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District 8 - Coal Mine Safety and Health
Info-Grams and Close Call Accidents


Info-Grams
Close Call Graphic
Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration

Accident Info-Gram
APRIL 2002

Fuel Truck Fire

A fuel truck recently caught fire at a District 8 surface mine. While fueling a DML 60 Ingersoll-Rand overburden drill, the drill operator observed flames coming from the rear of the fuel truck. Due to the flames, the operator was unable to reach the fire extinguisher mounted on the rear of the fuel truck. He then retrieved a fire extinguisher from the drill, but he was unable to extinguish the fire. After notifying the pit foreman of the fire, the drill operator moved the drill to a safe location. The foreman summoned two local fire departments. Then he and other miners tried to extinguish the fire with portable dry-chemical fire extinguishers, but they were unable to bring the fire under control. After approximately twenty minutes from the discovery of the fire, the fire companies arrived and applied water and foam. This was not effective in controlling the fire. The pit foreman evacuated the area and the fire was allowed to self-extinguish. After approximately fifty minutes from its initial discovery, the fire ceased to burn. No injuries were sustained in the incident, but the fuel truck suffered extensive damage. Examination of the fuel truck revealed the tank had ruptured at a seam at the front of the tank. The high pressure built up during the fire may have caused this rupture.
Fuel Truck Fire
BEST PRACTICES
  • Fuel trucks should be provided with at least two readily accessible large fire extinguishers mounted on opposite ends.
  • Extensive fire fighting efforts should not be continued when the fire area includes a fuel tank. An explosion may occur due to expansive vapors in the tank. The area should be vacated and the fire allowed to self-extinguish.
  • Fuel trucks should be equipped with automatic fire suppression system.

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This file was last updated on 1/28/2003

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.