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District 4



Brushy Eagle Mine (ID No. 46-08315)
Marfork Coal Company, Inc.
Whitesville, Raleigh County, West Virginia

February 02, 2001


William H. Uhl, Jr.
Coal Mine Safety and Health Inspector

James L. Angel
Mechanical Safety Division

Robert Boring
Electrical Safety Division

Originating Office - Mine Safety and Health Administration
100 Bluestone Road, Mount Hope, West Virginia 25880
Edwin P. Brady, District Manager

Release Date: July 20, 2001


On Friday, February 02, 2001, between 11:00 a.m. and 2:40 p.m., a 48 year-old supply motorman, with 22 years mining experience was fatally injured. The powered-haulage accident occurred approximately 5,000 feet inby the mine portal of the Marfork Coal Company, Inc., Brushy Eagle Mine. The victim, Allen Harris, Jr., a contracted employee of Mountain Energy, LLC, was last seen leaving the surface supply yard at approximately 11:00 a.m. The twelve ton, battery-powered, Brookville locomotive he was operating had been coupled to two mine supply cars loaded with twelve pallets of cinder blocks and two bundles of wire mesh. These supplies were to be delivered to the No. 1 working section.

> Mr. Harris engaged the 0-to-13.4% ascending grade which began at survey station No. 375 and extended inby approximately 2500 feet. Harris traveled upgrade for an undetermined distance where he apparently lost control of his trip. This resulted in the trip reversing direction and traveling backwards down the grade in a runaway condition. As the trip neared the bottom of the grade it derailed, ejecting Harris from the locomotive. Harris was found at the base of the grade at 2:40 p.m., by the No. 1 section evening-shift crew. He had been crushed between the supplies being transported and the locomotive. No vital signs could be detected upon his discovery.


The Marfork Coal Company, Inc., Brushy Eagle Mine is located near Whitesville, Raleigh County, West Virginia. The mine first became operational on November 17, 1993, and remained in active producing status except for the period of May 1998 to June 1999. The average height of the Eagle seam being mined is fifty inches. Employment is provided for 110 miners on two production shifts and one maintenance shift, working five-to-six days per week on 9-hour work shifts. One longwall section and one advancing continuous-miner section are currently being operated, producing approximately 12,132 raw tons per day. Coal is transported from both active sections by conveyor belt systems. The mine is supplied by track haulage using 2 twelve-ton model 1260-xlow locomotives, made by Brookville Manufacturing. Miners enter the mine through drift portals via battery-powered covered mantrips.

Principal officials for Marfork Coal Company, Inc. are as follows: John Jones, President; Larry Ward, Vice President; Everett Hager, General Superintendent; Clarence Dickens, Mine Foreman; and Gary Thomas, Safety Director.


On Friday, February 02, 2001, the victim, Allen Harris, Jr., began his shift at 6:30 a.m., and was dispatched by the mine foreman, Clarence Dickens, to deliver a load of rails from the Ellis portal to the No. 1 Section. Dickens last talked to Harris at the Stink portal switch about 9:00 a.m. The rails were delivered to the No. 1 section and Harris returned to the Ellis portal at approximately 10:50 a.m. Darwin Duncan, endloader operator, assisted by Harris, completed loading two cars of mine supplies which consisted of twelve pallets of cinder blocks and two bundles of wire mesh screen. Harris departed from the Ellis portal in route to the No. 1 section at approximately 11:00 a.m. He was operating a twelve-ton, battery-powered Brookville locomotive with the two cars of mine supplies in tow.

Harris traveled approximately 5,000 feet inby the Ellis portal to survey station 375 where he engaged a (0-to-13.4%) straight ascending grade which extended inby that point for approximately 2,500 feet. He traveled up the grade to an undetermined point where he apparently lost forward momentum and the trip began to run backwards down the grade. The trip had apparently gained a high rate of speed by the time it approached the bottom of the grade.

Evidence at the scene indicated that Mr. Harris stayed with the locomotive until it reached the base of the grade. On approach to the "S" curve, at the base of the grade, the locomotive tore out a section of the outside track and derailed completely. Most of the supplies being hauled were thrown from the two supply cars. The victim was ejected in the same direction as the supplies and received crushing injuries from the derailed locomotive as the momentum of the runaway trip carried it past where the victim had landed against the supplies.

