On April 28, 2016, the bodies of a 20-year-old and a 19-year-old were recovered in an area known as the clay pits in Harrison County, Texas.
On June 14, 2015, a 22-year old man and several others were swimming in an abandoned water-filled pit in Pennsylvania. According to witnesses, the 22-year old jumped from a 50’ highwall into the water; he resurfaced, but went back under the water and drowned. On August 21, 2015, at the same quarry, a 19-year-old from the same community also drowned after diving into the abandoned water-filled pit.
Each year, throughout the nation dozens of people are injured or killed while exploring or playing on mine property. The men and women employed in our nation's mines are trained to work in a safe manner. For trespassers, hazards are not always apparent.
Water-filled quarries and pits hide rock ledges, old machinery and other hazards. The water can be deceptively deep and dangerously cold. Steep, slippery walls make exiting the water difficult. Hills of loose material can easily collapse on an unsuspecting biker or climber. Vertical shafts can be hundreds of feet deep and may be completely unprotected, or hidden by vegetation.
As summer approaches, the Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association and MSHA are issuing this alert to help focus the industry’s attention on “Stay Out – Stay Alive” efforts to prevent trespasser fatalities on mine properties.
Please visit the “Stay Out – Stay Alive” webpage here. This webpage provides information and materials on the dangers of entering abandoned mine properties. MSHA keeps a running list of the known fatal accidents because this information, when widely shared, provides a deterrent to young people who may naively believe that they are invincible.
Please help us raise awareness about this summertime danger.