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Determining the Integrity of Escapeways During a Simulated Fire in an Underground Mine.

Timko RJ; Derick RL
Proc 4th Us Mine Vent Symp Berkeley Soc Min Metall & Explor Wilton Company, 1989 :48-56
The U.S. Bureau of Mines evaluated the integrity of escapeways in a three-entry underground coal mine. A center conveyor belt entry (secondary escapeway) was flanked by an intake (primary escapeway) and a return entry. Diesel equipment was used throughout the mine for material and personnel haulage. A carbon monoxide monitoring system, tied to a data recording computer on the surface, was deployed throughout the belt entry and at selected sites in the intake and return entries. Previously, the company had a fire of unknown origin in another mine, which prompted an interest in the performance of their escapeways. An initial, qualitative evaluation was performed by burning approximately 14 kg of coal at the mouth of the intake entry. The first test was followed by a similar burn at the mouth of the belt entry. These intital trials showed a high quantity of leakage between entries. In several followup evaluations, simulated fires, using a tracer gas, were set in the intake and belt entries. Tracer gas concentrations were obtained in all entries at four different underground locations. The results of these tests showed that permanent stoppings could not guarantee isolated, contaminant-free escapeways.
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 142-89
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proc. 4th Us Mine Vent. Symp, Berkeley; Soc Min, Metall., & Explor., Wilton, Co, 1989, Pp 48-56
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division