Three injured in powered haulage incident

THREE workers at a Kentucky underground mine were injured Wednesday afternoon after a collision between two rail vehicles.

Donna Schmidt
Three injured in powered haulage incident

State mining agency spokesperson Linda Potter confirmed for ILN that Michael Brad Peterson, Lowell Harris and David Estes were in a mantrip at Bledsoe Coal’s Abner Branch operation when it crashed with a 20-ton motor/rail car used to carry mining equipment.

US Mine Safety and Health Administration spokesperson Amy Louviere said in an ILN interview that several workers were injured in the incident, but the three named individuals were sent to hospitals for treatment.

“They do not appear to have life-threatening injuries,” she said.

Potter noted that Harris and Estes had been airlifted from the mine and state mining officials were awaiting word Wednesday afternoon on their conditions.

“The track along with the rail car and mantrip were closed yesterday for [a] physical investigation,” she added.

“Only the mantrip remains closed at this time. Formal interviews will be conducted [Friday].”

Both agencies have begun their respective investigations into the incident. An MSHA 103(k) order for temporary evacuation and suspension of production was in effect Wednesday, but state officials confirmed Thursday afternoon that the order had been lifted and production had restarted.

In January 2010, 29-year-old Travis Brock was killed at the mine after a rib roll caused massive rib rock to pin him to the mine floor.

Brock, who had 10 years of experience, had been trimming and cleaning the mine floor with a Joy 12CM remote-control unit in a bolted crosscut when the accident occurred, federal investigators said.

As part of its investigation, MSHA conducted an Analysis of Retreat Mining Pillar Stability of the 8 Mains area. That test indicated a Pillar Stability Factor of 0.83 beneath the 820 feet of overburden, a factor which does not meet the recommended PSF of 1.33 by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

MSHA also found that a preshift examination conducted in the area did not identify any specific rib or roof conditions that would be considered hazardous, nor did the individual record any corrective actions for rib and roof conditions.

“This fatal accident occurred because the operator failed to support the rib on the 001 MMU to protect the miner,” MSHA concluded in its investigative report.

“Additionally, the operator failed to conduct adequate preshift and on-shift examinations and ignored the hazardous rib conditions on the 001 MMU. And, the operator failed to change its roof control plan to address the changing geological conditions which occurred on the 001 MMU.”

The Abner Branch Rider room and pillar mine in Leslie County, Kentucky, extracts from the Hazard No. 4 Rider seam with one continuous miner and 60 employees.


A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.


Mining Magazine Intelligence Exploration Report 2024 (feat. Opaxe data)

A comprehensive review of exploration trends and technologies, highlighting the best intercepts and discoveries and the latest initial resource estimates.


Mining Magazine Intelligence Future Fleets Report 2024

The report paints a picture of the equipment landscape and includes detailed profiles of mines that are employing these fleets


Mining Magazine Intelligence Digitalisation Report 2023

An in-depth review of operations that use digitalisation technology to drive improvements across all areas of mining production


Mining Magazine Intelligence Automation Report 2023

An in-depth review of operations using autonomous solutions in every region and sector, including analysis of the factors driving investment decisions