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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, November 20, 2001, a track crew was installing rail in the 2 Right, 5 South, Section, just inby Crosscut No. 68. Two crewmembers were installing fish plates approximately 7 feet inby a flat car that was loaded with rails and coupled to a battery-powered locomotive. At approximately 11:55 a.m., a third crewmember attempted to move the car and locomotive in an outby direction. When the locomotive brake was released, it drifted inby, causing the rails on the flat car to strike the two miners that were installing fish plates, resulting in fatal injuries to one miner.

Diagram of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Equipment operators should be certain that all persons are clear before starting or moving equipment.

  • The operator of self-propelled equipment should give an audible warning where the movement of the equipment may endanger persons.

  • Positive-acting stopblocks should be used where necessary to protect persons working near haulage equipment.
  • 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 38th fatal accident, reported in calendar year 2001, in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2000, there were 33 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the 7th fatal accident, classified as Powered Haulage reported in the coal mining industry in 2001. At this time in 2000, there were 10 fatal accidents, classified as Powered Haulage accidents 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