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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, May 22, 2008, a 64-year old underground locomotive (motor) operator with 25 years experience was fatally injured when he was pinned between his motor and a longwall shearer being transported on a rail type carrier. The victim, three other operators, and a foreman, were transporting the longwall shearer body to a longwall setup section when the carrier derailed as it was moving upgrade. The victim dismounted the #3 motor to assist in rerailing the carrier. He was between the motor and the carrier when the motor(s) slid or rolled back, crushing him between the shearer body and locomotive.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the paragraph above


Best Practices
  • Never place yourself between rail cars/equipment unless positive stop blocks are in place.
  • Always set parking brakes when getting off mobile track equipment.
  • Pull, do not push rail cars.
  • Always be aware of your location in relation to mobile 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 tenth fatality reported in calendar year 2008 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2007, there were seven fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the third Powered Haulage fatality in 2008. At this time in 2007, there were no fatalities in this classification.


    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