A man has died in an accident at the Jim Bridger Coal Mine near Rock Springs in Sweetwater County, Wyoming. Mark Stassinos, 44, was thrown from the cab of a bulldozer and killed instantly when he drove over a 50 at about 2.30 am local time (8.30 am GMT) on Sunday 6 October 2013. The precise cause of the accident has yet to be determined. Work has ceased at the mine pending a federal investigation into the incident.
The entrance to the underground section of the Jim Bridger Coal Mine. Star-Tribune.
The Jim Bridger Mine is operated by Bridger Coal, a joint venture between PacificCorp and Idaho Power. The mine has both an open pit and an underground section, producing a total of about 8.8 million tones of coal per year, and is estimated to have reserves of over 120 million tonnes. The company was cited for 25 separate violations of safety regulations following an inspection by federal safety authorities in 2012, including failure to provide adequate up to date maps of the mine.
This is the third death at a coal mine in the US in three days, the first time this has happened in over a decade, and many people are linking this to the US Federal Government shutdown, which has halved the number of inspectors from the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration involved in active inspection of mines.
The approximate location of the Jim Bridger Coal Mine. Google Maps.
See also Fatality at Illinois coal mine, Worker killed at West Virginia coal mine, Executive faces prison over West Virginia's Upper Branch Mine Disaster, Fatality at Mexican Silver Mine and Worker dies at Saskatchewan potash mine.
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