An Ashland man is in serious condition after the truck he was driving went into a 150-foot pit at a surface mining operation between Centralia and Mount Carmel.
There are no details yet as to how the accident happened, but the coal company and Mine Safety and Health Administration officials are investigating.
According to an article on the RepublicanHerald.com, the worker had been backfilling a section of a pit to build a road when his haul truck plummeted down an enbankment, landing on the driver’s side and pinning the driver for more than three hours. The driver was wearing a seatbelt.
Emergeny medical personnet repelled into the pit to free the man from the wreckage. A telescopic boom crane was used to lift him from the pit. He was life-flighted to the hospital.
This is the first accident to occur at the surface mining operation near Centralia.
We applaud the efforts of our local emergency personnel as well as the other workers who helped bring this man to safety. Our thoughts and prayers are with him as he recovers.