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INTRODUCTION

This report is based on an inspection made pursuant to the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 (83 stat, 742).

GENERAL INFORMATION

The Homer City mine is located about 2 miles south of Homer City, Indiana County, Pennsylvania,

The mine is opened by a shaft and an over and under two-compartment slope into the Upper Freeport coalbed. Of the 128 employees, 108 worked underground on 3 shifts a day, and produced an average of 1,100 tons of coel a day.

FEDERAL COAL MINE HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT OF 2969

Notices and Orders

solation

Section 75.518

The three-phase alternating-current pump motor at the slope bottom was not provided with adequate overload protection that would deenergize all three phases in the event that any phase is overloadeda A Notice of Violation No. I was issued April 6, 1970, on Form 104.(b) requiring that this violation be abated by 8 a.me on April 8, 1970, and a Notice of Penalty No. 1 pertaining thereto was issued April 6, 1970. This violation was not totally abated in the time set, and a Form 104.(b) extension was issued, extending the time for abatement to 8 a.m., April 15, 1970.

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De luge -tyre water sprays or foam generators automatically actuated by rise in temperatures or other no less effective means approved by the Secretary of controlling fires were not installed on the No. 1 flight be it conveyor drive, A Notice of Violation No. 2 was issued April 6, 1970, on Form 104.(0) requiring thet this violation be abated by 8 a. the on May 15, 1970, and a Notice of Penalty No. 2 pertaining thereto was 1ssued April 6, 1970.

Violation - Section 75.1100

The waterline a long No. 1 flight belt conveyor was not provided with 150 feet of rubber-lined firehose or the equivalent at each firehose cut

A Notice of Violation No, 3 was issued April 6, 1970, on Form 104.10 requiring that this violation be abated by 8 a.m. on May 15, 1970, and a Notice of Penalty No. 3 pertaining thereto was issued April 6, 1970.

let.

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The haulage locomotives underground were not equipped with automatic brakes or other devices approved by the secretary, which are designed to stop the locomotives with the proper margin of safety. A Notice of Violation No. 4 was issued April 6, 1970, on Form 104. (b) requiring that this violation be abated by 8ame on June 19, 1970, and a Notice of Penalty No. 4 pertaining thereto was 18sued April 6, 1970.

Violation - Section 75.1715

The employees were not provided with a positive identification check fastened to the lamp belt and made of rust-resistant metal of not less than 16 gage. A Notice of Violation No. I was issued April 7, 1970, on Form 104.(b) requiring that this violation be abated by 8 a.m. on April 15, 1970, and a Notice of Penalty No. 1 pertaining thereto was issued April 7, 1970.

Violation - Section 75.1714

Sell-rescuers were not provided for the miners in 2 right that would protect the miner for 1 hour or longer. A Notice of Violation No. 2 was issued April 7, 1970, on Form 104.(0) requiring that this violation be abated by 8 a.m. on May 15, 1970, and a Notice of Pena lty No. 2 pertaining thereto was issued April 7, 1970,

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Sanitary toilet facilities were not provided in the active workings of 2 right, A Notice of Violation No. 3 was issued April 7, 1970, on Form 104.(b) requiring that this violation be abated by 8 a.me on May 15, 1970, and a Notice of Penalty No. 3 pertaining thereto was issued April 7, 1970.

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Potable water for drinking purposes was not provided in the active workings in 2 right. A Notice of violation No. 4 was issued April 7, 1970, on Form 104.(b) requiring that this violation be abated by 8 am, on April 15, 1970, and a Notice of Penalty No. 4 pertaining thereto was issued April ?, 1970.

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De luge-type water sprays or foam generators automatically actuated by a rise in temperature or other no less effective means arproved by the Secretary of controlling fire were not installed at 2 right belt conveyor drive, A Notice of Violation No. 5 was issued April 7, 1970, on Forin 104.101 requiring that this violation be abated by 8 a.m. on May 15, 1970, and a Notice of Penalty No. 5 pertaining thereto was issued April 7, 1970.

