Morwell mine fire inquiry points finger at operator GDF Suez

Report says 45-day fire at Hazelwood could have been put out much quicker were it not for companys minimal compliance

The Hazelwood coalmine fire was entirely foreseeable, could have been put out more quickly and its impact greatly reduced if the operator GDF Suez had not taken a minimal compliance attitude towards fire risk, the Hazelwood Mine Fire inquiry has found.

The inquirys 434-page report, tabled in the Victorian parliament on Tuesday, said GDF Suez did not plan for possible fire in the worked-out areas of the Hazelwood coal mine, 150km east of Melbourne. The fire began on 9 February and burned for 45 days, blanketing the nearby town of Morwell with ash, smoke and, at times, toxic carbon monoxide.

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