District 5 - Coal Mine Safety and Health
A Near Miss
On Monday, July 12, 2004, at approximately 9:30 A.M., an experienced excavator operator ruptured a 12 inch gas pipe line while cleaning out a sump for the underground mine. The gas line capacity was stated by gas company officials to be four and one-half million cubic feet every 24 hours @ 100 PSI. The sump is located in a creek bed approximately 150 feet from the mine access road, and the road is used by all traffic to and from the mine. The gas line was marked with "Buried Gas Line" signs on each side of the road, but was not marked where the excavator was digging. Fortunately there was no fire or explosion. The excavator operator stated that he had cleaned this sump on two or three different occasions without any problems.
- Never dig in an area of a known gas line until the gas company has been notified and the line has been flagged.
- When in doubt, don�t dig.
- Report all accidents immediately to proper authorities.
- Prohibit travel in the affected area until the gas has been turned off, and the area is clear.