Skip to content
COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday March 23, 2000, a pumper/electrician, who had been working alone, was found submerged in six feet of water at an underground sump. The victim did not come out of the mine at the end of his shift and was not found until 5 hours later, during the next shift. The results of an autopsy determined that the cause of death was drowning.

Best Practices

  • A positive check-in and check-out system should be maintained to help ensure that all miners are accounted for at the end of their shift. Immediate action must be taken to locate all miners who fail to check-out of the mine at the end of their shift.

  • Physical barriers should be installed and maintained in good condition around all hazardous areas, such as sumps.

  • Miners, performing duties that require them to travel or work alone, such as pumpers or fire bosses, should be required to contact a responsible person periodically and inform them of where they are and where they are going. This information could be used to help locate the miner if the miner does not check-out at the end of the shift or in the event of an emergency requiring the miners to evacuate the mine.
  • More Information
    E-mail Suggestion for Accident Prevention Program
    Submit your own suggestion for a remedy to prevent this type of accident in the future.
    Please specify if you wish your submission to be anonymous or whether your name may be used. Please include the year of the fatality and the fatality number.

    This is the eighth fatality reported in calendar year 2000 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1999, there were eight fatalities.

    The information provided in this notice is based on preliminary data ONLY and does not represent final determinations regarding the nature of the incident or conclusions regarding the cause of the fatality.

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