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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On May 14, 2010, a 35 year-old mechanic/welder with 4 years of experience was fatally injured at a cement operation. The victim was using an oxy- acetylene torch to cut a damaged drill steel to salvage the drill bit. The drill steel exploded causing metal fragments to strike the victim.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above


Best Practices
  • Always examine materials before applying heat, cutting or welding.
  • Never apply heat to materials without ensuring that flammables/combustibles/explosive materials are not present.
  • Always examine materials with hollow spaces or cavities to ensure gases can vent before applying heat.
  • Never apply heat to materials where pressure build up is possible.

  • 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 6th fatality reported in calendar year 2010 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 2009, there were 10 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 1st Exploding Vessels Under Pressure fatality in 2010. There were 0 Exploding Vessels Under Pressure fatalities in the same period in 2009.


    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