The evening shift, No.1 section crew, supervised by Larry Saunders, entered the Ellis portal at approximately 2:30 p.m., and came upon the accident scene about 2:40 p.m. Saunders stated that no vital signs could be detected. The victim was immediately transported to the surface. The Whitesville Ambulance Service transported Mr. Harris to the Charleston Area Medical Center where he was pronounced dead on arrival.


The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) was notified of the accident by Marfork Coal Company, Safety Director, Gary Thomas at 3:10 p.m., Friday February 02, 2001. MSHA and representatives of the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training jointly conducted the investigation assisted by representatives of the operator and the miners. A 103 (k) Order was issued to ensure the safety of all persons until the investigation was completed.

Photos, sketches, audio and video recordings, and an engineering survey of the affected areas of the accident scene were made. Interviews were conducted of persons considered to have knowledge of the facts concerning the accident. The on-site portion of the investigation was completed and the 103 (k) Order was terminated on February 06, 2001.



An inspection of the training records indicated that Mr. Harris received training in accordance with 30 CFR, Part 48.


The preshift, on-shift, and weekly examination records indicated that examinations were being conducted and the results recorded in accordance with 30 CFR, Part 75.

Physical Factors

� Mining height in the affected area averages fifty inches.

� Travel time from the portal to the accident scene was approximately 15 minutes.

� Locomotive operators did not fill out pre-operational checklists. Any problems were verbally reported to management. The victim did not report any problems with the locomotive on the day of the accident.

� Statements indicated there were twelve pallets of block and two bundles of wire mesh on two supply cars being pulled by the locomotive at the time of the accident. Debris at the accident site appeared to confirm this statement. The weight of the 2 loaded supply cars was estimated to be 21 tons. The total train weight at the time of the accident was estimated to be 33 tons.

� Mine personnel reported that a locomotive pulling two supply cars was not unusual. They noted that heavier loads had been transported.

� A mine locomotive operator stated that the tram lever was normally pushed to the full forward position when going up the grade where the accident occurred. The operator noted that the locomotive had "pretty good power" when it reached the top of the grade.

� Statements indicated that the locomotive usually made two trips before the batteries needed recharged. At the end of the second trip, the battery gauge usually indicated the batteries were � charged. The locomotive was on its second trip at the time of the accident.

� The track installation in the affected area was in good condition and well maintained.

� There was no water on the track in the affected area and no indication of moisture on the track.

� There was very little indication that sand was being used or applied to the track even though sand was available and the locomotive's sanding devices were provided.

� The two front sander boxes were found to be approximately 3/4 full and the two rear sanders were full. All sanders applied sand to the rails when operated.

� There was no indication on the track or the locomotive's trucks that a spin out had occurred or that the brakes had been locked causing the trucks to slide on the track.

� The directional control was found in the forward position and the self-centering tram lever was found in the centered (neutral) position when observed at the accident site.

� The trip was being pulled by a Brookville Model 1260B Xlow locomotive that had a nominal weight of 24,000 lbs. It was approximately 22 feet long, 8 feet wide, and had a maximum canopy height of 37". The locomotive had a wheel base of 7 feet. It was equipped with 28" diameter wheels and operated on 42" gauge track. The locomotive received electric power from two, 990 Amp-Hour batteries that weighed approximately 4,250 lbs each. The vehicle's electrical system consisted of electric motors and associated control and monitoring components. There were two, 30 hp, 120VDC traction motors, a 3 hp motor for a belt-driven air compressor, and a 15 hp auxiliary hydraulic pump motor for a power-take-off (PTO). Electrical controls for the motors were manufactured by Saminco, Inc. The locomotive was also equipped with a "Jackwalker" that lifted the locomotive for maintenance work and re-railing,

� The locomotive was equipped with operator's compartments at each end of the machine. The victim was operating the locomotive from the compartment on the inby end at the time of the accident. Neither operator's compartment was equipped with a safety chain to prevent the operator from being ejected from the compartment. There was no broken weld or bracket to indicate where, if ever, the safety chain had been installed. The machine's maintenance manual states the compartments are provided with safety chains and "If a safety chain is broken, do not ride in that compartment."

