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District 8 - Coal Mine Safety and Health
Info-Grams and Close Call Accidents

Close Call Graphic
Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration

Accident Info-Gram

Bulldozer Fire

A bulldozer fire occurred on January 7, 2002, at a surface mine in District 8. The D11 Caterpillar bulldozer received extensive damages to the cab, engine compartment, underlying hydraulic hoses, and electrical apparatus.
    Bulldozer On Fire While in idle the operator noticed smoke coming out of the engine compartment at approximately 12:20 p.m. When the operator exited the cab to investigate the source of the smoke and extinguish the fire, flames came out from under the cab and surrounded the area where he was standing. Due to the extent of the fire, the operator was unable to activate the fire suppression system or obtain a fire extinguisher. He jumped to the ground and then summoned help. The local fire department was called and the company's dry-chemical fire-suppression trailer was brought to the scene.
    Fire Suppression TrailorDuring the fire, the fire suppression's automatic actuator activated. The fire suppression system was designed to protect both sides of the machine, but the left side failed to operate.
    Evidence indicated that an electrical short circuit in the wiring harness beneath the floor of the cab caused the fire. The resulting fire burned through nearby hydraulic hoses. The damaged hydraulic hoses then provided additional fuel to the fire.
  • Frequently examine and properly maintain onboard electrical apparatus of mine equipment.
  • Fire suppression systems should be properly tested and maintained.
  • Locate at least one fire suppression actuators where it can be easily activated from ground level.

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This file was last updated on 1/28/2003

This information was provided by concerned miners in an effort to eliminate accidents. Accident or "close call" information within District 8 may be shared by contacting the MSHA office at (812) 882-7617.