DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
REPORT OF INVESTIGATION
(UNDERGROUND COAL MINE)
FATAL POWERED-HAULAGE ACCIDENT
NO. 2 MINE
I.D. NO. 46-08395
WAYCO LIMITED PARTNERSHIP NO. 1
HAMPDEN, MINGO COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
DECEMBER 18, 1995
Jerry W. Sosebee
Coal Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Mine Safety and Health Administration
100 Bluestone Road, Mount Hope, West Virginia 25880
Earnest C. Teaster, Jr. - District Manager
The No. 2 mine, Wayco Limited Partnership No. 1, ID No. 46-08395, is located at Hampden, Mingo County, West Virginia. The mine is developed from the surface by five drift entries into the Hernshaw coalbed that averages 50 inches in height.
The mine began mining operations on June 1, 1994. Employment is provided for 18 employees on one production shift. The mine produces an average of 1,200 tons of raw coal daily from two continuous-mining-machine sections configured adjacent to each other, forming a "supersection." Both sections utilize the same dumping point.
Coal is extracted from the working faces using two remote-control Eimco 2460 continuous-mining machines, both developing five entries each. Section haulage is provided by battery-powered Eimco coal haulers. Coal is transported to the surface via a belt conveyor system. A dual-head Eimco roof-bolt machine is used to install roof supports. Supplies are transported into the mine by battery-powered scoops and battery-powered man trip.
Ventilation is induced into the mine by a 5-foot fan. The fan operates in the blowing mode and produces 102,000 cubic feet of air a minute. Methane has not been detected at the mine.
The immediate mine roof is shale. The roof is supported by 42-inch resin-grouted roof bolts. The supports are installed on 4-foot spacing with a 6- by 6-inch bearing plate. The roof control plan was approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration on July 28, 1995.
The last AAA inspection was completed by the Mine Safety and Health Administration on October 4, 1995.
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT
On Monday, December 18, 1995, the day-shift production crew, consisting of 11 miners under the supervision of Jack Daniels, section foreman, started work at 7:00 a.m. on the 001-0 and 002-0 MMUs supersection, and without incident, the regular shift was completed at 4:00 p.m.; and all employees stayed over to finish work and not work the weekend. One of the jobs was to repair a bad place in the No. 2 belt. The No. 4 belt was still running because they had not found the bad spot yet. Barry Dillon, mechanic; Eugene Ray, Jr., continuous-mining-machine operator; and James Adkins, coal-hauler operator; were instructed by Daniels to repair the ripper motor on the continuous-mining machine used on the 001-0 MMU left side, parked in the No. 5 entry 70 feet inby the section coal feeder. At about 4:20 p.m., Daniels instructed Ray to move the continuous-mining machine, allowing clearance for the roof-bolting machine to pass to the face of the uncompleted crosscut left between Nos. 5 and 4 entries. Wade E. Marcum and Danny Bragg, roof-bolting-machine operators, were instructed to install roof bolts in the 5 left crosscut. After installing the roof bolts in the crosscut, Marcum and Bragg trammed the roof-bolting machine to the crosscut between the Nos. 6 and 7 entries. Bragg stated Marcum left the crosscut about 5:00 p.m. and traveled down the No. 6 entry to catch the man trip. Bragg stayed and emptied the dust collecting box on the roof-bolting machine. The most direct route from the No. 6 entry to the man trip in the No. 4 entry was across the belt tailpiece in the No. 5 entry.
Approximately 5:05 p.m., Bragg left the roof-bolting machine and traveled to the No. 4 belt conveyor tailpiece located in the No. 5 entry. Upon arrival, Bragg observed the No. 4 belt conveyor running, but shut it off so he could travel around the coal feeder. At about 5:10 p.m., Bragg heard someone calling for help and saw a light at the No. 4 belt conveyor drive. Bragg traveled down the No. 4 belt conveyor about 180 feet to the No. 4 belt conveyor drive, where he found Marcum about three feet outby the No. 3 belt conveyor tailpiece on the right side.
Marcum was lying on his back on the mine floor, across a 4-inch waterline. The victim told Bragg he was hurting in his lower back and needed help. Traveling back up the No. 4 belt conveyor entry, Bragg obtained help from the workers who were making the repairs on the continuous-mining machine located inby the coal feeder.
