Central Queensland News - - FRONT PAGE - TI­MOTHY COX

Prospec­tor Mur­ray Hazel­ton was found dead in a pri­vate Gemfields’ mine on Tues­day. The owner of the claim said she was dev­as­tated, hav­ing lost a friend of 10 years.

“I MADE a cup of tea for me and a cof­fee for him.

“I banged on the lad­der to tell him it was ready, but there was no an­swer.”

Mur­ray Hazel­ton, 58, was found dead in a mine shaft on a pri­vate prop­erty in the Gemfields on Tues­day morn­ing.

Anita (sur­name with­held) owns the claim where Mur­ray worked for nearly 10 years.

“He was per­fectly all right in the morn­ing,” she said.

“I put my hel­met on and I started to climb down. I’d only got about 12 feet and the plat­form was there. And when I turned around there he was, ly­ing on the plat­form.

“He was go­ing home in a week’s time. He spends Christ­mas with his mum, who’s 90.”

Anita said early re­ports of

Mur­ray hav­ing fallen down a shaft were in­ac­cu­rate.

“He didn’t die in an ac­ci­dent. It was a mas­sive heart at­tack or some­thing. He had a heart at­tack and died on the plat­form, three quar­ters of the way up, rid­ing the el­e­va­tor.

“As soon as he had the at­tack, his fin­ger came off the but­ton. The ma­chine stopped, and that’s where I found him.

“We have re­ally nice mod­ern plant and a plat­form that we come up and down on. There are three se­cu­rity locks on it. It’s per­fectly safe.”

Anita sug­gested a po­ten­tial hered­i­tary ex­pla­na­tion, say­ing that a rel­a­tive of Mur­ray’s died in a sim­i­larly sud­den man­ner.

“I’m ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated,” she said. “He wouldn’t have known what hit him.”

Mur­ray’s fam­ily are trav­el­ling up from New South Wales.

Pic­ture: Con­tributed

SUD­DEN DEATH: The mining claim where Mur­ray worked.

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