Mine safety expert appointed to Pike River disaster inquiry

Stewart Bell, the Queensland Government?s senior mine safety expert, will serve on the Royal Commission into last November?s Pike River coal mine tragedy in New Zealand. He is currently the the Queensland Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health and the Deputy Director-General, Safety and Health Division, for the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation. He has 25 years of international experience in chemical, gas and dust problems in mines and in the monitor, control and the extinguishment of mine fires.

Approximately 29 miners were killed in in a gas explosion on 19 November, 2010 in the Pike River underground mine near Greymouth, on New Zealand?s South Island. Among the dead were two Queenslanders, Joshua Adam Ufer and William John Joynson.

The Pike River Royal Commission will be chaired by Justice Graham Panckhurst, a sitting High Court judge. Also joining Stewart Bell as a commissioner will be David Henry, a former chief executive of the New Zealand Electoral Commission and an Inland Revenue Commissioner.

Source: Queensland Government

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