Skip to content
MSHA - Stay Out and Stay Alive Stay Out - Stay Alive
Mine Hazard Awareness Campaign

Accident Information File


04/09/2004
Sometime after midnight on April 9, a 36-year-old man was electrocuted while attempting to steal copper at an abandoned mine site in McDowell County, West Va. The mine had been abandoned since 2001. According to reports, two men and two women entered the property carrying bolt cutters, axes and other hand tools. The victim forcibly entered the substation, where main disconnects were open but the incoming side (from the power company) was energized. The victim climbed above the disconnected portion of the substation to the incoming power feed, attempted to cut the cable, and was electrocuted. His girlfriend ran to a nearby campground and called 911. State police were investigating the incident as one in a series of similar theft crimes in the area. (Source: MSHA)