COAL MINE FATALITY
- Wednesday, December 17, 1997, a longwall system was in the process of being installed. As part of the set-up, a crew was pulling the stage loader conveyor chain into the stage loader. The conveyor chain was attached to 5/8-inch wire rope. The wire rope passed through a sheave wheel anchored to a roof bolt then around a coal pillar and was attached to a diesel scoop. While the diesel scoop pulled, the chain conveyor moved until the conveyor chain fouled, overloading the wire rope/pulley arrangement. Two miners and a service engineer walked into the area just as the overloading caused the roof bolt to break, releasing the sheave wheel and the wire rope under tension. The two miners and the service engineer were struck and injured by the wire rope as it propelled through the area. The service engineer died from his injuries and the two miners were taken to the hospital, treated and released.
This is the 28th coal mine fatality in 1997. As of December 17 of last year there had been 36 fatalities. This death is the twelfth classified as POWERED HAULAGE in 1997.
Photograph of the Accident Scene
For more information: MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL97C28]