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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, December 19, 1996, a miner was operating a backhoe loading coal into a large haulage truck. The highwall of the open pit collapsed into the pit containing two vehicles. The collapsing material moved and covered a portion of the haul truck and the cab of the backhoe was completely covered with mud and water. The truck operator escaped from the truck unharmed but the backhoe operator was fatally injured. Recovery operations were started immediately, however, it took seven hours to recover the backhoe operator.

This is the 36th coal mine fatality in 1996. As of December 19, of last year, there had been 45 fatalities. This death is the fifth classified as FALL OF RIB (HIGHWALL) in 1996.

Photograph of the Accident Scene

For more information:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL96C36]