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COAL MINE FATALITY - On June 13, 2003, a 21-year old Coal Driller Helper with 2 years total mining experience was fatally injured when the working face of a crosscut was inadvertently blasted into the next outby crosscut. Two other miners were also injured, one seriously. The victim and his co-workers had retreated to the last open crosscut to set off the shot when the accident occurred. The entries and crosscuts were driven off-centers, resulting in the crosscut blasting into the outby crosscut. The mine operates in a 32-inch thick coal seam.

Diagram of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Check centers frequently to ensure that entries and crosscuts are being mined as projected.
  • Ensure that all persons are a safe distance from the blasting area before detonating the shot.
  • Ensure that miners are properly trained in safe blasting procedures.
  • 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 15th fatality reported in calendar year 2003 in the coal mining industry. As of the accident date in 2002, there were 14 fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. This is the first fatal explosives accident since 1999.

    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