� An "Emergency-Stop Button" or E-Stop is provided in the compartment as a panic button. This button trips the breaker but does not set any brakes.

� The E-Stop in the front compartment was found in the activated or "in" position at the accident site. Personnel at the mine stated the machine was not running when they arrived at the accident site. From discussions with mine personnel, there is no indication the E-Stop was activated after the accident. It is considered likely that the victim activated the E-Stop at some time during the accident.

� A "Circuit Breaker Reset Button" was present in the operator's compartments to mechanically reset the machine's main circuit breaker. This button activates an air cylinder. When activated, the cylinder pushes the circuit breaker lever from the tripped position to the "on" position. However, in the front compartment, the knob on the reset button was missing. Only a threaded rod was present. This valve did not activate the air cylinder when the threaded rod was depressed. No sound of air flow was heard when the cylinder activated. The same air valve in the rear compartment was activated. It also did not activate the cylinder but air was heard to vent when the button was released. A plate adjacent to the front operator's compartment covered the circuit breaker. The operator would have had to remove the plate, from outside the compartment, to manually reset the breaker. If the circuit breaker was tripped during the accident, possibly by the operator's inadvertent actuation of the E-Stop while moving the tram lever forward, the locomotive would have lost power. The operator could not likely have restarted the locomotive, without getting out of the machine.

� A battery capacity gauge is provided in each operator's compartment to show the amount of charge left in the locomotive's batteries. Indicator readings in the green zone indicate that the batteries are fully operational, white-yellow indicates 72% discharge, and the red zone indicates 75% discharge alerting the operator that the batteries need to be recharged. Indicator readings following the accident were observed to be in the green zone of the gauge.

Operational Tests

Several operational tests were performed on the locomotive. A typical tram sequence begins with setting the main circuit breaker. This supplies power from the batteries to the electrical system. The "power on indicator" light illuminates signifying that the electric circuits are energized. It was found that the power on indicator lights in both the front and rear compartments did not work. When power is available, the air compressor begins to cycle on and off between preset air pressure limits. This is accomplished using pressure switches installed in the air system that turn the compressor motor on or off, based on system air pressure. Next, the tram drive circuits are activated by depressing the "start" button. This action causes the tram drive logic circuits to test the vital functions of the electrical system. These functions include circuit faults or over-temperature conditions within the drive circuits, ground faults in the tram motors, loss of electrical continuity of the shunt trip mechanism used to electrically trip the main circuit breaker, and system air pressure below that required to release the parking brake. If any of these conditions exist, the tram control circuits will not be enabled and the "run" indicator light will not illuminate when the parking brake is released. The vital functions of the electric drive system are continuously monitored during tram operations of the locomotive. When the system detects a problem, the tram controls cease to function or in the case of critical malfunctions, such as overcurrent conditions caused by short circuits or abnormally high current (greater than 900 amperes) from either motor or over-temperature conditions (greater than 105 C) of the tram controllers' power devices, the main circuit breaker is tripped.

When the tram circuits are enabled, the operator releases the emergency/park brake and selects a direction of travel with the "forward/reverse" rotary switch. A "neutral" position is also provided on the directional switch for towing, should the locomotive become disabled. With the "forward" setting of the directional switch selected, tram motor torque and speed are proportionally increased by the operator as the self-centering tram control lever is moved away from its center (neutral) position and toward the direction of travel. Moving the tram lever in the opposite direction causes regenerative braking action to increase proportionally as the lever is moved away from the center position.

These tram actions follow the same protocols, whether the locomotive is trammed from either the front or the rear operator's compartment. The operator can not change tramming direction until the locomotive is completely stopped. If the vehicle is moving when the operator changes the directional switch position from "forward" to "reverse" or from "reverse" to "forward", the tram controller logic circuits will lock out the operator's tram lever and disable tram controls until the locomotive comes to a complete stop.

