Craig J. BROUGHTON

( late of Shellharbour )

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #   21615

Rank: Probationary Constable – appointed 26 October 1984

Constable – appointed 26 October 1985

Resigned –

Stations?, Warilla, Wollongong Physical Evidence ( Scientific ) Section – Resignation

ServiceFrom  ? ? pre October 1984?  to  ? ? ? = ? years Service

Awards:  No find on It’s An Honour

Born:  21 February 1963

Died on:  24 July 1991 about 3.10am

Age:  28

Cause:  Suffocation – Mine explosion

Event location:  South Bulli Colliery – Illawarra Region

Funeral date?

Funeral location?

Buried at?

 Memorial at?

CRAIG is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance
* NOT JOB RELATED

 

 Funeral location ?

FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.

PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal

May they forever Rest In Peace

Craig was a nice young bloke and we first met at Warilla Police Station when he started there in 1984 on General Duties.

Craig was originally stationed, on General Duties, at Warilla Police Station but got himself on ‘ A ‘ List and spent 6 months in the Crime Scene Unit ( Scientific ) housed at Wollongong Police Station.

Craig wished to remain at Crime Scene but the O.I.C., Warilla Police at the time, wouldn’t / couldn’t release him to Crime Scene ( most probably a numbers issue  i.e.  Not enough Police at Warilla to do G.D’s work ).

In any event, Craig returned to Warilla and shortly thereafter resigned from NSWPF to return to the Mining sector – only to be killed in a gas explosion with two of his work mates on that fateful morning.

Craig was an active sportsman ( soccer ) from memory and always up for a joke.

For some time, a social game of soccer was held between Warilla Police and Wollongong Police whereby the “Broughton Cup” was brought into being – in honour of Craig.

That game was played for a few years before finally falling away.

Cal

Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Thursday 25 July 1991, page 2


Work halted in show of respect for dead miners

SYDNEY: Mining was halted at a southern NSW coal mine yesterday as a mark of respect for three men who died in a gas explosion.

Police identified the dead miners as Leigh Pearce, 24, of Fern Hill, Robert Coltman, 43, of Woonona, and Craig Broughton, 28, of Shellharbour.

Police said 13 men were working the nightshift at the South Bulli colliery, drilling a coalface about 6km below ground, when they apparently hit a gas pocket which caused the explosion.

Mr Broughton, a former policeman, was working at the coalface and apparently was killed instantly.

Mr Coltman and Mr Pearce, fatally injured, managed to crawl about 50m from the face.

The other men escaped unhurt.

A mine official said it was unlikely the men had any warning before the explosion as the safety lamps or gas detectors on their machinery would not be able to detect gas trapped behind the coalface.

He said the explosion would have been felt up to a kilometre away underground, throwing out coal in front of it as well as releasing the lethal gas into the pit.

Mines department inspectors and scientific squad police were examining the Austen and Butta-owned shaft to try to determine the cause of the accident.

Officials said the gas may have been a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide peculiar to the area and called Illawarra Bottom Gas or black damp.

The accident occurred 12 years to the day after 14 men were killed in the Appin mine disaster, 10km from the South Bulli mine.

The deaths bring the number of coal mine workers killed in NSW over the past 13 years to 96, according to Joint Coal Board figures.

Nine workers were killed in 1990-91 after only one fatality the previous year.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/rendition/nla.news-article122373004.txt

 

Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Thursday 10 September 1992, page 10


‘No negligence’ in mine deaths

WOLLONGONG: Criminal negligence did not lead to the deaths of three miners in a gas explosion at South Bulli colliery last year, NSW Coroner Greg Glass found yesterday.

However, the coroner said there should be improved training at all mines in NSW.

Mr Glass read his 50-page report on the deaths of Craig Broughton, 28, Robert Coltman, 43, and Leigh Pearce, 24, to a packed Wollongong courtroom.

He found all three men suffocated after a mining machine penetrated a cavern of gas 450m underground at the mine, 10km north of Wollongong, on July 24 last year.

A resulting explosion burled 260 to 300 tonnes of coal, dust and carbon dioxide into the mine.

Mr Glass recommended that Mr Pearce should be given a bravery award for “his valiant and unselfish” action in going to the assistance of Mr Coltman.

He recommended that the Department of Mineral Resources develop training programs designed to equip miners with skills to identify possible outburst prediction signs, to identify other mining hazards and to respond appropriately to emergencies.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/rendition/nla.news-article126941811.txt

 

 

South Bulli Gas Outburst – 1991

At approximately 3.10am on July 24th 1991, three mineworkers were asphyxiated by gas released during an outburst at the working face in W12 Panel. They were Craig Broughton (28), miner driver, of Blackbutt, Robert Coltman (43), shuttle car driver, of Woonona and Leigh Pierce (24), of Fernhill.

The outburst occurred shortly after restarting the cutting of coal after the miner had been stopped for the routine installation of roof supports. The Deputy, Bruce Corbett, had told Mr. Broughton to recommence the mining of coal and had then walked away to investigate a diesel man car that had entered the panel. This act probably saved his life.

