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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday October 1, 1997, the continuous mining machine operator and the helper, utilizing a remote control continuous mining machine, had completed a 20-foot cut to advance an entry. The continuous mining machine was backed out of the face into the roof bolted area of the entry. The two miners, positioned at or near the boom of the machine were observing a piece of draw rock in the freshly exposed top. Suddenly, the roof in the entry collapsed from the face outby into the bolted area. The roof fall killed the continuous mining machine operator. The falling roof knocked the continuous mining machine helper into a small protected area beneath the boom of the continuous mining machine. The helper was entrapped for a short while but was rescued, with slight injuries, by other members of the section crew.

This is the 25th coal mine fatality in 1997. As of October 1 of last year there had been 25 fatalities. This death is the eighth classified as FALL OF ROOF in 1997.

Photograph of the Accident Scene

For more information:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report[FTL97C25]