Following the accident, proper operation of the tram controls were checked. All of the controls performed as expected, except that the main circuit breaker could not be reset from either operator's compartment by depressing the air actuated circuit breaker reset pushbuttons as previously noted. Also, neither of the "stop" pushbuttons were functional, so electric power to the tram circuits had to be removed by activating the E-Stop to trip the main circuit breaker. Brookville has indicated they will issue a product bulletin stating the stop buttons are intentionally inoperative on this model machine.

The E-Stop in the front compartment was positioned in the same horizontal plane as the self-centering "joystick" tram control lever. When the tram lever was pushed to its full forward position, the knob on the handle was approximately �" from the E-Stop button with the button in the "out" position. The E-Stop could be easily pushed to the "in" or actuated position by the knuckles of the operator's left hand as the tram lever is moved to the full forward position. This was demonstrated during the investigation. Brookville has stated they will issue a product bulletin to relocate the tram lever. This should reduce the possibility of inadvertent E-Stop activation.

The E-Stop in the front compartment was found in the "in" or activated position at the accident site. It was pulled out and the breaker was manually reset to start the machine.

Fault simulation testing showed that the tram controls would cease to function when monitoring signals indicated low air system pressure or when the main circuit breaker's shunt trip circuit failed to maintain electrical continuity. These conditions were simulated by disconnecting wires connected to the low air pressure switch and to the shunt trip coil of the main circuit breaker.

Examination and testing of the locomotive's batteries and electrical tram circuits found the unit to be fully operational following the accident. The batteries were not in a fully discharged condition and the tram circuits and controls performed as expected. However, during the course of testing, a loose wire connected to the low air system pressure switch was found which caused the tram circuits to become disabled when the wire lost electrical continuity with the switch. It could not be determined whether this loose wire condition existed at the time of the accident or whether the wire became loosened during the course of the post accident investigation activities. It is possible an intermittent fault caused by a loose pressure switch wire disabled the tram circuit at the time of the accident.

The condition of the locomotive's service brake system was checked at the accident site. The service brake master cylinder was inspected. Brake fluid filled the canister to within 1" of the top. When the machine was started the air compressor started and the air pressure rose to about 90 psi. The parking brake was released and applied. It appeared to operate properly. The service brake pedal was depressed by hand. Air was heard venting from the system when the pedal was released. After being re-railed, the locomotive was trammed a short distance and the locomotive stopped when the service brake was applied.

The locomotive was equipped with three brake systems. For normal service braking, the dynamic, regenerative braking system was present. As stated, the "Regen" brake is activated by pulling the tram lever back, opposite from the tram direction. The Regen brake does not bring the vehicle to a complete stop since the machine must be moving for a stopping force to be developed by the motors. Once slowed, an air over hydraulic service brake can be applied by the operator to stop and hold the machine. The Regen brakes also automatically engage in cases when the motor over speeds. An over speed motor condition would result from a ground speed in excess of 10-12 mph. The Regen brake only operates when the tram circuit is energized. If the main circuit breaker trips or if the tram circuit is disabled by a loose air pressure sensor wire, as found during the investigation, the Regen brake is inoperative. It is not known whether the locomotive exceeded a speed of 10-12 mph at the time of the accident. The Regen brake appeared to operate normally after the accident.

The air over hydraulic service brake was tested by depressing the pedal in the operator's compartment. The operator could modulate the braking force using this pedal. The pedal provided air to a master cylinder that converted the air pressure to hydraulic pressure. This hydraulic pressure then activated wet disk brakes in the front and rear axles.

The time it took to charge the air reservoir tanks for full operation of the service brake system was timed. It took approximately 68 seconds to charge the tanks from 0 psi to a full charge of 95 psi. At this pressure the air compressor automatically shut down. The service brake system was checked for air leaks. No air leaks were heard with the system fully charged and no leaks were heard when the front or rear service brake pedals were applied and held in.

The service brake system is equipped with an over stroke indicator that warns the operator of low service brake oil or air in the hydraulic portion of the service brake system. The indicator and warning lights were checked and operated as designed.

A service brake tram through test, specified in the locomotive's maintenance manual "Check Service Brake System" section was performed. The first set of tram through tests were performed with the partially discharged batteries installed in the locomotive at the time of the accident. The machine trammed through the brake during five of the seven tests. However, the locomotive did not start to tram through the brake until the tram lever was moved � to 3/4 of the way to its maximum position. The test was also performed four times with fully charged batteries. In these tests, the locomotive did not tram through the brake even at the full tram position.

