Skip to content
COAL MINE FATALITY - Coal Mine Fatality - On Thursday May 15, 1997, a radio remote continuous mining machine was mining into a coal pillar during second mining. The section foreman was about 15 feet outby the continuous mining machine operator's location observing the mining. The roof in the entry and intersection fell suddenly and both were trapped beneath the roof fall. The section crew began rescue and recovery and as roof material was removed, verbal communication was maintained with the entrapped miners. Prior to reaching the section foreman, the rescuers heard the roof crack, and retreated from the area just as the roof fell again. After the second roof fall, the rescuers renewed their effort and after 1 � hours rescued the section foreman who was transported to the hospital with multiple injuries. Continuing, the rescuers worked towards the continuous mining machine operator removing fallen material and after five additional hours, the reached the mining machine operator. The operator however died from his injuries before the rescuers could extricate him.

This is the 11th coal mine fatality in 1997. As of May 15 of last year there had been 16 fatalities. This death is the second classified as ROOF FALL in 1997.

Drawing of the Accident Scene

For more information:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL97C11]