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This reports represents the study case that happened at Island Creek Coal in Buchanan County,
Virginia situated in United States. The incident happened on 28 th January 2002 at a coal
preparation facility. This tragic incident cause fatality injured to Fred R. Hess, a 54-year-old Fine
Coal Operator at the Deskins Preparation Plant, a part of the VP 8 underground coal mine.
Briefly, the plant was off-line for about two days and operating personnel were in the process of
re-starting the plant. Once the pump was started, both suction and delivery lines were blocked
with fine coal that had settled over. The front plate of the casing blew off striking the operator
fatally injuring him. A supervisor reported seeing steam coming out of the drive shaft and sent
the operator to investigate. The operator apparently stopped another pump first by mistake then
stopped the transfer pump. Immediately after he stopped the transfer pump there was an
explosion. The pump had been running for an estimated 40 minutes before it exploded. Due to
this unforgettable incident, the based on further researches, had recommended some maintenance
to improve the performance of the pump. The maintenance includes installation of standpipe.
This allows any air to be easily captured and also make it difficult for solids to build up in the
entrance to the stand pipe. The installation of rupture disc is to reduce the overpressure on the
pump that will lead to overheating on the pump. The accident occurred when the clean coal filter
drain pump exploded due to heat and pressure buildup within the pump while the victim was
standing approximately eight feet away at the on/off switch. The accident occurred because the
discharge line to the pump became clogged while the pump continued to be operated. The coal
slurry within the pump volute was consequently agitated and heated, resulting in a pressure
buildup to the point the access cover plate was blown off.