COAL MINE FATALITY
- On December 21, 1995, about 4:00 am, a mobile
bridge operator with 14 years mining experience was fatally injured when the
highwall collapsed above the underground mine drift opening. The victim was
part of a crew installing a belt drive motor on the surface near the drift opening.
When the highwall started falling, three miners ran away from the highwall to
safety. The victim ran under the drift opening metal canopy. Several minutes
later, a large section of the highwall, measuring 22 feet by 25 feet by 4 feet gave
way collapsing the drift opening metal canopy and crushing the victim. The
highwall was subject to the adverse effects of freezing and thawing where it
contained unconsolidated materials, laminations and mud seams that were
emanating water in the drift opening area.
This is the 46th coal mine fatality in 1995. As of December 21, of last year there
had been 44 fatalities. This death is the third classified as FALL OF FACE, RIB, OR
SIDE and the first involving a HIGHWALL in 1995.
Photograph of the accident scene
For more information:
MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL95C46]