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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Sunday, September 23, 2001, a roof fall occurred in an intersection next to a battery charging station. The battery charging station and possibly the adjacent permanent stopping were compromised by the roof fall. A short time after the roof fall, an explosion occurred injuring several miners. Some time later, a secondary explosion occurred which resulted in 13 fatalities.

Drawing depicting roof fall

Best Practices

  • Always ensure that the roof and ribs are stable at electrical installations.

  • Ensure that stoppings are well constructed and maintained.

  • Ensure that roof and ribs are closely evaluated during the required examinations and always be aware of changing conditions.
  • 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.

    These are the 20th through 32nd fatalities, reported in calendar year 2001, in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2000, there were 29 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the first fatal accident classified as ignition/explosion reported in the coal mining industry in 2001. At this time in 2000, there were two underground fatalities classified as ignition/explosion 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