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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, March 29, 2001, at approximately 11:50 a.m., a 48-year old continuous mining machine operator, with 30 years of mining experience, was seriously injured in a roof fall accident. The victim had just completed the first cut from a pillar block, during second mining, and was in the process of walking through a supported three way intersection. The mine roof apparently shifted, shearing off and breaking five - 5/8" x 4 � fully grouted roof bolts. A large rock, measuring 8" thick, 4' wide, and 6' long, fell on the victim, causing serious crushing injuries. The victim died of his injuries on March 31, 2001.

Diagram Depicting Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Be aware of changing roof and rib conditions and take appropriate actions immediately.
  • A visual examination of the roof, face, and ribs should be made immediately before any work is started, and periodically as conditions warrant.
  • Maintain uniform pillars to eliminate pillar points.
  • 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 5th fatal accident, reported in calendar year 2001, in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2000, there were eight fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the second fatal accident, classified as a Roof Fall, reported in the coal mining industry in 2001. At this time in 2000, there were no fatal accidents, classified as a 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