The third braking system on the machine is an emergency/park brake system. This system consists of a button in each of the operator's compartments that when pulled out actuates brakes mounted on the drive shaft of each axle. The button is pushed in to release the brakes. The emergency/park brakes are spring applied and air pressure released.

The emergency/park brake button was found in the "out" or brake apply position at the accident site. Since this control automatically goes to the brake apply position when the air pressure falls below its preset pressure (70 psi design, 42 psi actual) and since the locomotive was found with no air pressure in the system at the time of the investigation, it cannot be conclusively determined whether the operator applied the emergency/park brake or if the control set automatically as the system lost pressure, from possible small air leaks after the accident.

The machine was trammed in the direction that the operator was traveling at the time of the accident at a level location in the mine. To achieve full tramming speed the locomotive was trammed from the rear compartment. With the machine moving, the emergency/park brake control in the rear compartment was applied. The emergency/park brakes appeared to fully apply in 3-4 seconds. All wheels skidded indicating the emergency/park brake system should have functioned properly at the time of the accident. However, no significant flat spots were apparent on the wheels that would indicate the wheel slid for an excessive distance during the accident

Note that the emergency/park brake is not designed to apply when the E-Stop button is activated. Also, there is no man-in-position type control present on the locomotive. A man-in-position control that automatically applies the brakes in a panic situation is present on some locomotives.

Calculations based on the 33 ton approximated weight of the train at the time of the accident, a representative coefficient of friction of 0.17 for an unsanded rail, and the 0 - 13.4% grades measured by mine personnel on the track leading to the location where the locomotive derailed, show the operator could have skidded the wheels without decelerating on the sections of the track with grades greater than 6%. These sections of track over 6% account for over 500 ft or 20% of the length of track that slopes down to the accident site. The weight of the train and the grades of the track could have combined to significantly reduce the operator's ability to stop the train at the time of the accident.

Two Exide Model E110W-19, sixty volt direct current, battery assemblies were located about halfway between the two operator's compartments. Each battery assembly uses thirty 2-volt dc cells connected in series to provide a nominal 120 dc to power the vehicle. The cells are of the lead-acid type and rated for 990 Amp-Hours @ 6 hour discharge rate. Fully charged, the specific gravity of the electrolyte is specified as between 1.310 and 1.320. Specific gravity readings of the batteries taken after the accident indicated the battery assembly located on the operator's side of the locomotive was about 22% discharged (78% charge remaining). Specific gravity measurements were not possible for the battery assembly located on the opposite side of the operator, because there was not a sufficient quantity of electrolyte present above the separator guard inside the cells to make the necessary measurements.

Brookville's "Vehicle General Specifications" for this locomotive lists two, 1395 Amp-Hour batteries, that weigh approximately 5,000 lbs. each. The two, 990 Amp-Hour batteries installed in the machine at the time of the accident weigh approximately 4,250 lbs. each. This reduced the machines overall weight by 1,500 lbs. Since the locomotive's braking performance is dependant on its weight, the lower machine weight would have slightly lowered its braking performance. The difference in battery weights is not considered significant, however, since the 24,000 lb. weight specified for the machine is a nominal weight. The actual weight of the locomotive with the lighter 990 Amp-Hour batteries would still likely have been greater than the 24,000 lb. nominal weight. The difference in battery weights and Amp-Hour capacity are not believed to have contributed to the accident.

During service brake tram through brake testing, the battery assembly on the opposite side of the operator's compartment showed a 7% to 10% reduction in output power, as compared to the battery assembly located on the operator's side of the locomotive. This diminution in battery capacity may be attributed to the electrolyte level being lower than normal in the cells of this battery assembly. Although it took about 3.5 gallons of water to fill all 30 of the cells to the proper level, the majority of the water loss is believed to be from the top of the cell above the separator guard, leaving the plates within each cell mostly covered with electrolyte to provide electric power. Specific gravity readings of the batteries after the tram pull through brake tests indicated that the operator's side battery assembly had been discharged 40% and the opposite side battery assembly 50%, confirming the 10% difference in output capacities of the two battery assemblies. Traction draw bar testing of the locomotive, which caused high current draw from the batteries, showed a 6% to 8% lower peak output power reserve level, as compared to that attained from a set of freshly charged batteries under the same test conditions.

