Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Steamboat Springs Three men were injured Sunday in an accident at Twentymile Coal Co.
Derrell Carter, a spokesman for Peabody Energy, which owns the underground coal mine, said the three men worked for Frontier-Kemper Constructors, an Evansville, Ind., company contracted to install an airshaft in part of the mine that was not operational at the time of the accident.
The accident was reported at 8:44 a.m. Sunday, and Routt County Sheriff's deputies responded along with West Routt fire and ambulance.
West Routt Fire Protection District Chief Bryan Rickman said workers from inside the mine brought the injured men up from 1,200 feet underground. The men were transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center.
Carter said it appeared the men were injured after the platform they were working on shifted.
Rickman said one of the men fell 30 feet and suffered multiple injuries. Another man broke his leg and the other man had minor injuries, Rickman said. He would not release the names of the three men involved in the accident nor where they were from. Federal privacy laws allow patients to request that information be withheld.
A Frontier-Kemper Con-
structors manager did not return phone calls Monday seeking comment on the condition of the company's employees.
Investigators with the Mine Safety and Health Administration arrived at the accident scene Sunday afternoon. The investigation still is in its preliminary stages, said a spokesman for the federal agency, which regulates and inspects U.S. mines.
On the agency's Web site, there are detailed reports on inspections, accidents and violations at U.S. mines.
According to the site, 35 accidents have occurred at Twentymile this year. The site notes there is a delay in updating the information. The last recorded accident was from an Oct. 27 incident, in which another Frontier-Kemper Constructors worker was involved. The worker reported being struck in the neck by a piece of mud, and the worker missed work as a result. There are no other records of Frontier-Kemper Constructors workers being involved in accidents at the mine.
Also, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration Web site, there is an ongoing safety and health inspection at Twentymile that began Oct. 20.
Colorado mines pride themselves on their safety record. The last fatality at any of Colorado's 15 coal mines was six years ago.