Since miners are constantly surrounded by poisonous or explosive gas and handle explosives, devastating accidents can occur in the process of mining metals or minerals, resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. Around 60-70 miners die each year in the United States, while thousands die worldwide annually.
The following are common types of mining accidents:
- Methane and coal dust explosions. The cause of the largest mining disasters throughout history, methane and coal dust explosions frequently kill or trap underground miners. Methane is a highly explosive gas that is trapped within the coal layers, which is typically ignited by explosive material or malfunctioning mining equipment.
- Premature blasts. Commonly caused by faulty fuses or carelessness, the detonation of an explosive charge earlier than expected can result in debilitating injuries and death.
- Fly-rock blasting accidents. For the past 20 years, most injuries and fatalities related to explosives are caused by flying rocks from blasts. In surface mines, workers who were struck by rock were either too close to the explosion or the rock propelled farther than anticipated.
- Misfires. A misfire means the complete or partial failure of a blasting charge that is planned to explode. These explosives could be trigged by digging, milling or crushing stages of the mining process.
- Mine-induced seismicity. The use of explosives can result in earthquake-like events which can collapse mines and trap workers. Mines located in seismically active regions are severely at risk.
If you have been injured or suffered the death of a loved one after being involved in a mining accident in West Virginia, contact Lord Hoosier, PLLC and schedule a free consultation with our Charleston WV employment lawyer today.