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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, June 21, 2000, a 28 year old continuous mining machine operator, with 10 years mining experience, was fatally injured in a roof-fall accident. The accident occurred in the No. 1 room off the No. 6 entry of the 001-0 working section. The continuous-mining machine was mining in the first left side lift when a horseback in the roof measuring 28 feet wide, 18 feet long, and 8 feet thick fell with little warning. An eyewitness to the accident stated that the roof fell seconds after they heard the top begin to work, making what he referred to as a crunching noise. The miner operator was caught beneath the fall, killing him instantly. The miner helper (eyewitness) was caught and trapped by the fall for approximately 45 minutes, receiving a fracture to his lower right leg.

Fatal Alert Bulletin Drawing

Best Practices

  • Approved mining projections should be followed at all times.

  • Provide sight lines in all entries, rooms, crosscuts, and pillar splits.

  • Maintain uniform pillars to eliminate pillar points.

  • Make daily notations of mining progress on the mine map.

  • Provide accurate reports of preshift and onshift examinations.
  • 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 16th fatality reported in calendar year 2000 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1999, there were 16 fatalities. This is the first roof fall fatality reported in the coal mining industry in 2000. There were four roof fall fatalities reported in the same period in 1999.

    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