Pictured: Much-loved Tasmanian gold miner, 44, who was buried alive in a rock collapse 700metres underground – as the recovery mission for his body continues
- A Tasmanian miner presumed killed has been identified as Cameron John Goss
- He was working 700 metres underground when contact with him was lost
- It could take weeks before the area is safe enough for his body to be located
- Thermal imaging showed rocks had fallen on the loader and covered its cabin
A Tasmanian miner presumed killed in an underground collapse has been named as the recovery mission for his body continues.
Cameron John Goss was a 44-year-old local Queenstown man and experienced miner, police said on Saturday morning.
‘His loss is devastating to the family, friends and the local community, together with the wider mining industry across Australia,’ police said.
Efforts to find Mr Goss at Henty Gold Mine on the state’s west coast took a turn for the worse on Friday, with the rescue mission becoming a recovery operation.
It could take weeks before the area is safe enough for his body to be located.
A Tasmanian miner presumed killed in an underground collapse has been identified as Cameron John Goss, 44
Mr Goss had been operating a loader 700 metres underground when workmates lost contact with him about 4am on Thursday.
Three-dimensional imagery taken on Thursday night revealed many rocks had fallen on the loader and completely covered its cabin.
Thermal imaging has been unable to detect any signs of life.
‘The amount of debris that has fallen into that scene, we now think it’s highly unlikely that our missing miner has survived,’ Tasmania Police Inspector Shane Lefevre told reporters.
‘Our thoughts immediately have gone out to the family and friends.’
Emergency crews were called to Henty Gold Mine after the worker was reported missing at 4am on Thursday
Rock has continued to fall near the loader, making the area too dangerous for search crews to reach.
Counselling services have been offered to staff at the gold mine, north of Queenstown.
The tiny town was shaken seven years ago when three workers died at the Mt Lyell mine in two separate accidents within months of each other.
‘They’re a tough mining town and they’ve been through incidents in the past … but everyone goes to work and expects to come home safely,’ Australian Workers’ Union representative Daniel Walton said.
‘Unfortunately … a gold miner went to work and never come home.’
Production at the mine has ceased indefinitely.
‘The whole team is devastated,’ said Brendan Rouse, chief executive of mining services contractor PYBAR.
Mr Rouse said there was no indication of a seismic event around when the rock collapsed.
Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein has passed on his deepest sympathies to all involved.
No one has made contact with the missing worker since part of the Henty Gold Mine, on the edge of the West Coast Range in Western Tasmania, collapsed