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**Sketches are for demonstrative purposes only and are not exact replications** Summary of Investigation Fatal Underground Coal Mine Explosion January.

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Presentation on theme: "**Sketches are for demonstrative purposes only and are not exact replications** Summary of Investigation Fatal Underground Coal Mine Explosion January."— Presentation transcript:

1 **Sketches are for demonstrative purposes only and are not exact replications** Summary of Investigation Fatal Underground Coal Mine Explosion January 2, 2006 Sago Mine Wolf Run Mining Company

2 Final Report General Information Sequence of Events Seals SCSRs Barricade Rescue Fuel Flames and Forces Ignition sources Conclusion Enforcement Actions

3 Drift Openings 1 Right 2 Right 1st Left 2nd Left Parallel Area Previously Sealed SAGO MINE 1st NE Mains 2 North Mains 2nd Left Mains Sealed

4 Sunday January 1, 2006 At approximately 3:00 a.m., Fred Jamison and Terry Helms, mine examiners, entered the mine. They pre-shift the track and belt entries in the mains and the 1st Left section and 2nd Left Parallel section. Jamison arrived outside at 5:40 a.m. Helms traveled from 1st Left toward 2nd Left Parallel switch and remained underground. The mine does not produce coal. Day shift performs maintenance. The mine is idle after the day shift is complete. Monday January 2, 2006 Saturday December 31, 2005 The mine does not produce coal. Two shifts perform maintenance.

5 Monday January 2, 2006 At 6:00 a.m., the 2nd Left Parallel section crew of 12 miners boarded a mantrip, entered the mine, and traveled to 2nd Left Parallel. At 6:00 a.m., Fred Jamison walked from the surface to No. 2 Belt drive. At 6:05 a.m., the 1st Left section crew of 12 miners plus 3 other miners entered the mine after switching to a larger mantrip to carry all of the miners. They dropped off two miners and continued to the 1st Left switch.

6 Location of miners immediately prior to the explosion – 6:26 am Survivors Fatalities* Thomas Anderson* Alva Bennett* James Bennett* Jerry Groves* George Hamner Jr.* Jesse Jones* David Lewis* Randal McCloy Jr. Martin Toler Jr.* Fred Ware* Jackie Weaver* Marshall Winans* 2 Left Parallel Section Crew Terry Helms* Pat Boni John Boni Fred Jamison Denver Anderson Paul Avington Gary Carpenter Randall Helmick Eric Hess Owen Jones Hoy Keith Jr. Arnett Perry Gary Rowan Harley Ryan Christopher Tenney Anton Wamsley Ronald Grall 1st Left Section Mantrip

7 Monday January 2, 2006 Following the explosion: Jamison and Pat Boni walked out of the mine. The 1st Left section mantrip was at the 1st Left switch when the miners experienced a violent blast of air, smoke, dust and debris. They began to walk out of the mine in the track entry and then moved to the primary escapeway. Owen Jones remained in the mine. Four managers entered the mine. They met John Boni and the miners from the 1st Left section mantrip, who were transported out of the mine. Managers Toler, Wilfong, Schoonover, Hofer, and Jones repaired some ventilation controls up to 57 Crosscut, No. 4 Belt. Conditions eventually caused them to evacuate the mine. They arrived at the surface at 10:35 a.m.

8 Survivors Fatalities* Thomas Anderson* Alva Bennett* James Bennett* Jerry Groves* George Hamner Jr.* Jesse Jones* David Lewis* Randal McCloy Jr. Martin Toler Jr.* Fred Ware* Jackie Weaver* Marshall Winans* 2 Left Parallel Section Crew Terry Helms* Location of miners remaining underground after 10:35 a.m.

9 The 2nd Left Parallel crew exited the mantrip and was walking toward the face when the explosion occurred. The initial effects were noise, pressure, and a haze. The miners walked to the Primary Escapeway at 11 crosscut and donned their SCSRs. They tried to evacuate, but encountered smoke and debris from damaged ventilation controls. They abandoned their escape attempt and returned to the face to barricade and await rescue. The miners exited the mantrip at 10 crosscut after encountering debris on the track. The miners reboarded the mantrip and started outby on the track entry in an attempt to escape. During their travel outby, they encountered an atmosphere filled with smoke. Ventilation controls were damaged by the explosion. Debris from the damaged ventilation controls was scattered throughout the area. The miners barricaded in No. 3 Face, 2nd Left Parallel Section.

