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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Wednesday, August 3, 2005, a 24-year old scoop operator with 36 weeks mining experience and a 39-year old section foreman with 11 years mining experience were fatally injured when they were struck by a roof fall measuring 20 feet long, 20 feet wide and 11 feet in thickness. The victims were attempting to move Mobile Roof Supports (MRS's) during retreat mining when the roof fall occurred.

Diagram of Accident Scene

Best Practices

  • Know and follow the approved pillaring procedures in the roof control plan.
  • Ensure that the approved pillar extraction sequence is applicable to the panel, as developed, before second mining.
  • Be alert for changing roof conditions.
  • Conduct a thorough visual examination of the roof, face, and ribs immediately before any work is performed and thereafter as conditions warrant.
  • Ensure that mining methods protect miners from hazards of unsupported roof.
  • When cracks or other abnormalities in the roof are detected, proper precautions should be followed.
  • 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.

    These were the 11th and 12th fatalities reported during calendar year 2005 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2004, there were 16 fatalities reported in coal mining. These are the fifth and sixth fatalities classified as Fall of Roof in 2005. There were three fatalities in this category at this time in 2004.

    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