Aaron S. Meyer attempted to help rescue Richard F. Brumley and Benjamin L. Bair from effects of an explosion, Cameron, West Virginia, January 22, 2003. Brumley, 51; Bair, 23; and Meyer, 26, driller, were part of a nightshift crew working inside a vertical air shaft that was under construction on the site of a coal mine. Near the bottom of the shaft, which was about 940 feet below ground, they and three other men were on a work platform when a build-up of methane outside the shaft exploded at that level. The explosion injured Brumley, Bair, and Meyer and killed the three other men, and it left dust suspended in the shaft. Meyer pulled Brumley to his feet and helped him to reach a hoist, which would have taken them to the surface, but Brumley was not able to board the hoist because of injury. Forfeiting the opportunity to leave the uncertain, post-explosion atmosphere of the shaft, Meyer sent the conveyance to the surface for additional help as he remained behind to aid the injured men. When the hoist returned empty, Meyer made a second attempt to help Brumley board it, but again the effort was not successful. Meyer left the shaft to obtain help. Without having the shaft’s hazards ascertained, he and a coworker took the hoist to the floor of the shaft, where the coworker concluded that moving Brumley and Bair without medical attention would aggravate their injuries. Meyer and the coworker returned to the surface. By then, emergency personnel, including paramedics, firefighters, and two sheriff’s deputies, were responding, and paramedics began to treat Meyer for his injuries. The coworker along with two sheriff’s deputies and a paramedic took the hoist to the floor of the shaft and were successful in removing the two injured men. Brumley and Bair were hospitalized for treatment of extensive and severe multiple injuries. Meyer was treated at the hospital that night for minor burns and cuts and bruising. Recovery of the men who had been killed was effected later that day, after safe conditions inside the shaft were assured.
76612 – 893776612-8937