Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Oxygen Tank Rupture
On April 21, 2006, an oxygen tank was ruptured in a pick breaker of a working section of a District 8 underground coal mine. While there were no reportable injuries to miners who were in the immediate area, a nearby check curtain was found melted.
The day shift crew had left the oxygen and acetylene tanks in the bucket of a battery powered scoop. The evening shift crew was not aware that the tanks were left in the scoop bucket and used the scoop to clean out the approach to the belt feeder. The oxygen tank was discharged into the belt feeder along with the material cleaned from the roadway while the acetylene tank remained inside the scoop bucket. As the feeder discharged the roadway material, a bit on the pick breaker ruptured the oxygen tank resulting in an ignition.
- Always properly store compressed gas cylinders when finished.
- Make a visual check of all equipment before using.
- Inform the on-coming crew of any conditions that could adversely affect their safety.
This information was provided by concerned
miners in an effort to eliminate accidents. Accident or "close
call" information within District 8 may be shared by contacting
the MSHA office at (812) 882-7617.