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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Monday, January 2, 2006, at approximately 6:30 a.m., an underground explosion occurred resulting in the deaths of 12 miners and serious injury to one miner. Mine rescue teams rescued the surviving miner and recovered the remaining victims during the morning of January 4, 2006.

Sago Mine Map
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General Best Practices for Preventing Explosions
  • Maintain Sufficient Ventilation: Ample ventilation is the first line of defense against an ignition or explosion.
  • Apply Rock Dust Liberally: Generous applications of rock dust can prevent the propagation of coal dust explosions.
  • Make Frequent Tests for Methane: During winter months, gas tests should be made more frequently.
  • Maintain Effective Bleeder Systems and Seals: Tests for proper airflow, methane, and oxygen deficiency can warn of dangerous accumulations of explosive or noxious gases and assist in detecting malfunctioning bleeders or seals.
  • Use Special Precautions when Mining Near, or Into, Inaccessible Areas: The drilling of test holes, to prevent accidental mining into such areas, is of prime importance.
  • Clean Up Loose Coal, Coal Dust and Other Combustible Material: The possibility of a fire or explosion can be diminished by reducing the fuel supply.
  • Maintain Water Sprays and Dust Collectors: Water sprays and dust collectors reduce the fuel available for a potential fire or explosion.
  • 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 first twelve fatalities reported during calendar year 2006 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2005, there were no fatalities reported in coal mining.

    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