COAL MINE FATALITY - On Friday, October 28, 2011, a 47-year old lead blaster and 23-year old blaster helper were killed when the 1-ton truck they were riding was struck and completely covered by fallen rock from a failed highwall. The victims were driving in the pit, past a trackhoe loading coal as they approached their work area. The rock reached approximately 80' across the 100' wide pit and struck the trackhoe and a haulage vehicle being loaded at the time of the accident.
This is the 18th and 19th fatalities reported in calendar year 2011 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2010 there were 46 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the first fatality classified as Fall of Highwall in 2011. At this time in 2010, 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:
MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report