Analysis of a Historical Accident in a Spanish Coal Mine

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Sep 26;16(19):3615. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16193615.


There has been a long history of coal mine accidents and these, usually, involve serious injuries, fatalities, and the destruction of facilities. In the seventies, an explosion killed 28 miners in a Spanish coal mine. This paper gives insight into the main factors of the accident by means of the causation mode, using two well-known alternatives: (1) the method from the Spanish Instituto Nacional de Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo (INSST), where the causes and circumstances of the accident are classified into immediate causes and basic causes, and (2) the Feyer and Williamson method, where the classification is done using precursor events and contributing factors. The analysis identifies the lessons to be learned from the disaster. Both methods have given very similar results, verifying the goodness of the analysis. Methane emissions due to a variation in the exploitation method, the electrical installation, and a lack of safety procedures and training were the main causes of the accident. These findings explain the real causes of this accident and can be very valuable for the prevention of future accidents.

Keywords: accident analysis; coal mining; explosion; ventilation.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational*
  • Coal Mining*
  • Humans
  • Spain