Police and firefighters have dug with their hands to retrieve the body of a 62-year-old man from a collapsed trench at a shallow-cut opal mine in Central West Queensland.
Emergency services were alerted at around 4pm on Saturday after a friend visited the remote site between Winton and Jundah to find the opal miner’s car there but no sign of him.
It took emergency crews six hours to reach the site where police and firefighters used their hands to dig through two metres of rubble before retrieving the man’s body.
Police said the cause of the collapse was unknown but there were no suspicious circumstances.
Workplace Health and Safety and the Department of Mines and Energy will be advised of the incident and police will prepare a report for the coroner.
An Urban Search and Rescue team had been called in from Townsville to assist firefighters from Winton.
Fire officials said there was no mobile phone or satellite phone coverage in the area.
The small community of Opalton is renowned for having one of the largest opal fields in Queensland and is well known for the quality of opal mined.
– with ABC