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Fatality #17 - July 17, 2008

Accident Classification: Powered Haulage
Location: Butcher Branch, Kentucky
Mine Controller: Century Operations LLC
Mine Type: Underground
Mined Material: Coal (Bituminous)
Incident Date/Time: July 17, 2008 04:30 pm
Victim Died 07/25/2008

At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 17, 2008, Joseph D. Roberts, a 45-year old shuttle car operator with 22 years of mining experience, was fatally injured in a powered haulage accident. The accident occurred as the victim was riding on top of a 488 S&S scoop. The scoop was being trammed, battery end first, and encountered a dip in the mine floor. While attempting to stop the scoop, the scoop operator dropped the bucket into the mine floor, which caused the scoop to raise upward, pinning the victim against the mine roof. He was air lifted to Holston Valley Hospital in Bristol, Tennessee and diagnosed with a broken pelvis. On Tuesday, July 22, he was treated for kidney failure and placed on a ventilator. On Friday, July 25, while undergoing emergency surgery, the victim died. 

The accident occurred because: (1) management policies and procedures were inadequate and failed to ensure that miners did not ride on top of mobile equipment, (2) adequate examinations were not being conducted and no corrective actions taken as required on mobile equipment, (3) the scoop's service brakes and emergency braking systems were not maintained in a proper operating condition. 


COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, July 17, 2008, a 45-year old shuttle car operator with 16 years experience was fatally injured when crushed against the mine roof while riding on top of a scoop. The scoop was traveling through a dip in the mine floor when the scoop operator attempted to stop by lowering the bucket. This caused the area where the victim was riding to bow upward crushing the victim between the scoop and the mine roof. The victim was hospitalized and died on July 25, 2008.