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Uncontrolled Release of Methane from Drainage Range

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During a period of increased inflow of water into an underground coal mine, a methane drainage range was used as a pump delivery range to manage an emergency water problem at the mine. After the water situation was brought under control the pump was removed, but the pipe line was not reconnected to the main range at the pump site. Later, when it was decided to recommence gas drainage from this range, the uncapped methane drainage line was charged with gas and resulted in an uncontrolled release of methane into the mine atmosphere.


This incident occurred because the pipe range was not complete prior to it being charged with methane.


All mines should review their systems to prevent this situation occurring. It is recommended that following steps be included as a minimum; alteration of pipe ranges, especially methane drainage ranges should be a 'permit controlled' process, recommissioning of a range should involve flushing or testing of the range to assess leakage, etc. methane pipe ranges should be identified with signs and colour coding at joints and valves, especially isolating valves, and a risk assessment approach should be followed in planning and executing such work in the mine.


Department of Natural Resources and Mines

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Relates to Queensland (QLD)

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QLD - Queensland


Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines


Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines


25 Aug 2003

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