The Marshall County Coal Company et al v. Oliver et al
MEMORANDUM in Opposition to Plaintiff's 21 Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order by Home Box Office, Inc., Partially Important Productions, LLC, Time Warner, Inc. . (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit E (con'd), # 7 Exhibit F, # 8 Exhibit G)(Fitzsimmons, Robert) Modified on 7/28/2017 to link to Motion (kac).
Crandall Canyon Accident Investigation
Summary and Conclusions
On August 6, 2007, six miners were killed in a catastrophic coal outburst when roof-supporting
pillars failed and violently ejected coal over a half-mile area. Ten days later, two mine
employees and an MSHA inspector perished in a coal outburst during rescue efforts.
The August 6 catastrophic accident was the result of an inadequate mine design.
o Flawed engineering analysis by Agapito Associates Inc. (AAI), resulted in an
inadequate mine design, with unsafe pillar dimensions, which contributed to the
o AAI’s inadequate engineering management review also contributed to the
o The mine operator, Genwal Resources Inc. (GRI), submitted a mining plan
based on the AAI analysis.
o GRI failed to revise its mining plan following coal bursts in March and as late as
August 3, but rather continued to mine coal in areas with unsafe conditions.
o GRI’s unauthorized mining practices increased geological stress levels in the
vicinity of working coal miners.
o MSHA found no evidence that a naturally occurring earthquake caused the
collapse on August 6.
The August 16 coal outburst accident.
o Any hope of accessing the trapped miners required rescue personnel to remove
coal debris that blocked them from the miners.
o The mine operator withheld information about a recent coal burst which deprived
MSHA of a complete picture of underground conditions.
o The unexpected conditions in the mine caused a robust roof control system to
fail during the attempt.
Genwal Resources Inc. Actions
GRI misled MSHA about the extent of the March 10 coal burst and failed to immediately
inform MSHA about the March 7 and August 3 bursts.
GRI submitted an inadequate roof control plan based on faulty AAI engineering analyses to
GRI failed to adequately revise its roof control plan to provide better support after the
March 7, March 10, and August 3 bursts and continued to expose miners to unsafe
GRI violated the approved roof control plan when coal was mined in a prohibited area.
Agapito Associates Inc. Actions
AAI failed to recommend safe mining methods and pillar/barrier dimensions
MSHA levies $1,636,664 in fines against GRI
MSHA levies $220,000 against AAI
Changes to MSHA Policies and Procedures
Letter to Mine Operators with Requirements for Roof Control Plan Submittals—June 3, 2008
Memoranda to District Managers
o Approval of Complex and/or Non-typical Roof Control Plans and Amendments—June 5,
o Corrective Measures for Inspection and Investigation Activities Related to Roof Control
Plans and Related Miner Training - June 3, 2008
o Documentation of Roof Control Plan Reviews—June 6, 2008
Procedure Instruction Letter
o Technical Support Assistance in Reviewing Roof Control Plans—Effective May 25,
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bureau of Land Management – April 8, 2008
All Retreat Mining Plans with depths over 1,500 feet in District 9 reexamined - August 2007
17 ground control inspections by Technical Support of mines with bump-prone conditions August 2007 – February 2008
Developed and posted a list of Best Practices addressing “Ground Control for Deep Cover Coal
Mines.” – February 2008
Program Information Bulletin
o Precautions for the Use of the Analysis of Retreat Mining Pillar Stability
(ARMPS) Computer Program – April 7, 2008
Future Program Information Bulletins
o Guidelines for Use of Numerical Modeling, Type of Information to be Provided in Roof
Control Plan Submittals
o Guidelines for Use of LaModel Computer Modeling Program
Periodic Mine Emergency Response Development (MERD) Exercise and Training
Legal positions regarding 103 (j) and (k); authority of Primary Communicator and Family
Separate assigned persons as Person in Charge, Primary Communicator and Family Liaison
ERP reviews and updates for non-English speaking families
Review of MSHA emergency response equipment and deployment procedures
Wireless communications and tracking guidance.
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