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Mine Disasters in the United States


Women Killed in Mine Accidents

Getchell Gold Corporation
Getchell Mine Powered Haulage Fatality

Golconda, Humbolt County, Nevada
January 15, 1997
No. Killed 1

Final Accident Investigation Report  PDF Format

Other Woman Killed in Mine Accidents


Description of Accident

Isabelle Marcelle Justus (victim) reported for work at 7:30 a.m.  At approximately 4:10 p.m., she was notified that Joshua Rugh, miner first class, had called requesting fuel for the Tamrock 130 LHD he was operating.  Justus was told that Rugh could be found tramming backfill in the 4850-184 area.

Justus arrived at the 4850-184 but Rugh was not there.  She then contacted Willie Brown, lead miner, who directed her to the 4850-162 area.  While Justus was enroute, Brown went to Rugh and told him to "rib" the loader.  Rugh stopped the loader on a ten percent grade with the bucket pointed uphill and the left rear into the rib.  He set the park brake, shut off the engine, and, along with Brown, checked the loader's fluid levels.  Rugh and Brown waited approximately ten minutes, until about 4:15 p.m., for Justus to arrive with the service truck.

Upon arrival Justus backed the truck toward the LHD, parking about four feet from the loader motor.  She pulled the diesel fill hose off the spool and passed it to Rugh who was between the motor and the rib.  Brown told Justus that the LHD also needed brake fluid and hydraulic fluid.  They pulled the hydraulic fluid hose off its spool and Justus climbed over the motor compartment into the area where Rugh was located.  Rugh filled the diesel tank approximately one-third full.  As he was replacing the diesel tank cap and passing the hose to Justus, the loader began moving.  It scraped along the rib as it traveled approximately two feet.  Justus was crushed and Rugh was caught between the rib and the loader.

Rugh yelled to Brown to get the LHD off them.  Brown started the loader and trammed to a level area above the accident scene where he parked.  Eddie Mendoza, miner third class, hearing and seeing what had happened, ran to the pager phone in the 4850 and called for help.  Rugh and Odoms began first aid on Justus.

Sally Shipman, EMT, responded to the call and began emergency aid.  Justus was transported to the surface on adorn's haul truck and transferred to a mine emergency vehicle.  The Humboldt County ambulance met the mine vehicle approximately 20 miles from the mine and transported Justus to Humboldt General Hospital where she was pronounced dead by the county coroner.



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