Ohio DNR, MSHA: Hopedale Mine incident not related to violation - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

UPDATE: Ohio DNR, MSHA: Hopedale Mine incident not related to mining violation

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The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Mine Safety and Health Administration has determined the Hopedale Mine roof collapse was not related to any mining violation.

Investigators say the roof collapsed due to a combination of geology and gravity.  The miners - Gary Dulkoski and Jacob Harris are both expected to be fine.

The investigation continues Friday as mine safety officials evaluate what can be done to better stabilize the roof in adverse conditions.

Officials, if needed, will also revise the mine's roof control plan.



The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) released a timeline Thursday of the events surrounding the incident at the Hopedale Mining Facility where two miners were successfully rescued after being trapped underground for almost 10 hours.

According to authorities the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is launching an investigation into the incident.

The ODNR released a statement Wednesday, which stated both miners were rescued at about 7 p.m.

The timeline is listed below:

Weds, Oct. 10 – 9:30 a.m. – Two Hopedale Mine employees (Gary Dulkoski and Jacob Harris) were roof bolting. As the two bolt operators were installing the last rows of bolts in a crosscut, the mine roof behind the miners broke loose and fell in, trapping both men against the mine face (wall), at a dead-end crosscut with no means of escape.

Hopedale Mining staff immediately responded by calling for help from its mine safety staff, as well as ODNR Division of Mineral Resources Management and the federal Mine Safety & Health Administration. At the time, both state and federal agencies had mine inspectors on-site.

Mine rescue staff were in continual contact with the trapped miners by both radio and voice while the mine's rescue team began determining the best course of action.

10:15 a.m. - ODNR dispatched its mine rescue vehicle from Cadiz to the mine. ODNR staff remained on stand-by to assist as needed. Because of the location of the roof fall, rescue staff had to secure the roof, at the same time removing the debris so they could access the trapped miners. About 50 cars of material were removed from the area. Once the debris was removed, rescue team made eye contact with the miners through a 3x4 foot hole in the rock debris.

The biggest challenge was ensuring the safety of both the rescue team and the miners because of the concerns that the roof might collapse further.

7 p.m. - Ultimately, the rescue team constructed a roof support protection canopy on the bed of a shuttle car, usually used to transport  coal. A shuttle car operator drove the machine in toward the stranded miners, who were able to crawl out and onto the shuttle car, protected by the roof canopy.

7:30 p.m. – The two miners, who were good condition, joined their families. No injuries were reported.

According to a release from the ODNR Hopedale Mining maintains a state-recognized mine safety team. Hopedale Mining indicated four members of that team were instrumental in rescuing their colleagues. 

Both ODNR and MSHA have determined that the incident was a combination of geology and gravity, and was not related to any mining violation according to a report from the ODNR.

The investigation remains ongoing.