The principal components of the Saminco locomotive dual motor drive system includes two drive controllers (one for each traction motor), two tram lever operator controls (one for each operator's compartment), a "personality" box (dual motor controller interface) and a dual control tram lever interface box. Each of the two operator's compartments is provided with redundant controls and status indicators for the operation of the traction motor drive circuits. The Saminco panel includes a battery capacity gauge, a "start" pushbutton switch, a "stop" pushbutton switch, a "forward/reverse" rotary switch, a "power" on indicator light, a "run" indicator light, and an "over speed" indicator light. An "E-Stop" pushbutton switch is used to trip the main circuit breaker which removes power from the electric circuits, when not in use.

Other Non-Contributing Items Found

Numerous vehicle defects that are not considered to have contributed to the accident were found on the machine. Two e-clips that secured the front service brake pedal shafts were missing. The shafts could not be easily moved. A cotter pin was missing from the front emergency/park brake shaft securing the pads. The shaft could not be easily moved. A slight air leak was heard near the front control panel. The source of the leak was not found.

The "Brake Temp Gauge" in the rear compartment was broken and pushed inside the control panel box.

The Ansul fire suppression system cartridge was missing from the actuator assembly in the rear compartment and the automatic control panel was inactive. The green ready light was not flashing. Several caps were off the fire suppression system nozzles and a nozzle was broken off of its mounting plate near the offside battery compartment.

The fire extinguisher shown on the operator's compartment drawing was not present. The bracket to hold the extinguisher was present.

Analysis of Locomotive Safe Loads for Brushy Eagle Mine

The mine operator is currently using a twelve-ton Brookville battery-powered locomotive to haul supplies. The locomotive operates on a section of track that measures approximately 2500 ft. long and has grades of 0-13.4%. The weight of the train, consisting of the locomotive and two loaded supply cars, was approximately 33 tons at the time of the accident. Safe loads on this section of track are dependent on the grade and the stopping force. The stopping force is very dependent on the coefficient of friction between the wheels and the rail. Representative coefficients of friction were measured for the locomotive involved in the accident.

For this analysis, a safe load is defined as the maximum load on the steepest grade that the locomotive can bring to a stop, at a deceleration rate of 0.3 mph/sec, under expected, worst case conditions. The 0.3 mph/sec decal rate is from the SME (Society of Mining Engineers) Mining Engineering Handbook. Expected, worst case conditions occur when the operator tries to stop the train in a panic situation, locking the brakes and sliding the wheels on unsanded rails. Note that sliding the locomotive on sanded rails was found to provide approximately 1-3/4 times more braking force than sliding the locomotive on an unsanded rail but the operator may not act to sand the rails in an emergency situation or the sanders could be empty. Therefore, the lowest force required to decelerate the locomotive on an unsanded rail limits the maximum load on the steepest grade for safe operation of the locomotive.

On average, the coefficient of friction of a clean rail was found to be 0.17. With this coefficient of friction and a deceleration rate of 0.3 mph/sec, the twelve ton locomotive can safely stop a train weighing 33 tons on a maximum grade of 5%. This is approximately equal to the weight of the locomotive and an empty supply car (3 tons).


It is the consensus of the investigation team that the locomotive accident occurred because of a loss of control on the ascending grade, resulting in a runaway trip.

Contributing factors were determined to be:

1. The locomotive was not being operated within the limits of its' design capabilities. It was determined that the 12-ton locomotive could only stop a train weighing 33 tons on a maximum grade of 5 per cent.

2. A trailing motor or equivalent device was not being provided for the train as it was operating on the ascending grade.

3. The mine operator failed to provide derails or other effective means in the affected area to protect persons from danger of runaway haulage equipment.

4. A safety chain or other equivalent device was not provided at the locomotives operator's compartment which would have prevented the victim from being ejected.


