Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Coal miner believed drown after bulldozer accident

Consul is a Pennsylvania operation that runs a number of mines. Recently, crews at Consul located a bulldozer that fell into a pond after an embankment gave way. The operator of the bulldozer is now missing and is believed to have died as a result of this accident.

The search continues for the bulldozer driver, but divers have located the location of the bulldozer. Two pickups also ended up in the pond, and two engineers survived drowning because of rescue efforts. The search was hampered due to darkness, and searches have also encountered other difficulties as the embankment continues to give way.

Investigations in to what occurred are ongoing and include the involvement of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. It's unclear why the embankment gave way.

In preparing the coal, the raw coal is washed in order to allow it to burn more efficiently. The pond where the accident occurred was used to contain solid refuse and wastewater (known as slurry) that comes about due to the washing of the coal.

This accident occurred on the same day that another 27-year old miner was killed in a nearby accident. That miner was killed after being caught up between two pieces of machinery.

These accidents demonstrate the dangers that workers are put through when conducting these kinds of jobs. Because the type of worker can typically be so dangerous, every safety precaution should be taken by the employer to insure that the risks workers face are at a minimum.

When employers shirk these sorts of duties, injured workers or family members of deceased workers should be entitled to compensation for the many types of expenses and financial losses that they will face. Attorneys that specifically practice in the areas of workers' compensation can often be a great resource when these accidents occur.

Source: KTVU, "Search continues for worker in coal slurry pond," Dec. 1, 2012

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