Coal Dust Explosions
As all coal miners know, but the general public is often surprised to learn, coal dust is extremely explosive. A single spark in a poorly ventilated and rock dusted mine is all that it takes to lead to a tragedy. When we review these coal mine explosion cases, we frequently find that the ventilation plans designed to prevent coal dust explosions were not followed by the coal company. We find that rock dusting practices that could have prevented the explosion were ignored.
Methane Gas Explosions
As coal is mined, methane gas is released. A very small amount of methane gas in the air may not be dangerous. However, methane gas levels between five and 15 percent of the atmosphere in a coal mine pose a risk of explosion. This is why methane monitors are so critical. Not only do they read the amount of methane in the air, they can lead to automatic shut down of machines to prevent explosions. Not surprisingly, our investigation of these cases frequently leads to the discovery of monitors that have been tampered with or bypassed.
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