This pillar lift was thirty-three (33) feet deep and thirty (30) feet wide. The shuttle car involved in the accident was center-driven and due to the depth of the pillar split mined, the operator's compartment was advanced inby permanent roof supports. Due to undulations in the mine roof and floor, which caused mining heights to normally range between 36 to 41 inches, canopies were not being used on the mining equipment. The roof control plan limited the cut depth to 20 feet.
This is the 39th coal mine fatality in 1996. As of December 9th of last year, there had been 43 fatalities. This death is the 13th classified as ROOF FALL in 1996.
MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL96C39]