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COAL MINE FATALITY - - On April 28, 2010, the mine roof collapsed at approximately 10:00 p.m., resulting in fatal injuries to a 27-year old continuous miner operator with 3.5 years total mining experience and a 28-year old miner helper with 2 years total mining experience. The roof fall occurred while the miners were loading rock out of a completed extended cut. The fall measured a maximum of 19'9" in width and 10' in height. The length of the fall was approximately 70 to 75' in length, extending toward the face.

Diagram of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above>

Best Practices
  • Assess and examine the adequacy of roof control systems and mining layout for local geology. Know and follow the approved roof control plan.
  • Always conduct a thorough visual examination of the roof, face and ribs immediately before work is performed and thereafter as conditions dictate.
  • When adverse or subnormal roof conditions are present, the mining cut depth should be limited to 20 feet or less. Be alert to changing roof conditions at all times.
  • Ensure that any past roof control issues or history of adverse conditions in adjacent previously mined areas are communicated to all miners and foremen.

  • 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 are the 34th and 35th fatalities reported in calendar year 2010 in the coal mining industry. As of this date in 2009, there were five fatalities reported in the coal mining industry. These are the first "Fall of Roof" classification fatalities in 2010. At this time in 2009, there were no fatalities in this classification.

    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