Significant Incident Report (SV Shaft Bank)

Description of Incident

The banksman was transporting material, the last car to be put down was an enclosed tool car. As this car was about to be loaded the banksman noticed the smell of acetylene gas and as the car was locked and they could not access it, he instructed the car to be moved away from the shaft and shunted into a back area with through ventilation with the intent that the responsible person can be called out to unlock and investigate it. While the car was moved away from the shaft the loco guard was leading the span, at the switch he moved to the a safe position at the sidewall so the loco can pass so he could stop the loco and operate the switching device as to shunt the car into the back area. We assume that when the car was stopped the material inside the car that caused a spark that ignited the explosive gas mixture within the enclosed tool car. At the time of the ignition the loco guard was behind the tool car next to the rails, the back doors of the car was forced open during the explosion and struck the loco guard.

The loco guard sustained a cut to the forehead, back of his scalp and a contused upper leg, after examination at the hospital he had no internal injuries or fractures.



An acetylene cylinder was transported with loose material inside an enclosed car. One of the pins within the car caused the valve to be slightly opened during transportation. The enclosed car resulted in the explosive atmosphere being generated within the car and the loose material cause a spark during the stopping of the locomotive within the car.

The responsible person of the section did not adhere to the COP “Maintenance work on trucks and open flame equipment and welding plants”. Cylinders loaded horizontally, not secured with loose material inside the car located at the valves.

  • Proper open cylinder transport cars could have been used 
  • All transportation of cylinders was stopped immediately. 
  • Only approved cylinder cars are to be used for the transportation of cylinders. 
  • Code of Practice “Maintenance work on trucks and open flame equipment and welding plants” to be followed 
  • Instruction given that all enclosed tool cars must be inspected by the banksman to ensure that there are no cylinders within them before they may be transported underground.