In the meantime, Daniels had knocked the power at the section power center to the equipment on the 001-0 and 002-0 MMUs, and the No. 4 belt conveyor drive. He heard someone calling for help and also saw someone running down the No. 4 belt conveyor entry toward the No. 4 belt conveyor drive. Daniels traveled down the No. 6 entry for 180 feet and crossed over to the No. 4 belt conveyor drive where he saw Marcum lying on his back on the mine floor. Daniels proceeded to get the first-aid equipment. After returning with the first-aid equipment, Daniels, along with Adkins, Ray, and Bragg, administered first aid to Marcum while Barry Dillon called the surface to notify Benny Dillon, superintendent, of the accident. Marcum had been secured on a backboard stretcher by the five other personnel at the accident scene when Benny Dillon and Steve Lukacs, an EMT, arrived on the scene. Lukacs talked with Marcum, checked vital signs, and treated him for shock. Marcum was placed on the man trip and transported to the surface where care was turned over to the Stafford EMS Fire and Ambulance Service. Marcum was transported to the Logan General Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m.
INVESTIGATION OF ACCIDENT
The Mine Safety and Health Administration was notified at 5:50 p.m. on December 18, 1995, that a serious powered-haulage accident had occurred. Mine Safety and Health Administration personnel arrived at the mine about 10:05 p.m. A 103(k) Order was issued to ensure the safety of the miners until the accident investigation could be completed.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration and the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training jointly conducted the investigation with the assistance of mine management personnel and the miners.
All parties were briefed by mine management personnel as to the circumstances surrounding the powered-haulage accident. Representatives of all parties traveled underground to the accident scene where a thorough examination was conducted. Photographs and relevant measurements were taken and sketches made at the accident site.
Interviews of individuals known to have direct knowledge of the facts surrounding the accident were conducted at the Mine Safety and Health Administration office in Mount Gay, West Virginia, on December 20, 1995.
The physical portion of the investigation was completed on December 22, 1995, and the 103(k) Order was terminated.
Records indicated that all required training had been conducted in accordance with Part 48, Title 30, CFR.
An examination of the records indicated that the required examinations were being performed. Dates, times, and initials were observed throughout the mine indicating the areas were examined.
The investigation revealed the following factors relevant to the accident:
- The mine is a single 10-entry supersection system (001-0 and 002-0 MMUs)
using the same dumping point and belt conveyor system.
- The No. 4 belt conveyor had been installed on Saturday, December 16,
1995, in the No. 5 entry, and the accident occurred on the new installation.
- The man trip was parked in the No. 4 entry outby the belt tailpiece which
was located in the adjacent No. 5 entry.
- The route taken by the victim was not the normal route of travel;
however, it was the shortest.
- No facilities were provided for persons to cross a moving belt conveyor.
- The No. 4 belt conveyor was 190 feet in length, with a speed of 535 feet
- Power for the belt was provided from the section power center, and the
equipment was still energized with persons still working on the section. The belt
was still running because they were still trying to find the bad spot to repair.
- Seam height at the No. 4 tailpiece is 54 inches, with a height of 30
inches between the top of the tailpiece and the mine roof at the point which it is
believed the victim attempted to cross the moving belt conveyor. The height between
the mine roof and the No. 4 belt conveyor head roller was 6 1/2 inches.
- The space between the back stop mounted on the No. 3 belt conveyor tailpiece and the No. 4 belt conveyor head roller was 8 1/2 inches to 18 inches.
A 314(b) Safeguard No. 4624562 was issued to Wayco Limited Partnership No. 1, No. 2 mine, stating in part that the mine operator failed to provide suitable crossing facilities on the No. 4 belt conveyor where persons are required to cross a moving belt conveyor, a safeguard of 30 CFR, Section 75.1403-5(j).
It was the consensus of the investigation team, from the interviews, that miners did not normally cross moving belts. The victim was taking the most direct route from his work place to the man trip and attempted to cross a moving belt conveyor, lost his balance, fell onto the belt, and traveled over the belt conveyor head roller through a space with 6 1/2 inches clearance between the mine roof and belt-head discharge roller.
Jerry W. Sosebee
Coal Mine Safety and Health Inspector
Billy G. Foutch
Assistant District Manager
Earnest C. Teaster
Related Fatal Alert Bulletin: