Willow Creek Mine Fire - A Chronology of Events

MSHA - Willow Creek Fire Image
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October 3 through October 16, 1999

Rising carbon monoxide levels in the gob were a major focus as the period began. Carbon dioxide inert gas injection was continued, and carbon dioxide chambers were constructed at each of the underground seals to reduce leakage of intake air into the isolated area.. As carbon monoxide levels stabilized in the gob, reventilation of the longwall face continued. Carbon dioxide injection was causing levels of CO2 on the face to reach levels as high as 13 percent. Injection rates were reduced from 1250 cfm to 1000 cfm, and finally on October 7 reduced to 700 cfm. Levels of CO2 on the face continued to be elevated, with concentrations as high as 2.52 percent found on October 10. Plans were developed to replace part of the CO2 injection with nitrogen injection on October 12. Initial rates of nitrogen injection were 500 cfm, with continuing carbon dioxide injection at 400 cfm. The rate was changed later in the day to increase nitrogen injection up to 800 cfm with carbon dioxide injection remaining at 400 cfm.

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