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DOL/MSHA News Release USDL [02-583]
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Rodney Brown
Phone: (202) 693-9425

Released Wednesday, October 9, 2002

News Release

Mine Mapping Symposium Seeks Solutions to Quecreek
Event to be held Oct. 29 in Charleston, WV

ARLINGTON, Va. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is inviting mining industry representatives to attend a one-day seminar on Oct. 29 to address the problem of verifying the locations of old, underground mines across the country. The proximity of an abandoned underground mine to an active mine contributed to the recent water inundation at the Quecreek Mine in Somerset County, Pa., which trapped nine coal miners underground for three days.

"Inaccurate mine maps or the lack of maps for many abandoned, underground mines throughout the country poses a significant problem for the U.S. mining industry," said Dave D. Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "We need to solicit ideas from the most talented, knowledgeable people in the mining industry to come up with a workable solution to this problem. We want to avoid another Quecreek situation."

MSHA's "Symposium on Geotechnical Methods for Mine Mapping Verification will be held in Charleston, W.Va., on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2002, at the Charleston Civic Center.

Miners, mine operators, academicians, and vendors as well as state and federal mining officials are being asked to attend the symposium which will include panel discussions, question and answer sessions, individual presentations, and displays of the latest technology for detecting abandoned underground mines.

Interested participants may obtain further information or pre-register for the event by sending an e-mail to or by calling 202-693-9477.

The Charleston Civic Center is located at 200 Civic Center Drive. On-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the symposium begins at 9 a.m. There is no charge to attend.

U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.