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District 5 - Coal Mine Safety and Health

A Near Miss

Fall of Highwall on Auger

An auger crew prepared to mine coal on October 19, 1999. The foreman made the requisite inspections prior to moving the auger into the pit. The crew mined approximately 40 feet into the first hole when they noticed small rocks dribbling from the highwall. The foreman stopped the mining to observe the wall; rock continued to dribble. The crew was withdrawn to a safe location before approximately 200 tons of shale and small trees fell on the auger and conveyor. Although the auger sustained extensive structural damage, no miners were injured.

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