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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Monday, July 31, 2000 , at about 11:48 pm, a 29 year old mechanic with 4 years mining experience and a 28 year old propman with 5 years of mining experience were fatally injured when a roof fall behind the longwall shields caused hydrocarbons on the mine floor to ignite. While the crew was attempting to extinguish the flame an explosion occurred.

Drawing depicting underground mine explosion

Best Practices

  • Consistently follow the approved ventilation plan.

  • Conduct thorough pre-shift, on-shift and weekly checks for methane and other hazards.

  • Keep potential ignition sources out of working areas ; give special attention to maintenance of bleeder systems in worked-out areas, to ensure that methane from these areas cannot accumulate and become a hazard.

  • Maintain adequate rockdust in all areas of 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 the18th and 19th fatalities reported in calendar year 2000 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 1999, there were 23 fatalities. These are the first and second ignition/explosion type of fatal accidents reported in the mining industry in 2000. The last fatality underground as a result of an ignition/explosion, occurred on May 11, 1994.

    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