Mining Feature: Rapid Rescue Drilling Equipment Transferred to National Mine Health and Safety Academy

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

To ensure that rescue holes can be drilled rapidly in an emergency at an underground mine, OMSHR recently transferred specialized equipment to the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, WV. The equipment transferred was a 12-inch-diameter bit for drilling an initial pilot hole, a 28-inch-diameter bit able to drill a hole large enough for a rescue capsule, and 200 feet of can-rods necessary for drilling such a large hole through the earth.

The National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, WV.

The National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, WV.

This specially fabricated equipment, developed under a contract awarded by OMSHR, will now remain at the Academy and will undergo yearly maintenance by the contracted equipment manufacturer. This new location and yearly maintenance will ensure that the equipment will be ready as needed if an emergency arises where a large-diameter borehole must be drilled, as was the case for the successful rescue operations at both the Quecreek and San Jose Mines. In such an emergency when a rescue borehole is needed, the equipment could be deployed by MSHA immediately after an accident is reported through MSHA’s 800 number established for accident reporting.


Page last reviewed: 10/22/2016 Page last updated: 6/16/2015