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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, August 21, 2001, a 49-year old fuel mechanic with 20 years of mining experience was fatally injured when he was struck by material which fell from the inside of a dragline bucket. At the time, the bucket was inverted and sitting on the ground so that the dump rope could be changed. The victim and another mechanic were sitting on the bucket arch in the shade of the bucket taking a lunch break when the accident occurred. The material that fell was estimated to be approximately 18 to 24 inches long by 8 to 12 inches wide by 3 inches thick. The material, which consisted of a sandy clay, fell approximately 17 to18 feet. The dragline was a Bucyrus-Erie Model 1350 with a 66 cubic yard bucket.

Photo of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Work areas must be examined thoroughly for hazardous conditions.
  • Miners must be alert to their surroundings for possible hazards.
  • 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 14th fatal accident reported for the coal mining industry in calendar year 2001. As of this date in 2000, there were twenty-two fatalities reported in this industry. This is the 1st fatal accident, classified as fall of material, reported in the coal mining industry in 2001. At this time in 2000, there were no fatal accidents, classified as fall of material, 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