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Miner overcome by ammonia fumes in Wyoming.

Wyoming Department of Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 95WY005, 1995 Aug; :1-4
A 26 year old male trona miner died from asphyxia following the collapse of a section of a mine in which he was working. The cave-in was initially believed to have resulted from an earthquake in the area and the plant was immediately shut down while rescue operations were being conducted. By early afternoon, officials had determined that two miners remained trapped underground. One later walked to safety and the other had been located and was in audible communication with rescuers. EMTs were taken underground and were on the scene when rescuers removed the victim from his initial location nearly 48 hours after the cave-in occurred. While bringing the victim from the section where he had been trapped, rescuers ran into a pocket of Ammonia gas and momentarily collapsed dropping the victim who was being carried on a backboard. When they regained rescue efforts, the victim had discontinued his breathing pattern and rescuers ventilated him in transit. EMT's began CPR immediately and continued while exiting from the mine and transferring the victim to the ambulance crew. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Employers may be able to minimize the potential for occurrence of this type of incident through the following precautions: 1. Maintain on-site emergency rescue and medical teams with underground rescue capabilities. 2. Stabilize underground tunnel supports, particularly in geographical areas that are prone to earth movement. 3. Provide emergency breathing apparatus in areas which are sensitive to pocketing of hazardous gases.
Region-8; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Mine-rescue; Mine-gases; Mine-workers; Miners; Rescue-measures; Rescue-workers; Underground-miners; Underground-mining
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-95WY005; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-807083
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Wyoming Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division