Mining Publication: Analysis of Underground Coal Mine Fire Incidents in the United States from 1978 through 1992
This U.S. Bureau of Mines publication is an analysis of underground coal mine fire incidents occurring in the United States during the 15 years from 1978 through 1992. The fire data used in this analysis were obtained from U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration mine fire investigation reports. Fires were analyzed by year, State, coalbed thickness, mine size, mining method, ignition source, burning substance, location, equipment involved, detection method, time of day, time of year, number of injuries and fatalities, method of extinguishment, and evacuation measures taken. In all, 164 fires are included in this report, or an average of 10.8 fires per year. The most fires occurred in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, respectively. However, the fire incidence rates for these States, expressed as the number of fires per million tons of coal mined, were the lowest, second lowest, and fourth lowest of all underground coal producing States. The most common ignition source was electricity; the most common burning substance was coal; the most frequent fire location was the belt entry; the most common equipment involved in fires was the conveyor belt; and the most common extinguishing agent was water.