10 No. 2 Entry No. 3 Entry No. 4 Entry Marshall Winans* Martin Toler Jr.* Jackie Weaver* George Hamner Jr.* Randal McCloy Jr. Jerry Groves* Alva Bennett* David Lewis* James Bennett* Thomas Anderson* Fred Ware* Jesse Jones* Survivors Fatalities* The 12 miners from the 2nd Left Parallel section crew decided to barricade in the No. 3 Face. They installed curtains diagonally in the last open crosscut in No. 3 Entry, in the crosscut between No. 3 and No. 4 Entries, and in No. 3 Entry outby the last open crosscut. Curtain Location of the miners found by rescue teams

11 SEALS In-Mine Investigation No. 1 Seal Several whole and partial Omega blocks remained after the explosion. An exposed horizontal layer of BlocBond was easily removed from the remaining Omega blocks, indicating the lack of good bonding. No BlocBond was observed in the vertical joints. All 10 seals completely destroyed

12 SEALS No. 10 Seal No Omega blocks remained on the floor. There were some indications of mortar on the ribs. In-Mine Investigation All 10 seals completely destroyed

13 SEALS The actual construction of the ten seals was different from the requirements of the MSHA approved plan and from the initial NIOSH testing of 40 inch thick Omega block seals. The dimensions of two of the 10 seal locations (No. 1 – 21.7 and 8.9 and No. 2 – 20.4 and 8.7) exceeded 20 feet wide and 8 feet high. One seal was not set back at least 10 feet from the corner of the pillar. Evidence indicates that BlocBond was spread on the mine floor dry as a base. Vertical joints were not coated with at least ¼ inch thick BlocBond. Wedges were driven parallel to the wood planks rather than perpendicular. The darker material is the BlocBond. In-Mine Investigation and Interviews

14 SEALS Test were conducted at NIOSHs Lake Lynn Experimental Mine. First time tests were conducted within a completely sealed area. Six explosion tests were conducted.

15 A properly constructed 40 inch Omega Block seal withstood an explosion pressure of 51 psi. A Sago Seal withstood an explosion pressure of 21 psi. The level of damage to the Sago Seal following the 93 psi explosion was not quite as severe as the level of damage observed during the underground investigation at the Sago Mine. SEALS Explosion Testing of OMEGA Block Seals

16 Denver Anderson Paul Avington Gary Carpenter Randall Helmick Eric Hess Owen Jones Hoy Keith Jr. Arnett Perry Gary Rowan Harley Ryan Christopher Tenney Anton Wamsley Ronald Grall 1st Left Section Mantrip SELF-CONTAINED SELF-RESCUERS (SCSRs) Only seven of the 13 miners who were at the 1st Left track switch donned their SCSRs during the evacuation.

17 Thomas Anderson Alva Bennett James Bennett Jerry Groves George Hamner Jr. Jesse Jones David Lewis Randal McCloy Jr. Martin Toler Jr. Fred Ware Jackie Weaver Marshall Winans 2nd Left Parallel Section Crew SELF-CONTAINED SELF-RESCUERS (SCSRs) The 12 miners in 2nd Left Parallel section donned their SCSR units while trying to evacuate. Randal McCloy stated that four of the miners had difficulties with their SCSRs.

18 SELF-CONTAINED SELF-RESCUERS (SCSRs) RECORDKEEPING: A review of the mine operators records indicated that the 90 day test was not completed for all the units used on January 2, This includes: Thomas Anderson Alva Bennett James Bennett Jerry Groves George Hamner Jr. Martin Toler, Jr.

19 SELF-CONTAINED SELF-RESCUERS (SCSRs) TRAINING: A review of the Training Records indicated that the miners on 1st Left and 2nd Left Parallel were trained within the required one year.

20 SELF-CONTAINED SELF-RESCUERS (SCSRs) TESTING: Although one SCSR from the 2nd Left Parallel miners (Jesse Jones) was over 10 years old, the test results from NIOSH indicated that all of the units produced oxygen.

21 Although all of the miners on the 2nd Left Parallel section donned their SCSR, they were exposed to high levels of CO for much longer than the one hour capacity for each SCSR. SELF-CONTAINED SELF-RESCUERS (SCSRs)

22 After the 2nd Left Parallel crew encountered smoke and gases during efforts to exit the mine on the mantrip, they attempted to find other possible exits. When these attempts failed, they retreated to the section and tried to isolate themselves from poisonous gases by building a barricade. Records indicated the 2nd Left Parallel crew had been trained in the Mine Emergency Evacuation and Firefighting Program of Instruction. Barricade The miners chose the No. 3 face of 2nd Left Parallel Section to erect their barricade. The barricade was constructed with curtains recovered from the face area.

