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Sunday mining accident claims Helper man's life

Sun Advocate reporter

A 37-year-old Helper resident was killed Sunday when a section of longwall reportedly burst at approximately 11 p.m. at the Aberdeen coal mine.

Located northeast of Price. the Aberdeen underground coal production facility is operated by ANDALEX Resources Inc., based in Salt Lake City.

Officials indicated that Shane Jacobson was killed Jan. 29 when flying debris allegedly struck his face.

Company officials said the coal miner was married and had three children.

Reports indicate that no one else was injured in connection with the underground coal mining incident.

Longwall miners extract coal in sections about 700 feet wide and nine feet wide.

After dual cutting heads approximately 30 inches into the face, the coal is transported out of the mine by conveyor belts.

It was during the process in question that the burst purportedly occurred.

A section of coal reportedly burst from the wall horizontally and hit Jacobson in the face.

"The longwall is shut down while the investigation is going on," said Doug Smith, president of ANDALEX.

The incident remains under investigation by the company and the United States Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Smith indicated Monday that the mine was not operating on the day the fatal accident occurred and company officials would discuss when production in other areas of the mine would resume.

Aberdeen is one of the deepest underground coal mining operations in the country.

Coal extraction occurs as deep as 3,150 feet below the surface.

ANDALEX Resources also operates the Pinnacle mine, located in the same region as Aberdeen.

In addition, the company is 50 percent shareholder in the West Ridge mine, located in B canyon near Sunnyside, and the Crandall Canyon mine, located near Huntington.

Aberdeen mine was identified as the fifth highest producer in the state in a coal report issued by the Utah Geological Survey in October of last year.

Aberdeen produced 1,984 short tons of coal during 2004. Aberdeen's production level was exceeded only by Sufco, Dugout Canyon, Deer Creek and West Ridge mines, all located in the Carbon-Emery County region.

An estimated 13,600 short tons of recoverable resources are shared between the Aberdeen and Pinnacle mines.

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