An electrician working underground in a Queensland coal mine might have been killed by poisonous gases, the resources department says.

A miner who died while working underground at a central Queensland coal mine might have suffocated in a “noxious atmosphere”, officials say.

The electrician, who hasn’t been named, was found unconscious while working underground at the Anglo American Grasstree mine near Middlemount, northwest of Rockhampton, on Tuesday afternoon.

Attempts by staff to revive the man both underground and after he was brought to the surface were unsuccessful, the mining company said in a statement on Wednesday.

A Department of Natural Resources and Mines spokesman says the worker may have been asphyxiated by a “noxious atmosphere” while in a closed area of the mine, however, investigations are continuing.

Underground workers at the mine have been evacuated.

Anglo American management, four mining inspectors and police are investigating the death and counselling has been offered to the dead man’s family and colleagues.

It is the latest in a series of deaths at Australian mines.

Just last month, two men died when a wall collapsed as they worked underground at the Austar Coal Mine at Paxton in NSW’s Hunter Valley.

Tasmania’s Mt Lyell copper mine has seen three deaths since late last year. A contractor died in a mud rush in January and two maintenance workers fell to their deaths in the mine’s shaft in December last year.

And in Western Australia there have been three deaths since last year – one at Newcrest’s Telfer gold mine and two at the Fortescue Metals Group’s Christmas Creek mine.