Copper smelter workers badly burnt at Mount Isa Mines site

Copper smelter workers badly burnt at Mount Isa Mines site

Two men are in critical condition after suffering significant burns at an outback Queensland mine site.

The contract workers were at the Mount Isa Mines copper smelter when a steam vent opened adjacent to where they were working.

A 26-year-old man suffered burns to 60 per cent of his body from the neck down and is in an induced coma and on assisted breathing.

The second worker, a 25-year-old, suffered burns to 50 per cent of his face and neck.

Operations at the copper smelter have been suspended, with an investigation underway.(Supplied)

The men were airlifted to Brisbane overnight.

In a statement, Glencore confirmed that smelter operations were currently suspended.

A Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ) spokesperson said an investigation was underway.

“An RSHQ inspector travelled to the site and issued a directive to isolate the scene,” the spokesperson said.

“Two RSHQ investigators from the serious incident investigation unit are currently at the site.”

Both workers were transported to Mount Isa Base Hospital before being airlifted by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to the burns unit at the Royal Brisbane Hospital. 

Queensland Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals Scott Stewart says the industry has a responsibility to ensure workers remain safe.

“My thoughts are with the workers and their families at what is obviously a very difficult time,” he said.

“I expect there to be a full and thorough investigation into this incident.” 

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