Mines minister orders 'thorough' probe into explosion
UPDATE 7.15PM: A thorough, independent investigation will be carried out by the mine safety regulator into today's mine explosion, Mines Minister Anthony Lynham says.
"My primary concern is obviously for the injured workers and their families following today's underground incident at Anglo American's Grosvenor coal mine near Moranbah," Dr Lynham said.
"My thoughts and prayers are with them and their workmates.
"I'm advised that two mines inspectors are on site, and two more will arrive tomorrow, including the Deputy Chief Inspector of Mines."
He said all other workers had been accounted for and operations at the site had ceased.
The injured workers are expected to be flown to the Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital tonight.
LNP leader Deb Frecklington said her thoughts were with the workers, their families, friends and workmates.
"There have been too many tragedies in our mines in the past 18 months and this news is another terrible shock for the industry," Ms Frecklington said.
"This incident is a reminder of the very real risks that mine workers take every day to provide for their families and their communities.
"Every Queenslander should be able to go home safely when their work is done."
UPDATE 5.20PM: A MINERS' union spokesman said this afternoon's incident occurred underground at Anglo American's Grosvenor Mine.
An ignition of gas on the longwall face is believed to have caused the explosion, which critically injured five people.
CFMEU safety inspectors have visited the site and will undertake a thorough, independent investigation.
CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland district president Stephen Smyth said the immediate priority was taking care of affected workers.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured workers and their families, and all the workers at Grosvenor affected by today's events," Mr Smyth said.
"The union will do everything possible to support a return to safe conditions at the mine and get to the bottom of what has occurred today.
"Explosions are the worst nightmare for underground coal miners; we will make sure no stone is left unturned."
UPDATE 5PM: AN emergency response is under way at Anglo American's Grosvenor Mine after five workers were critically injured, a company spokeswoman has confirmed.
The spokeswoman did not give further details on how the incident occurred.
She said all the injured workers' families had been contacted by the company.
"All remaining on-site personnel have been accounted for. The mine is in the process of being evacuated and operations stopped," the spokeswoman said.
"The mines inspectorate has been contacted and Anglo American is working to ensure the injured people have the best available medical care."
UPDATE 4.30PM: The workplace explosion occurred at Anglo American's Grosvenor Mine about 3.15pm today.
The Daily Mercury has contacted Anglo American for comment.
Multiple aeromedical responses have been deployed to Moranbah Hospital where the five injured workers are being treated.
The workers were expected to be flown to other hospitals once their injuries were assessed.
INITIAL 3.55PM: FIVE people are in a critical condition after a workplace explosion in Moranbah this afternoon.
Queensland Ambulance paramedics are treating the five people at the worksite off Goonyella Rd for significant burns.
A QAS spokeswoman said crews were called to the worksite after a reported explosion about 3.15pm.
It is understood they are in a critical condition.
Two QAS crews are on scene and have called for a helicopter to transport the injured workers to hospital.
There are no further details of the five people or the incident at this stage.