Moura No. 4 Mine Explosion


An example of how partitioning can fail in a safety-critical system.


The Moura district in Queensland had a number of mining disasters over the period of 1975 through 1994. Between the explosions in the Kianga No. 1, Moura No. 2, and Moura No. 4 mines, there were 36 fatalities.

Twelve miners died in an explosion in Moura No. 4 Mine on July 16th, 1986.

Although the mine was well ventilated to avoid heating and the levels of carbon monoxide and methane were monitored, a roof fall blew a mixture of methane, air and coal dust into the working area, causing the resulting explosion when ignited by a source thought to be a flame safety lamp. Partial prohibition of flame safety lamps from use in underground coal mines was one change recommended as a result of this incident.

The dangers of coal are not limited to getting it out of the ground, as can be seen in the Armi Tunnel stall.

Why?

Although a system may be able to partitioned in theory, sometimes there are intended interactions.