September 19, 2013

The Logan Fire Department worked with Alpha Natural Resources employees to avoid what could have been a tragedy at the Zigmond Processing Plant near Dehue.

A operator rolled over a void in the coal pile with his bulldozer, causing it to fall and be covered over with coal.

The City of Logan Fire Department was called out and joined rescue efforts already underway.

The mine company had two excavators and a dozer on the pile and digging him out. He was in good shape. Those dozers are designed to handle this sort of thing, they are pressurized, and he had rescuers in the cab with him.”

To get him out the fire department lowered a man the 80 feet down to the dozer.

The Logan Fire Departmetn went on top of the last silo and set up a high angle rescue operation and lowered a man down to him and were able to get him up, strap him up, and pull him out of the coal pile.

The bulldozer driver was unhurt and did not go to a hospital.

Alpha Natural Resources Media Relations Specialist Steve Higginbottom praised the efforts of Alpha employees and the LFD, “We’re relieved that the employee was not injured in this incident and the safety protections worked as they’re designed to. We appreciate the rapid and professional response of the Logan Fire Department and the work of the personnel on site who performed as they’re trained. This incident points to the strong working relationship the miners have with the local emergency responders.”

The plant has a history of tragedy. It burned in 2009 when it was known as the Bandmill Processing Plant, which was part of Massey Energy’s Logan County Mine Services. The new plant was also damaged in a suspicious fire during the construction phase.