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Fleet stood down after Premier Coal truck fires

Premier Coal has pulled an entire fleet of mine trucks out of action at it’s Collie site after five fires in three weeks.

Two weeks ago a truck burst into flames at the mine, with four other smaller blazes breaking out on trucks and an excavator since then.

Department of Mines and Petroleum Resources Safety Division Director of Mine Safety Andrew Chaplyn confirmed the DMP received five reports of incidents at the Premier Coal Mine in October.

He said the first minor incident, on October 6, occurred when a failed clamp on the turbo on haul truck 22 allowed oil to leak onto the exhaust side of the turbo, which ignited and was put out with a fire extinguisher.
“Two days later another small fire, on the same truck, was caused by oil from the previous leak soaking onto the engine exhaust lagging and was put out with a fire extinguisher,” Mr Chaplyn said.

The DMP was advised of a significant fire incident on October 19, in which a haul truck driver was alerted to a fire by a nearby grader operator.
On Friday, a small fire in the rear wheel hub of an MT4400 electric drive truck, sparked the decision to park up all electric drive trucks on site and recommission inspections of each truck.

“While undertaking investigations onsite today DMP issued an improvement notice requiring repairs to oil leaks on several of the MT4400 trucks to be made within a specified period,” Mr Chaplyn said.

“The company’s decision to park up the trucks was made in an effort to regain confidence in the trucks, and any faults found will be repaired before the trucks are returned to work.”

Mr Chaplyn said Premier Coal had fulfilled all of its obligations and reported each incident and complied with all directions and the improvement notice was standard practice to ensure certain work was completed within an agreed time frame.

He said disruptions to operations could last for up to two weeks.

A company investigation is underway. Premier Coal is reinforcing maintenance procedures with site fitters, and a specialist trainer has been engaged. A fire prevention program for maintenance personnel and operators is also being planned.

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