Mine rescue
Emergency crews are still working to free a second miner trapped by a collapse at Ballarat. Image by Joe Castro/AAP PHOTOS
  • emergency incident

One man freed and another trapped after mine collapse

Rachael Ward March 13, 2024

One man has been freed and another remains trapped after a mine collapse on the outskirts of Ballarat in Victoria’s Goldfields.

Another 25 workers who sought refuge in an underground safety pod have been brought to the surface.

The two trapped men were pinned by fallen rocks at the Mount Clear mine on Wednesday afternoon.

Police and paramedics managed to stabilise and extract one of the men after about four hours.

He was treated for lower body injuries and airlifted to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital in a serious condition.

Emergency crews were working to free the second miner, as dozens of other workers took refuge in a safety pod.

“The 25 remaining miners from the safety pod have been safely brought to the surface,” Victoria Police said in a statement.

The extracted workers were being assessed by ambulance officers.

The incident occurred about 3km underground from the entrance to the mine.

Workplace officers have been sent to investigate.

Emergency services responded to reports of a collapse at Ballarat Gold Mine about 4.50pm.

Paramedics were at the scene and an air ambulance was dispatched.

The mine operates deep beneath buildings, streets and houses and has an extensive network of tunnels.

Ballarat Gold Mine is owned by Victory Minerals.

“Right now our priority is the safety and well-being of our mining workers and their families,” the company said in a statement.

“We would like to assure the community we are working as quickly and as safely as we can to help bring this worker to the surface.”

The company took ownership of the gold mine in December 2023.

“We are a safety first mine operator and respect the work that underground miners perform every day,” Victory Minerals said.

In 2007, 27 miners were trapped 300 meters underground at Ballarat Gold Mine for several hours.

The men were not hurt and were eventually winched to safety by a crane.

The Mount Clear area has been the focus of the search for Ballarat mother Samantha Murphy, however, there is nothing to suggest any link.

Patrick Orren Stephenson has been charged with murdering the mother of three at Mount Clear and her body has not yet been found.