The accident occurred on Monday, August 2 when a 38-year old roof bolter operator was fatally injured when he was struck by falling roof rock of undetermined length, 18 feet wide, and 0-60 inches in thickness. The victim had 14 years mining experience.
The victim was working with the section crew and had been installing timbers during retreat mining, shortly before the accident occurred.
The victim was located inby the turn timbers, in the number 2 entry, observing the roof conditions for the continuous miner operator, when the roof suddenly fell.
MSHA said to avoid a repeat of the accident, operations needed to ensure provisions of the approved Roof Control Plan were understood and followed by all miners; miners were not needlessly positioned near the pillar line or inby turn posts; and miners were alert for changing roof conditions and installed additional roof supports where necessary.
MSHA also recommended additional safety procedures or precautions were applied in areas where geological changes and anomalies in strata, such as cracks, were observed and a thorough examination of the roof, face, and ribs were conducted immediately before any work was performed and thereafter as conditions warrant.