Lightning Strikes and Mine Explosions
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 1995
Two case studies of methane gas explosions and their effect on the operation of underground coal mines are presented. The studies detail the recovery operations and investigations at each mine site. These include the circumstances prior to the explosions and the effects on the surface and underground ventilation control systems. Various ignition sources such as surface and underground electrical power systems, degasification sites, ventilation shafts, test well casings, and lightning activity were investigated. In each case, a lightning report from the National Lightning Detection Network1 was used in conjunction with the physical evidence and eyewitness accounts to confirm lightning strikes as the ignition source for the explosions.