MSHA Releases Findings on Double Fatality

The findings are in regards to the double fatality at a West Virginia coal mine.

According to a news release from the DOL, MSHA has released the findings of its investigation into an accident in May at Brody Mine No. 1 that killed two miners. The coal mine, located in Boone County, West Virginia, is operated by Brody Mining LLC.

Two miners were fatally injured on May 12 by a large pillar of coal that burst while retreat mining was underway. The pillar burst cause a large amount of coal from the mine ribs, or walls, to be suddenly and violently ejected into the mine entry, filling the entry within 30 inches of the mine roof.

MSHA investigators determined that the fatal accident occurred because the mine operator failed to recognize and anticipate the potential for pillar burst conditions and did not develop and implement a method to mine safely and control potential pillar burst conditions. Mine management took insufficient action to investigate the rib burst accident that occurred three days earlier, and it failed to address hazardous conditions that caused the rib burst.

MSHA issued three citations for failure to: support or otherwise control the mine ribs in order to protect miners from being exposed to the hazardous conditions associated with a coal burst; recognize a “precursor” burst that occurred on May 9; take adequate corrective actions to protect miners from hazardous rib conditions; develop and implement a plan, or method, of mining designed to eliminate the hazardous conditions associated with a coal burst; immediately report the accident that occurred on May 9; or preserve the accident site where the May 9 burst occurred.

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