23 Experiments by the USBM show that a person in a confined space needs about one cubic yard of normal air each hour. The volume of the larger area (curtain in the crosscut and the curtain in the entry) was about cubic yards. This indicates that that there would be 73 cubic yards of air available for each of the 12 miners in the barricade. The diagonal curtain was approximately 29 feet in length from rib to rib and balled up on the outby end, according to the captain of the McElroy mine rescue team. The volume of the smaller area (diagonal curtain in the intersection) was about cubic yards, which would be 47 cubic yards of air available for each of the 12 miners. No. 2 Entry No. 3 Entry No. 4 Entry Volume of Barricade cu. yd. Volume of Barricade cu. yd.. This shows that the miners had enough air to sustain them for at least 47 hours if they remained in the smaller area within the barricade and if normal air was in the barricade. This is about six hours longer than it took for mine rescue teams to reach the barricade. Barricade

24 The graph illustrates the results of CO measurements obtained in the No. 1 Drift Opening. The air quality readings continued trending downward. While they were still at dangerous levels, it was determined that they were low enough to allow rescue efforts to commence. At 5:25 p.m., a mine rescue team entered the mine. Rescue

25 Barricade The borehole entered the 2nd Left Parallel section at 5:35 a.m. at a depth of 258 feet. The borehole intersected the section at 23 Crosscut, No. 6 Belt in the No. 4 entry, over the conveyor belt feeder, about 260 feet from the center of the barricade.

26 Rescue An air quality sample taken from the borehole at 5:53 a.m. indicated 1052 ppm CO and 20.4% oxygen.

27 Fuel Two methane studies were conducted in the area previously sealed inby the 2 North Mains seals on February 7-9 and March 2-3, The results of the studies show that at the time of the explosion, 347,300 cubic feet of methane had accumulated in the sealed area. 347,300 cubic feet of Methane

28 MSHA conducted mine dust surveys during regular health and safety inspection prior to the accident. The areas that were evaluated for incombustible content as required by 30 CFR section included areas beginning approximately 600 feet outby the 2 North Mains seals and extending through the sealed area and into 2nd Left Mains. This entire area could not be sampled because of excessive water, as per inspectors observations. Mining had stopped because of increased water inflow and deteriorating roof conditions. The area may have also been wet at the time of the explosion. Fuel Coal dust may have been involved to a limited degree throughout the sealed area as the flame propagated.

29 Flames and Forces The post-explosion mine dust survey samples were subjected to Alcohol Coke Test. The coke test results indicate that the flame from the explosion remained within the sealed area. Extent of flame

30 Flames and Forces Forces Explosion forces affected a large area of the mine. 93 psi at 2 North Seals <5 psi outby 2nd Left Parallel track switch 2 psi at 1st Left track switch 2 psi on 2nd Left Parallel section

31 Potential ignition sources for the explosion were evaluated, including: Electric circuits, cables and equipment, Cutting and welding, Mining operations, Smoking, Spontaneous combustion, Roof falls, and Lightning. Potential Ignition Sources

32 Electric circuits, cables and equipment were examined. Some circuits and equipment were not energized prior to the explosion. There was no evidence that the ignition source originated from the mines underground electric circuits, cables or equipment in the active portion of the mine which includes the following: power system, conveyor belt system, water pumps, battery chargers, trickle rock dusters, Atmospheric Monitoring System, pager phones, trolleyphone system, radios, gas detectors, cap lamps, electric equipment in the underground workshop, outby work area lighting, electric doors, and 1st Left and 2nd Left Parallel section equipment. Potential Ignition Sources

33 CUTTING AND WELDING - There were no cutting and welding operations on-going in or near the sealed area of the mine at the time of the explosion. MINING OPERATIONS – Mining operations were not occurring within close proximity to the 2 North Mains seals. There was no person in or near the sealed area at the time of the explosion. 2nd Left Parallel Section 1st Left Section Terry Helms

34 Potential Ignition Sources SMOKING – There were no smoking articles found underground during the investigation. SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION – The mine had no history of spontaneous combustion and there was no evidence of spontaneous combustion found during the investigation.

