Skip to content
COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, May 29, 2001, a roof fall accident claimed the life of a 54-year-old section foreman, with 34 years of mining experience. The accident occurred on the working section where pillar recovery was being conducted. The victim was attempting to set the first breaker post after the first lift had been mined from the pillar block when the mine roof suddenly fell. The victim was caught by the out by end of the falling mine roof which resulted in fatal crushing injuries. The initial fall was a solid piece of mine roof measuring approximately 30 feet wide by 40 feet long and from 1 to 7 feet thick at the back end of the fall. The mining height of this location was 96 inches.

Drawing depicting roof fall

Best Practices

  • Always examine the roof in your work area prior to doing any work.
  • Always be alert of changing roof conditions.
  • Always follow the approved roof control plan.
  • Breaker post should be installed from the out by side of the remaining pillar block toward the pillared out areas.
  • 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 9th fatal accident, reported in calendar year 2001, in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2000, there were fourteen fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the fourth fatal accident, classified as roof fall, reported in the coal mining industry in 2001. At this time in 2000, there were no fatal accidents, classified as roof fall, in the coal mining industry.

    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