Mine Emergency Rescue Drill at Sugar Creek Mine


Central Plains Cement Company

Sugar Creek, MO
See map: Google Maps
  • Standing in front of the Drager MRV 9000 are (from left to right) Sugar Creek Mayor Matt Mallinson, Ken xx of Drager, MSHA Assistant Secretary Joseph Main, MSHA’s Chief of Mine Emergency Operations John Urosek, and MSHA’s Deputy Administrator for Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health Marvin Lichtenfels
  • MSHA Assistant Secretary Joseph Main thanks mine rescue teams for their hard work and dedication.
  • Miners in a mantrip prepare to travel underground with supplies.
  • During a first aid exercise, an injured victim is pulled from the wreckage of an overturned bus.
  • Injured victims are lined up and awaiting medical help.
  • Company officials and MSHA personnel study a mine map in the mine office.
  • MSHA’s state-of-the-art communications system enables rescue personnel to track the team’s location underground in real time.
  • Awaiting an update in MSHA’s command vehicle with MSHA Assistant Secretary Joseph Main (center) are personnel from MSHA’s Metal and Nonmetal South Central District: David Weaver (front), Robert Seelke (rear left) and Joseph Olivier (right).
  • Rescue team members retrieve supplies from the Drager MRV 9000.
  • A rescue team gathers underground and awaits instructions from its captain before proceeding.
  • A smoke-filled atmosphere challenges mine rescue team members as they search for injured and trapped miners.
  • Asst. Secretary Joe Main in discuss with miners
  • Some members of Mine Rescue Team standing in front of MSHA’s Emergency Command Vehicle
  • Mine rescue team in meeting
Event Date: 
November 06, 2015

This was the scenario during a recent mine emergency response drill: A truck containing explosives caught fire in an underground limestone mine in Missouri. When the explosives detonated, five miners became trapped beneath the rubble. An intense rescue followed, and four miners were successfully extricated. Tragically, one miner died from his injuries.

The drill took place Nov. 6 and 7 at Central Plains Cement Company in Sugar Creek, Mo., and it turned out to be one of MSHA’s larger-scale response exercises.  In addition to the host company, teams from around the Midwest participated: Doe Run, Martin Marietta, Vulcan Materials, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Lyons Salt, South Dakota School of Mines and Fred Weber Inc. These nine teams had their work cut out for them, navigating through dense smoke with zero visibility, extinguishing fires and administering first aid to dozens of “injured” miners in a triage environment.

MSHA’s fleet of mine emergency response equipment, which boasts state-of-the-art communications technology, was on full display, along with Drager’s MRV 9000, a mine rescue vehicle designed in cooperation with gold producer Goldcorp to travel safely underground during a mine emergency.  Other organizations in attendance included Missouri Department of Labor, Sugar Creek’s fire and police departments and members of the Fort Osage Vo-Tech firefighter/EMT class.

MSHA Assistant Secretary Joseph Main commended the collective efforts of all the participants.  “This is a darn good investment for the mine rescue community as a whole,” he said.  The previous day, Main toured Carmeuse Lime and Stone’s Longview Operation near Birmingham, Ala.