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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday October 29, 1996, a mechanic with eight years of mining experience, died when the haulage truck he was driving crashed and overturned. The mechanic was operating a 50-ton end-dump haulage truck handling refuse from the preparation plant area to the refuse dump. After dumping a load of coal refuse, the mechanic was returning to the plant. About 1.6 miles from the refuse pile, the haulage road passed under the overland belt structure that crossed the haulage road at about a 30 degree angle. The belt structure had a 20 to 27 foot clearance above the roadway. For reasons unknown, when the haulage truck approached the belt structure, the bed of the truck was in the raised position. The truck was traveling at an estimated 30 mph when the raised bed struck the belt structure causing the truck to overturn onto the operator's cab. The mechanic, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was partially ejected from the cab through the windshield. Indications are that the truck bed was inadvertantly left in the raised position upon leaving the refuse pile area. The truck driver had two months experience as a refuse truck operator. The accident occurred during daylight hours.

This is the 31st coal mine fatality in 1996. As of October 29, of last year, there had been 38 fatalities. This death is the eleventh classified as POWERED HAULAGE in 1996.

Photograph of The Overland Belt Structure

For more information:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL96C31]