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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On July 16, 1997, a contractor blaster with 18 years of mining experience was fatally injured at an open pit mine. Two employees had loaded a hole with four 3-1/2" by 16" sticks of gel dynamite, and were lowering a fifth stick containing a nonelectric cap, when it hung in the hole. They were trying to dislodge it with a tamping pole when it detonated. The victim was blown over the 60-foot highwall, and the second employee was critically injured. This is the 38th fatality reported in calendar year 1997 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1996, there were 28 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the 1st fatality classified as explosives in 1997. There was one explosives fatality during the same period in 1996.

For more information:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL97M38]