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Swinging near coal infrastructure kills Queenslander

Auckland Creek coal bridge
Auckland Creek coal bridge

A young man quickly realised a major mining thoroughfare is no place for ‘monkeying’ around in Central Queensland.

The 15-year-old thought it was a great idea to climb the Aurizon coal train bridge on McAndrew Drive in Clinton, about 5km southwest of downtown Gladstone.

However, when the teenager began to swing the nearby live power poles exploded, bringing him in direct contact with a fatal charge of up to 25,000 volts.

He fell 10 metres into Auckland Creek below where Queensland Ambulance Services eventually found his body. Paramedics declared the male deceased at about 12:30pm on 19 January 2023.

Queensland Police Services and Aurizon staff also examined the scene. No suspicious circumstances were discovered at the time of publication. A report will be prepared for the coroner shortly.

“Aurizon employees are assisting emergency services at the site of a tragic incident … on the Central Queensland Coal Network at Gladstone,” a company spokesperson said according to the Australian Associated Press.

“We extend our condolences to the family of the young man who has lost his life. This is a tragic incident that will be felt deeply by the local community. We are [also] providing support to the Aurizon employees who attended the site.”

Gladstone Regional Council was devastated to learn the tragedy occurred in a popular recreation area.

“It is a well-used park area. I know they [Aurizon] tried to do everything they can to close it,” mayor Matt Burnett said according to News Limited.

“It scares the life out of drivers when they leave Callemondah and see teenagers on the bridge. It is just very sad what has happened.”

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