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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, January 20, 1998, a 44-year-old mobile roof support operator was killed by a roof fall. The five-entry working section was conducting retreat mining utilizing a remote-controlled continuous mining machine, feeding coal to a continuous haulage unit. Four Mobile Roof Support Units were in use as supplemental roof support. Operating from the center entry, the continuous mining machine had just begun to attack the block of coal to the left of the entry. The continuous mining machine operator, the section foreman, and the mobile roof support operator were all positioned just inby the right rear corner of the continuous mining machine. A portion of the roof, 20 feet wide x 40 feet long x 4 feet thick, directly above and in front of the continuous mining machine, fell without warning. The roof fall is believed to have started at the edges of the mobile roof support, breaking many of the 5-foot resin grouted roof bolts as it continued to fall outby to where the three miners were located. The continuous mining machine operator was seriously injured by the falling roof and the section foreman narrowly escaped injury.

  • Personnel required to conduct the operation of the continuous mining machine and mobile roof support should be located as far back from the pillar lift as practical.
  • This is the second coal mine fatality in 1998. As of January 20 of last year there had been no fatalities. This death is the first classified as ROOF FALL in 1998.

    For more information:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL98C02]