Sanborn Creek Mine Fire


MSHA - Oxbow Mine Fire Image
Click Picture for Enlargement


Weeks of May 9 through May 16, 1999

Continued monitoring revealed the mine atmosphere was safe for rescue teams to reenter the mine. On May 13, 1999, mine rescue teams entered the mine through the portal openings to explore and re-establish ventilation. Damage to ventilation controls was most extensive in the area of the mine outby the longwall development panels. By May 15, mine rescue teams had advanced to the longwall and found no damage to the equipment from the fire or explosion.

On May 19, the exhausting #3 Fan was started to increase the volume of airflow and better ventilate the area of the mine inby the # 3 Fan. The remaining portion of the mine was then successfully explored and no damage was observed. By May 22, exploration work was completed and mine personnel began rehabilitation of the mine.

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