Empire State Mine resumes underground mining operations

August 3, 2018

Empire State Mine resumes underground mining operations after a hoist malfunction on Friday, that was caused by an “electrical problem”.

140 workers were unable to go back underground in the mine because of an accident that happened Friday, when an elevator taking workers down into the mine abruptly stopped and injured 9 workers. 

Mine officials say the elevator stopped because the braking system malfunctioned. 

Two of the injured miners are recovering at home. Mine officials say one has a dislocated knee; the other a broken ankle.

Below is the full news release from Empire State Mine:

Underground mining operations have resumed at the Empire State Mine following a hoist incident that occurred on July 27, 2018. During routine transportation of personnel underground, the braking system on the personnel conveyance (“cage”) unexpectedly engaged causing it to stop abruptly. The braking system then released, causing the cage to resume its travel downwards at normal speed at which time the hoist operator pushed the emergency stop button, bringing the cage to a controlled stop before returning the personnel to the surface.

Of the 30 contractors travelling in the cage, nine had injuries ranging from sprains and strains to a fracture, and were treated at local hospitals. Seven of the contractors were released immediately. The remaining contractors, one of whom had a dislocated knee and the other a fractured ankle, are at home recovering. Mine management has been in regular contact with the individuals affected by the incident, and their families, to provide support.

The incident was investigated by the company, third party hoist engineering experts, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”). The cause of the incident was electrical in nature, and immediate corrective actions have been taken. Additional safeguards, including backup power supply, are being implemented to prevent recurrence.

The operation of the hoist has been approved by MSHA and underground operations resumed late yesterday.

The safety and well-being of our people is our top priority as we ramp up production at the Empire State Mine,” stated Keith Boyle, Chief Operating Officer. 

Click here for the article directly from WWNY

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