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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, October 16, a field technician, water sampler, was riding a four-wheel, all terrain vehicle (ATV) along the top of a water control levy. While riding along the top of the levy, the victim encountered a tree that obstructed his passage and he attempted to go around the tree on the inclined side of the levy. The ATV became unstable and overturned, trapping the victim underneath causing fatal suffocation. The ATV weighed approximately 560 pounds. No witnesses were present at the time of the accident, however observations at the site suggest, as the victim was turning in the uphill direction, he encountered an unnoticeable depression which caused the ATV to overturn. The area was covered with thick undergrowth and small trees.

This is the 27th coal mine fatality in 1997. As of October 16 of last year there had been 25 fatalities. This death is the eleventh classified as POWERED HAULAGE in 1997.

Photograph of the Accident Scene

For more information:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL97C27]