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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Sunday April 7, 1996, a mine superintendent and a miner were located inside of a surface high voltage substation. The high voltage mine power had developed a fault in the cable which supplied power underground. This caused the oil circuit breaker to trip inside the substation. The superintendent closed the 7200 VAC oil circuit breaker several times, but it continued to trip. During his final attempt at closing the circuit breaker, it exploded. The superintendent and the miner were seriously burned. On April 18, (11 days later), the superintendent died as a result of those burns.

This is the 14th coal mine fatality in 1996. As of April 7 last year, there had been 8 fatalities. This death is the first classified as ELECTRICAL in 1996.

Photograph of Oil Circuit Breaker

For more information:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL96C14]