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COAL MINE FATALITY - On March 23, 1997 a longwall stage loader operator and another miner were setting wooden cribs in the stage loader area as the longwall section mined toward them. After breaking open a bundle of crib blocks and partially building a crib at the mouth of a crosscut, the stage loader operator walked to the longwall master controller. A 21-foot long section of the eight-foot rib suddenly collapsed opposite the master controller. The stage loader operator was crushed against the master controller box.

This is the sixth coal mine fatality in 1997. As of March 23 last year, there had been 10 fatalities. This death is the first classified as FALL OF RIB in 1997.

Photograph of the Accident Scene

For more information:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL97C06]