Mine Safety and Health Blog

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Miners Trapped in James River’s Jellico Mine

Posted by Ellen Smith on June 21, 2011

Good news that three miners trapped in James River Coal Co.’s Jellico #1 Mine in Bell County, Ky., were rescued last night. High powered pumps brought the water level down in the mine so the miners could eventually leave the mine. A good outcome, but there still might be penalties for the company.

Federal regulations call for two escapeways at all times, and the regulations call for protection against storm flooding.

More in the next issue of Mine Safety and Health News.

Miners Trapped in Jellico Mine….

Three miners are trapped in James River Coal Co.’s Jellico #1 Mine in Bell County, Ky. (MSHA ID # 1519336). Right now there is limited information, but apparently a diversion ditch failed, and water flooded the mine. This is similar to an accident that occurred at Alpha Natural Resourses’ Mountaineer Alma Mine in Mingo County, W.Va., on May 9, 2009 when 2.29 inches of rain fell in a few hours trapping seven miners (see video). It took resuers 24 hours to get the miners out of the Mountaineer Mine . In today’s accident, like in the Mountaineer case, there is communication lines established with the miners.

In the case of the Mountaineer Mine, MSHA fined the company $6,458 for an alleged violation of 30 CFR

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