1. A 103 (k) order, No. 7187541 was issued to ensure the safety of the miners until the investigation could be completed.

2. A 104 (d)(1) citation, No. 7187552 was issued citing 30 CFR 75.1404-1 and stating in part that the locomotive involved in the accident was being operated beyond the limits of its design capacities and that a trailing locomotive or equivalent device was not being used on this train.

3. A 314 (b) safeguard, No. 7187553 was issued stating in part that the joy stick tram control located in the front and rear operators compartment of the Brookville, Model 1260b-xlow, Serial No. 8313, was located in close proximity of the Emergency stop control switch and was determined to be highly likely to be actuated when the tram control was placed in the full forward position. This would result in total loss of electrical power reducing the operators ability to control the locomotive. This locomotive was being operated on grades ranging from 0 to 13.4 %. This is a notice to provide safeguard(s) requiring that the tram controls on all Brookville, Model 1260-xlow locomotives operating at this mine be moved to a location which would minimize the inadvertent actuation of the Emergency stop switch when the locomotives are in operation.

4. A 314 (b) safeguard, No. 7187554 was issued stating the Brookville, Model 1260b-xlow locomotive, serial No. 8313, was in involved in a fatal powered haulage accident on February 02, 2001. The locomotive operator received fatal crushing injuries when he was ejected from the motor during a runaway on an ascending grade. The mine operator failed to provide safety chains or other equivalent devises to prevent the locomotive operator from being ejected from the operators compartment. This is a notice to provide safeguard(s) requiring that safety chains or other equivalent devises be provided on the Brookville locomotive, serial No. 8313 and all other locomotives and track haulage equipment used to transport miners.

5. A 314 (b) safeguard, No. 7187555 was issued stating that the operator failed to provide derails or other effective means on a section of track haulage starting near survey station No. 375 and extending inby for a distance of approximately 2,500 feet. The grades in this area of track haulage range up to approximately 13.4 %. The operator of a track haulage locomotive was fatally injured in this area when he lost control of the locomotive. This is a notice to provide safeguard(s) requiring the operator to install derails or other effective means in this area of track haulage and all other areas of the mine in which grades are encountered.

Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon FAB01C01


The Mine Safety and Health Administration conducted an investigation and those persons present and/or participating were as follows:

Mountain Energy, LLC - Contractor
Jerry G. Wiley ............... Member
Burge Speilman ............... Member
Massey Coal Company
Barry Hale ............... Director of Production
Johnny Robertson ............... Safety Coordinator
Marfork Coal Company
John Jones ............... President
Larry Ward ............... Vice President
Gary Thomas ............... Safety Director
Craig Boggs ............... Human Resources Director
Everett Hager ............... Superintendent
*Clarence L. Dickens ............... Mine Foreman
*Larry M. Saunders ............... Section Foreman
*Jerry D. Graley ............... Electrician
*Darwin Duncan ............... Outside Utility
Keith Trent ............... Surveyor
Brian Browning ............... Surveyor
Daniel Snodgrass ............... Surveyor
Barry Elliott ............... Maintenance Superintendent
Walter Baugh ............... Maintenance Superintendent
Jerry Cox ............... Chief Electrician
*Christopher E. Saunders ............... Motorman
*Gary W. Harriston ............... Motorman
Oasis Contract Employee
*Angelo R. DeRaimo ............... Beltman/Fireboss

*Persons Interviewed

  West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training

Terry Farley ............... Investigator
Gary S. Snyder ............... Inspector at Large
Chuck Webb ............... Mine Inspector
Wayne Wingrove ............... Mine Inspector
Tom Harmon ............... Electrical Inspector
Mike Rutledge ............... Investigator
Mine Safety and Health Administration
James T. Wilson ............... CMS&H Inspector
Gary R. Taylor ............... CMS&H Inspector/Supervisor
Kirk Harman ............... Education, Field Services
Norman Elswick ............... CMS&H Inspector/Electrical
Robert Boring ............... Electrical Safety Division
James L. Angel ............... Mechanical Safety Division
Ronald O. Dunbar ............... Assistant District Manager
Richard J. Kline ............... Assistant District Manager
William H. Uhl, Jr. ............... CMS&H Inspector/Accident Investigator