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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, January 15, 1998, at approximately 7:30 a.m., a loaded track mounted supply car was being pulled to the surface of the mine. While still underground, the supply car uncoupled from an eight-ton tram motor near the No. 4 Belt Drive. A steel safety rope between the supply car and the tram motor also failed, releasing the car.

The runaway supply car traveled approximately 1750 feet down an incline which was approximately a two (2) percent grade. The car struck a man trip which was traveling up an incline toward the surface carrying five (5) persons. On impact, the supply car overrode one end of the man trip causing fatal injuries to a section mechanic and serious injuries to a foreman of an independent contractor company. Both were passengers aboard the man trip.

  • A preoperational inspection should always be conducted of track haulage equipment, including couplings and safety ropes/chains.

  • When deficiencies that can affect safety are found, the deficiencies should be corrected before the equipment is used.

  • Track haulage equipment operators should always ensure that the track is clear of other traffic before proceeding.
  • This is the first coal mine fatality in 1998. As of January 15 of last year there had been no fatalities. This death is the first classified as POWERED HAULAGE in 1998.

    For more information:
    Fatalgram Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL98C01]