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COAL MINE FATALITY - On June 12, 1998, a 47-year-old continuous mining machine operator had completed operating a remote-controlled continuous mining machine to extract the last lift of coal from the No. 36 pillar block. Coal had been extracted from the No. 35 and No. 36 pillar blocks using the alternating lift pattern. The mining machine operator trammed the continuous mining machine out of the area and parked the machine. He then traveled to the opening between the No. 35 and No. 36 pillar blocks and was preparing to set the first breaker timber when the roof collapsed without warning. The 22' x 5' x 6' thick fall fatally injured the continuous mining operator.

  • When mining in a narrow peninsula of coal near the outcrop, extra precautions, such as extensive roof examinations, should be conducted to detect changes in the immediate roof.
  • This is the 14th fatality reported in calendar year 1998 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1997, there were 13 fatalities. This is the seventh fatality classified as a ROOF FALL in 1998.

    For more information:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL98C14]