35 Potential Ignition Sources Roof Falls in the Sealed Area Three roof fall areas noted prior to sealing. Roof fall areas noted as having occurred before 1/27/06 during exploration after the explosion. Roof fall areas noted during investigations after 1/27/06. X = Sandstone beds noted in top of roof fall cavity & sample collected. Origin of the Explosion

36 Potential Ignition Sources Roof Falls in the Sealed Area Shale is the predominant rock type visible in the roof fall rubble. This shale was classified as laminated siltstone with low quartz content in a soft matrix that inhibits quartz grain-to-grain contact. This rock type was not as conductive to frictional heating or piezoelectric sparking as sandstones that have been suspected as ignition sources in roof falls.

37 Potential Ignition Sources Since there were no roof falls in the proximity of the origin of the explosion, wicking of methane from the roof falls to the origin was considered. For wicking to occur, a methane layer must be continuous, within a range of 5% to 15%, and is generally associated with being located near the roof. The burning methane layer may eventually contact a larger accumulation, resulting in an explosion. However, a roof fall generates turbulence in the mine atmosphere mixing layers that may have been present. Due to the mine atmosphere turbulence caused by a roof fall, distance, elevation, and uneven roof conditions from the observed falls to the origin of this explosion make this a highly unlikely ignition source. Roof Falls in the Sealed Area

38 Potential Ignition Sources Roof Falls in the Sealed Area Although a roof fall cannot be definitively excluded as a potential ignition source for this explosion, it is a highly unlikely source.

39 Potential Ignition Sources LIGHTNING OVERVIEW Types of lightning: Cloud to ground lightning Intra-Cloud lightning Cloud to cloud lightning Upward lightning

40 1016:26:35 356:26:35 Location of lightning strike reported by Vaisalas National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN). Number on left represents the peak current in kilo-amps; number on right represents the time that the peak current was recorded. Location of lightning strike reported by Weather Decision Technologies, Inc.s U.S. Precision Lightning Network (USPLN). Number on left represents the peak current in kilo- amps; number on right represents the time that the peak current was recorded. Sago Mine workings. LIGHTNING AS AN IGNITION SOURCE Potential Ignition Sources

41 POTENTIAL IGNITION SOURCES The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universitys Department of Geosciences concluded that it was most likely that a seismic event occurred at or near the Sago Mine within a four-second interval centered at 06:26:38 a.m. on January 2, The AMS recorded the first presence of CO at 6:26:35 a.m. The nearby lightning strikes recorded by NLDN and USPLN occurred at approximately the same time as the seismic event and the initial alarm of the AMS. LIGHTNING AS AN IGNITION SOURCE

42 POTENTIAL IGNITION SOURCES MSHA contracted with Sandia Corporation, Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) to perform modeling and testing, to simulate if lightning energy could enter the mine by direct contact or indirect inductive coupling. Sandia analyzed the lightning data and analyzed lightning strikes, flash locations and error ellipses. Sandia searched for other lightning discharges that failed to meet detection standards. LIGHTNING AS AN IGNITION SOURCE

43 POTENTIAL IGNITION SOURCES Several plausible lightning strike scenarios could lead to significant energy coupling into the Sago Mine. Three of those scenarios were evaluated to determine the most likely possibility. LIGHTNING AS AN IGNITION SOURCE

44 POTENTIAL IGNITION SOURCES LIGHTNING AS AN IGNITION SOURCE B.A lightning strike delivered from the surface area directly through a conductor over the sealed area, such as gas wells and their interconnected piping system or water in the strata overlying the sealed area. C.A lightning strike over the sealed area indirectly energizing metallic objects within the sealed area. A.A recorded strike occurred in the proximity of the mine, hitting a tree. Two apparent paths for energy from this recorded lightning strike to reach the portal are through: 1.telephone grounding system, or 2.high-voltage power system.

45 POTENTIAL IGNITION SOURCES LIGHTNING AS AN IGNITION SOURCE Sandia concluded that it is highly unlikely a 100,000 amperes lightning strike attached at the mine portal to the belt conveyor structure, trolley communication antenna, high-voltage cable grounding medium, and the track rail could generate sufficient voltage on the pump cable within the sealed area to initiate electrical arcing. Therefore, it is not likely that methods discussed in this scenario could ignite methane in the sealed area. Scenario A – A recorded strike occurred in the proximity of the mine, hitting a tree. Two apparent paths for energy from this recorded lightning strike to reach the portal are through: 1) the telephone grounding system or 2) the high-voltage power system.

