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COAL MINE FATALITY - On January 23, 1996, three welders were repairing a large metal barge (a pump float). One welder was using an oxygen/acetylene torch to cut a portion of the decking (a section of plate steel 20'x6'x1/4"), free from the top of the barge. Another welder was operating a front-end loader equipped with a boom pole, a chain, and a clevis, fastened onto the decking in order to raise the decking as it was cut free. The third welder was standing beside the barge observing. The section of the decking had been partially cut free and had been raised about 4 feet when the decking slipped from the clevis. The decking fell, trapping the head of the welder who was standing beside the barge, between the decking and the barge frame.

This is the second coal mine fatality in 1996. As of January 23, of last year, there had been 3 fatalities. This death is the second classified as MACHINERY in 1996.

Line drawing of the accident scene

For more information:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL96C02]