11:41 am, Tuesday 20 March, 2012
More than three decades ago, brothers Neil and Trevor McLennan, Ian Carter, and Jack Tapp went back inside a burning coalmine just after an underground explosion to rescue fellow workers.
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) general-secretary, Andrew Vickers said that the bravery of the four coalminers is an outstanding act.
“Going into a burning coalmine just after an underground explosion in an attempt to rescue their mates is an outstanding act of courage,” said Mr Vickers.
During the explosion, four injured miners escaped the mine, together with other uninjured workers. Several miners, however, realised that one of their workmates did not surface after the explosion, so they re-entered the mine to look for him. They found him dead and carried his body out of the mine.
“Even though 36 years have passed, their bravery on that day has stood the test of time and they thoroughly deserve this bravery award,” said Mr Vickers.
Nymbodia Colliery located in northeast NSW was shut down three years after the fatality, in 1979.
Mr Tapp who has since died, will be awarded the bravery award posthumously.