No gas had been detected
on the shift that the outburst
occurred nor for at least
the previous six shifts

The outburst occurred on a reverse thrust fault, previously unknown in spite of in-seam seismic exploration of the area.

The gas liberated by the structure consisted mainly of carbon dioxide with probably some methane.

Although Illawarra Bottom Gas (CO2 + CH4) had been detected on numerous occasions as this panel had progressed (as it had during the mining of W11 Panel), no gas had been detected on the shift that the outburst occurred nor for at least the previous six shifts. When previously detected it had been effectively handled as a ventilation problem, not as a precursor to an outburst.

South Bulli Colliery was not classified as an outburst prone mine with outburst mining procedures only being introduced when an outburst potential was detected. A two-week Coronial Inquest was conducted during July, 1992.

South Bulli Colliery was under the ownership of Austen & Butta at the time of the outburst, with Mr. Michael Ogilvie as Mine Manager, Mr. Lawrence Crisp the Deputy Mine Manager and Mr. Michael Clarke the Government Mines Inspector for the mine.

(SOURCE: Based on extracts from various news media reports during the Coronial Inquiry, 1992.)


~ POSTSCRIPT ~

Although some mine operators within the Southern Sydney Coal Basin had been experimenting with management plans to handle these outburst prone conditions, it was only after this triple fatality at South Bulli that this momentum accelerated. 

Assisted by certain orders brought down on all mines working the Bulli seam by the NSW Mines Inspectorate relating to the pre-drilling and sampling of all areas prior to mining, all affected mines developed their own management plans. A Dept. of Mineral Resources “guideline” for the implementation of “Outburst Management Plans” was developed, several internationally orientated symposia and local seminars were conducted with other specialised groups being formed to study the phenomena of outbursts.

http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/13441/20060607-0000/www.illawarracoal.com/southbullidisaster.html

 

 

South Bulli Colliery 1991

24/07/1991 – South Bulli – Outburst

At approximately 3.10am on July 24th 1991, three mineworkers were asphyxiated by gas released during an outburst at the working face in W12 Panel. 

The outburst occurred shortly after restarting the cutting of coal after the miner had been stopped for the routine installation of roof supports. The Deputy, Bruce Corbett, had told Mr. Broughton to recommence the mining of coal and had then walked away to investigate a diesel man car that had entered the panel. This act probably saved his life.

The outburst occurred on a reverse thrust fault, previously unknown in spite of in-seam seismic exploration of the area.

The gas liberated by the structure consisted mainly of carbon dioxide with probably some methane.

Although Illawarra Bottom Gas (CO2 + CH4) had been detected on numerous occasions as this panel had progressed (as it had during the mining of W11 Panel), no gas had been detected on the shift that the outburst occurred nor for at least the previous six shifts. When previously detected it had been effectively handled as a ventilation problem, not as a precursor to an outburst.

South Bulli Colliery was not classified as an outburst prone mine with outburst mining procedures only being introduced when an outburst potential was detected. A two-week Coronial Inquest was conducted during July, 1992.

This accident claimed the lives of 3 people, these were: Craig Broughton, Leigh Pierce, Robert Coltman
Report:

Recommendations

The mine should consider the development and application of an overall formally-documented “management system” which, in its entirety, appropriately deals with the outburst risk at the mine.

1.a) The document should address areas such as:

  • the gathering of geological and geotechnical information,
  • the assessment and review of that information,
  • prediction,
  • identification,
  • planning,
  • minimisation,
  • protection,
  • mining operations, etc.

b) In addressing the above areas, the document should identify the methodology and systems to be used in each of the specific areas.

e) The document should identify the relevant persons to which each area applies and should communicate to those persons their responsibility and accountability within each particular area.

2. The mine should consider reviewing the outburst mining procedures and equipment at the mine to bring them to an appropriate standard which is on a level with the risk of outburst as experienced in the accident.

3. The mine should consider reviewing the overall training program so that appropriate training is given in all aspects of the “Management System”.

4. The mine should consider the design, construction and maintenance of panel ventilation systems to ensure that, as far as practicable, the system remains intact following an outburst.

5. The mine should consider reviewing all travelling access within a panel when there is a potential for an outburst. The information and direction should be included in the “Management System”.

6. A consideration should be given to reviewing the type and availability of breathing apparatus so that it is suitable for effective escape and, if possible, for first response rescue. This is a requirement for all personnel in all possible breathing restricted environments in underground coal mines.

7. There is a need to consider reviewing the risks associated with carbon dioxide in coal mines. The areas for review are:

  • Regulations
  • Apparatus in general
  • Mining methods
  • Communication of the risks, etc

8. A consideration should be giyen to reviewing the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1982 to ensure it recognises and deals with the outburst risk. Secondly, that it appropriately addresses the detection and recording of carbon dioxide in coal mines and also deals with this problem.

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