still coming to terms with the accident.

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President Stephen Smyth says rescue teams are undertaking the recovery in very difficult circumstances and their safety has to be ensured.

He says he’s been getting calls and texts from miners since the day after the incident, upset production has resumed while the recovery goes on.

“Mineworkers at the mine have been told they can take annual leave if they are uncomfortable resuming normal duties – this is not good enough,” Mr Smyth said on Saturday.

“I have never seen this occur in the 33 years since I have been involved in the Queensland coal sector.”

The union’s statement comes as the issue of mine safety is being highlighted in Queensland.

Sunday marks a century since 75 people were killed in an explosion at Mount Mulligan coal mine, about 160km west of Cairns.

Queensland Resources Minister Scott Stewart says the centenary is significant in light of the death at the Gregory Crinum mine.

“Everyone has a role to play in keeping our resources workers safe,” Mr Stewart told AAP ahead of the centenary event.

AAP contacted Soljitz and was told no one was currently available to make comment.

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