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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On February 26, 1997, a driller (contractor employee) with 8 years of mining experience was killed at an iron ore pit. The employee was drilling the surface above an abandoned underground mine shaft when the ground caved in under the drill head. The employee fell 20-feet down a mine raise opened up by the drilling and was buried under material at the bottom. This is the 14th fatality reported in calendar year 1997 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1996, there were seven fatalities reported in these industries. This is the second fatality classified as fall of face/highwall in 1997. There were no fall of face/highwall fatalities during the same period in 1996.

(Upon completion of the accident investigation, this accident was reclassified to machinery.)

For more information:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL97M14]