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Mathies Coal Company
Mathies Mine Fatal Hoisting Accident

Courtney, Washington County, Pennsylvania
September 19, 1979
No. Killed - 1

MSHA Final Investigation Report  (1.0 Mb)  PDF Format
Pittsburgh Press News Article  (10.4 Mb)  PDF Format

Rescuer Death

In the process of testing a newly installed rescue capsule in the 335 foot shaft of Consolidation Coal Companyís Mathies Mine in Peters Township, Washington County, PA, company safety inspector, John Marn, plunged 180 feet to his death after the capsuleís coupling device broke.  The Washington County Coroner, Farrell Jackson, ruled that Edward Nogal, federal mine inspector, was partially responsible for Marnís death.  Source document External Link

From the Google News Archives:  External Link
(news links open in a separate window)


On Wednesday, September 19, 1979, at approximately 10 a.m. a fatal hoisting accident occurred at the Kerr intake air shaft of Mathies Coal Company, Mathies mine, which resulted in John Marn, Safety Supervisor, being fatally injured.

Marn, age 33, had 4 years 7 months mining experience, 2 years 2 months at this position, Marn was being lowered in an emergency escape conveyance (capsule) in the intake air shaft when the hoist rope became disengaged from the capsule at about 101 feet.  The conveyance fell about 184 feet to the shaft bottom.

The victim was riding the conveyance to the shaft bottom in order to assist in checking the escape hoist communication system and perform his other normal work duties.

The accident occurred when the victim rode a conveyance which had a continuous cable clamp installed as the only means of attaching the wire rope to the conveyance.  The wire rope slipped through the continuous cable clamp and the conveyance fell to the shaft bottom.

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