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MSHA - Fatal Gram 

COAL MINE FATALITY - On Thursday, November 8, 2001, at approximately 11:37 pm, a 29 year old general inside laborer with 11 months of mining experience was fatally injured when three rail mounted supply cars ran away after becoming uncoupled from the brake car. There was a 5/8" safety chain attached between the brake car and the first supply car, that also failed. The three loaded supply cars descended approximately 1,775 feet to the bottom of the slope, through a derail device, and then traveled an additional 31 feet striking the victim who was filling a rail mounted pod duster near the slope bottom.

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Best Practices

  • Periodically check couplers for wear so that wear does not exceed tolerances specified by the manufacturer.

  • Use safety chains rated for the applicable load.

  • Check derail devices to assure their effectiveness.

  • Install audible and visual alarms to notify persons working on the slope bottom that supplies are being lowered into the mine.

  • Uncouple supply cars from the brake car after they are first lowered into the mine to avoid unnecessary and repetitive trips.
  • 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 37th fatality reported in the calendar year 2001 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2000, there were 33 fatalities. This is the first Hoisting type fatal accident reported in the coal mining industry in 2001. In 2000, there were two Hoisting type fatal accidents reported.

    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