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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, March 14, 2001, a 53 year old foreman, with 35 years mining experience, was fatally injured in a fall of roof accident. The accident occurred in the first connecting crosscut between the Nos. 2 and 3 Rooms driven right off the East Mains. A roof bolting machine operator informed the foreman that he could not get the roof bolting machine into the unsupported cut until some fallen roof material was moved. The foreman, began operating a scoop car to move the fallen roof material from the unsupported crosscut. As he was making his second pass, he traveled approximately four feet inby supported roof. A section of mine roof consisting of broken shale measuring approximately 18 feet long by 16.5 feet wide and ranging from 0 to 36 inches in thickness fell, trapping the victim in the operator's compartment of the scoop car, resulting in fatal crushing injuries.

Drawing Depicting Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Never work or travel under unsupported roof.
  • Always do a thorough and complete preshift examination for hazardous conditions prior to performing any work in an area.
  • Always know and follow the provisions of the approved Roof Control Plan.
  • More Information E-mail Suggestion for Accident Prevention Program Submit your own suggestion for a remedy to prevent this type of accident in the future.
    Please specify if you wish your submission to be anonymous or whether your name may be used. Please include the year of the fatality and the fatality number.

    This is the 3rd fatal accident, reported in calendar year 2001, in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2000, there were six fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the first fatal accident, classified as roof fall, reported in the coal mining industry in 2001. At this time in 1999, there were no fatal accidents, classified as roof fall, in the coal mining industry.

    The information provided in this notice is based on preliminary data ONLY and does not represent final determinations regarding the nature of the incident or conclusions regarding the cause of the fatality.

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