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Southeastern District
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health


Mine I.D. No. 08-01058
White Rock Quarries
Vecellio & Grogan, Incorporated
Miami, Dade County, Florida

April 10, 1995


W. L. Wilkie
Supervisory Mine Inspector


Charles Pittman
Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Originating Office
Mine Safety and Health Administration
135 Gemini Circle, Suite 212
Birmingham, Alabama 35209
Martin Rosta, District Manager


James W. Knapp, foreman, age 32, was electrocuted at approximately 12:05 p.m. on April 10, 1995, when the cable on a boom truck contacted a 13,200 volt overhead power line. The victim had been a foreman for about six years and had a total of 7-1/2 years mining experience, all with White Rock Quarries.

The MSHA Southeastern District office was notified of the accident at approximately 4:30 p.m. on April 10, 1995, by a telephone call from Stevens Hale, assistant superintendent for White Rock Quarries. An investigation was started the following day.

White Rock Quarries, a crushed limestone operation, owned and operated by Vecellio & Grogan, Incorporated, was located on 186th Street, Miami, Dade County, Florida. The principal operating official was James Hurley IV, vice president. The pit normally operated two, 8-hour production shifts, and one, 8-hour maintenance shift a day, 5 days a week. A total of 110 persons was employed.

The limestone deposit was mined by drilling and blasting. Material was excavated from under water by draglines and stockpiled adjacent to the pit for drying. The material was then loaded by front-end loaders into trucks and hauled to a primary crusher where it was crushed, then sized, screened and stockpiled. The finished product was used in the construction industry.

The last regular inspection at this operation was conducted October 19, 1994 and a regular inspection was conducted in conjunction with this investigation. MSHA is prohibited by budget restrictions from enforcing the training requirements of 30 CFR, Part 48, Subpart B at this crushed limestone operation.


The area where the accident occurred was known as the parts storage yard. About a month prior to the accident, Florida Power and Light installed a 13,200 volt, three-phase power line to be used at the mine to assemble a new dragline. The incoming power was placed directly over the parts storage yard. It consisted of three phase conductors and a static wire. The phase conductors were spaced approximately 2-1/2 feet apart and ranged from 33 feet to 38 feet above ground level. The static wire was placed approximately 28 feet above ground level.

The truck involved in the accident was a flatbed, 1991 Ford diesel F-900 series with a Manitex, model No. 1461 boom mounted on the truck bed. The boom was hydraulically-controlled and could be extended from 14 feet to 61 feet. The boom, at the pedestal, measured 12 feet above ground level and was capable of operating to an almost vertical position. It was controlled from a platform which was positioned behind the cab of the truck.

At the time of the accident, the truck was positioned parallel to, and approximately 15 feet from the overhead power line. The boom was extended about 34 feet and raised to an angle of approximately 52 degrees which placed the end of the boom at the same height as the lowest phase wire.


On the day of the accident, James W. Knapp (victim) arrived at the mine site at 6:00 a.m., his normal starting time, and carried out his duties as a foreman. Shortly before the accident, Knapp instructed James Jean, boom truck operator, to get the boom truck and meet him at the parts storage yard. The two men planned to pick up two crusher mantels and take them to the crusher in preparation for changing the mantels. Jean drove the truck to the parts storage yard and parked parallel to the 13,200 volt power line. Knapp arrived in the area and the two men began to load the crusher mantels.

Jean extended the boom so he could reach under the power line and Knapp hooked the chain sling which was attached to the boom cable, to the first 1500 pound crusher mantel. Jean then swung the boom away from under the power line, raised it and placed the mantel onto the bed of the truck. This was done without incident.

After Knapp unhooked the chain sling from the first mantel, he signaled Jean to swing the boom around to pick up the second mantel. While the boom was still in a raised position, Jean began swinging it back toward the energized power line. At this time, Knapp was walking back toward the next mantel to be loaded, holding the chain sling in one hand and signaling with the other. As Jean watched Knapp signal direction, the cable on the boom contacted the power line. Jean saw Knapp fall to the ground and at the same time saw sparking at the end of the boom.

He immediately pulled the control lever which moved the boom away from the power line.

Jean called out to Knapp but received no response. He ran to a nearby office trailer and called for help. First aid and CPR were administered to the victim by on site employees. The Metro Dade County Rescue Squad was called. They arrived in approximately 15 minutes and continued CPR. Knapp was transported by air life flight helicopter to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. He was pronounced dead by the attending physician at 2:45 p.m. The cause of death was determined to be electrocution.


The direct cause of the accident was the failure to deenergize the high-voltage power line before attempting to operate the boom truck near it.


Citation No. 4525377 was issued on April 11, 1995, under the provisions of Section 103(K):

A fatal accident occurred at this mine site on April 10, 1995, at about 12:05 p.m. when a Manitex boom truck, Model No. 1461 contacted a 13,200 high voltage power line. The serial number of the boom truck was FD4L90A GNVA 0214. This order prohibits the use of the boom truck and the movement. The area will be secured until an authorized representative of the Secretary of Labor reviews the accident and releases the boom truck.

This order was terminated on April 12, 1995. The boom of the Manitex boom truck was removed from the disconnected overhead power lines.

Citation No. 4088141 was issued on April 13, 1995, under the provisions of Section 104(d)(1) of the Mine Act for violation of Standard 56.12071:

A fatal accident occurred at this mine at about 12:05 p.m. on April 10, 1995, when a Manitex boom truck, Model No. 1461 came in contact with a 13,200 volt overhead power line. The victim was holding onto the boom cable preparing to hook up for a lift when the extended boom was swung into the power line resulting in electrocution. The foreman (victim) was aware of the vicinity of the power lines and was also directing the operation by hand signals.

This is an unwarrantable failure.

This citation was terminated on April 13, 1995. The citation was issued to company officials, discussed and terminated at the close-out conference.

Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon [FAB95M15]