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The power wires in 2 right for the battery charger, the pressure pump, And the control cable along the belt conveyor were in contact with combustible material at many locations. A Notice of Violation No. 6 was issued April 7, 1970, on Form 104.(b) requiring that this violation be abated by 8 a.m. on April 8, 1970, and a Notice of Penalty No. 6 pertaining thereto was issued April 7, 1970. This violation was totally abated in the time set.

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Sanitary toilet facilities were not provided in south mains crossover, A Notice of Violation No. 1 was issued April 8, 1970, on Form 104.(b) requiring that this violation be abated by 8 a.m. on May 15, 1970, and a Notice of Penalty No. 1 pertaining thereto was issued April 8, 1970.

Violation - Section 75.1101

De luge-type water sprays or foam generators automatically actuated by a rise in temperature or other no less effective means approved by the Secretary of controlling Pire were not installed at south mains crossover belt drive. A Notice of violation No. 2 was 18sued April 8, 1970, on Form 104.(b) requiring that this violation be abated by 8 a.m. on May 15, 1970, and a Notice of Penalty No, 2 pertaining thereto was issued April 8, 1970,

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Potable water for drinking purposes was not provided in the active working section in south main crossover. A Notice of Violation No. 3 was issued April 8, 1970, on Form 104.(b) requiring that this violation be abated by 8 a.m. on April 15, 1970, and a Notice of Penalty No. 3 pertaining thereto was issued April 8, 1970.

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Waterlines parallel to the track -haulage entry equipped with outlets at intervals of 500 feet and 1,000 feet of firehose with suitable fittings at strategic locations, or two portable water cars were not provided in the mine. A Notice of Violation No. 4 was issued April 8, 1970, on Form 104.(b) requiring that this violation be abated by 8 a.m. on May 15, 1970, and a Notice of Penalty No. 4 pertaining thereto was issued April é, 1970.

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Positive stopblocks or derails were not provided in the track near the top and at the slope landing. A directive No. 1 was 19sued April 8, 1970, requiring that this condition be abated by 8 a.m. on April 15, 1970.

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A

UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

BUREAU OF MINES

Coal Mine Health and Safety District A

REPORT OF COAL-MINE EXPLOSION

HOMER CITY MINE

THE HELEN MINING COMPANY
HOMER CITY, INDIANA COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

April 10, 1970

By

Ralph I. Krek
Federal Coal-Mine Inspector (Electrical)

Warren K. Lewis
Federal Coal-Mine Inspector

and

Harry C. Thompson
Federal Coal-Mine Inspector

Originating Office Bureau of Mines
Federal Building U.S. Post Office, Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15901

Donald W. Huntley, Subdistrict Manager
Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Subdistrict, Coal Mine Health and Safety District A

A

REPORT OF COAL-MINE EXPLOSION

HOMER CITY MINE

THE HELEN MINING COMPANY
HOMER CITY, INDIANA COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

April 10, 1970

By

Ralph I. Krek
Federal Coal-Mine Inspector (Electrical)

Warren K. Lewis
Federal Coal-Mine Inspector

and

Harry C. Thompson
Federal Coal-Mine Inspector

INTRODUCTION

This report is based on an investigation made pursuant to the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 (83 Stat. 742).

A gas explosion occurred at 3:40 8.m., Friday, April 10, 1970, at the face of No. 7 entry of the crossover mains section in the Homer City mine. Fifteen men were working in the section at the time. One man died from asphyxiation due to carbon monoxide and smoke inhalation, and three men suffered burns and were hospitalized in the Indiana Hospital, Indiana, Pennsylvania. Nineteen men working in other parts of the mine were not affected by the explosion. Appendix A lists the names of the victims and other pertinent information.

Bureau of Mines investigators believe that an explosive mixture of methane and air was ignited by frictional sparks created when the cutting bits of a Joy 11CM-LAKK continuous-mining machine struck sandstone over the coalbed. The flame spread for a distance of about 152 feet outby the face of No. 7 entry, and about 170 feet into the last open crosscuts between Nos. 5, 6, and 7 entries. Forces of the explosion damaged three overcasts over south mains at the entrance to No. 7 entry of crossover mains, a distance of 300 to 450 feet outby the face, and blew out a number of plastic brattice-cloth checks and line curtains in the crossover and south mains sections, see Appendix F.

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