Skip to content
COAL MINE FATALITY - On Saturday October 26, 1996, a general inside laborer with over 13 years mining experience, died while operating a 20-ton locomotive. The laborer was operating the locomotive on the tail of an equipment trip transporting a 4-ton longwall equipment sled along the main track enroute to the longwall setup area. The equipment sled was 20 feel long by 8 feet wide and was loaded on two supply cars coupled together and connected to a lead locomotive. The supply cars were each 14 feet long and 6 feet wide. The corners of the equipment sled were secured to the supply cars with four 3/8 inch chains, 3/8 inch bolts with nuts and washers. During the trip, at least one bolt and washer pulled through the chain link, allowing the load to shift on the supply cars. The left inby corner of the sled contacted a concrete rib retaining wall and was forced off the supply cars and overtop of the tail locomotive. The tail locomotive operator was struck by the sled as the locomotive passed beneath. The main track had sharp turns and undulations such that the longwall equipment sled was not adequately secured to the supply cars to allow for the stress forces caused to the trip by the track haulage way conditions.

This is the 28th coal mine fatality in 1996. As of October 26, of last year, there had been 37 fatalities. This death is the ninth classified as POWERED HAULAGE in 1996.

Photograph of Longwall Equipment Sled Wedged Across Track Entry

For more information:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL96C28]