46 POTENTIAL IGNITION SOURCES Scenario B – A lightning strike delivered from the surface area directly through a conductor over the sealed area, such as gas wells and their interconnected piping system or water in the strata overlying the sealed area. LIGHTNING AS AN IGNITION SOURCE Testing indicated that a direct, vertical low resistance metallic path or zone of reduced resistivity for lightning to travel from the surface to the sealed area did not exist. Testing indicated that lightning energy would readily dissipate in the earth near the gas well or associated piping system rather than travel into the sealed area of the mine. Water within the strata was eliminated as a conductive path because there was no flow of water observed near the origin of the explosion.

47 POTENTIAL IGNITION SOURCES Scenario C – A lightning strike over the sealed area indirectly energizing metallic objects within the sealed area. LIGHTNING AS AN IGNITION SOURCE This scenario is based on lightning occurring over the sealed area and indirectly transferring energy into the sealed area. A horizontal portion from a recorded lightning strike may have traveled over the sealed area. An unrecorded cloud to cloud, intra-cloud, a cloud to ground or an upward discharge may have occurred over the sealed area. (Lightning detection systems have limitations and do not record all lightning strikes.)

48 POTENTIAL IGNITION SOURCES LIGHTNING AS AN IGNITION SOURCE INDIRECT ENERGY TRANSFER TO SEALED AREA 2 North Mains Seals The mine operator abandoned a submersible pump, its controller and a No. 6 AWG, 2,000 Volt cable with a male cable coupler in the 2nd Left Mains area prior to sealing. Ignition Origin

49 Potential Ignition Sources LIGHTNING OVERVIEW Horizontal discharge above the mine creates electromagnetic field inducing voltage in pump cable. Pump cable arcs causing ignition. Seal Pump and cable Sealed Area Accumulated Methane

50 Potential Ignition Sources LIGHTNING OVERVIEW Seal An unrecorded direct strike above the mine creates an electromagnetic field inducing voltage in the pump cable. The pump cable arcs causing ignition. Pump and cable Sealed Area Accumulated Methane

51 POTENTIAL IGNITION SOURCES Sandias field measurements and analysis indicate that significant electromagnetic energy can be coupled into the sealed area of the mine. A lightning source would create an electromagnetic field similar to a magnetic field that is produced between the north and south poles of a magnet. Scenario C – A lightning strike over the sealed area indirectly energizing metallic objects within the sealed area. LIGHTNING AS AN IGNITION SOURCE

52 POTENTIAL IGNITION SOURCES LIGHTNING AS AN IGNITION SOURCE

53 Demonstration Click here to Play Video Clip Click here to Play Video Clip

54 POTENTIAL IGNITION SOURCES The electromagnetic energy is radiated through earth onto the pump cable that acts like a receiver or antenna. The electromagnetic energy induces a voltage onto the pump cable which generates an arc in the explosive methane mixture in the sealed area. Measurements and analyses indicate that the pump cable is the most likely receiver of electromagnetic energy in the sealed area. Scenario C – A lightning strike over the sealed area indirectly energizing metallic objects within the sealed area. LIGHTNING AS AN IGNITION SOURCE This is the most likely ignition source for this explosion.

55 CONCLUSION On January 2, 2006, an explosion occurred at approximately 6:26 a.m. in the mined-out area known as 2 North Mains and 2nd Left Mains of the Sago Mine. Methane had accumulated in the sealed area. Lightning was the most likely ignition source for the explosion. The energy transferred onto an abandoned pump cable in the sealed area. This subsequently caused an arc which ignited an explosive mixture of methane.

56 CONCLUSION The ensuing explosion generated forces more than 93 psi and destroyed the seals, filling portions of the mine with toxic levels of carbon monoxide. One miner died of carbon monoxide poisoning shortly after the explosion. The 2nd Left Parallel miners attempt to evacuate was unsuccessful and they barricaded themselves on the 2nd Left Parallel section. The barricade was not able to prevent high levels of carbon monoxide from reaching the miners before they could be rescued. As a result, 11 additional miners perished and one survived.

57 ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS A 103(K) order was issued on the morning of the accident to insure the safety of all persons at the mine. 149 citations/orders were issued. Some examples are as follows: The 2 North Main seals were not built in accordance with the approved ventilation plan. MSHA and mine rescue teams were not immediately notified of the accident. Five electrical circuits entering/exiting the mine did not have lightning arrestors. Several miners did not don their SCSRs.

58 **Sketches are for demonstrative purposes only and are not exact replications**


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