Miner dies at Illinois longwall

THE US marked its 19th coal death of the year on Monday afternoon at an underground mine in southern Illinois, officials have confirmed.

Donna Schmidt

A US Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman told ILN that the tragedy occurred at the longwall of M-Class Mining’s MC No. 1 operation near Akin in Franklin County.

Local media have identified the victim as Dallas Dwaine Travelstead, 36.

“At about mid-face on the longwall, a large piece of coal rolled over on the victim, causing crushing injuries,” federal officials said.

MSHA’s District 8 office has started an investigation into what it classified it as a Fall of Face/Rib/Highwall death.

M-Class Mining is an arm of Coalfield Transport.

The bituminous MC No. 1 mine last had a fatality in 2010, when a contractor was killed.

According to federal data, the mine produced more than 4.6 million tonnes in 2012 with a non-fatal days lost average of 2.78, versus the national average of 3.24.

However, through the third quarter of this year, the mine’s NFDL rate has been 4.22, above the 2.90 national NFDL.