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Report - Coal mine gas and bad air underground, THE RISKS

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by dangerous dave, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. dangerous dave

    dangerous dave 28DL Full Member
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    Thanks to Dangerous Dave for this information, although this refers mainly to coal mines it is applicable to anyone thinking of entering any mine or underground space, as we all know that we are our own safety officer and should be aware.

    Most of the mines being explored are based on the adit system, this can have an upcast and downcast slope if one is blocked or capped that will limit the flow of air round the workings. Some mines worked on the single adit and forced air principle to keep the dust and gas under control, and after the air system has been shut off this will allow the gas to build up around sumps and the stalls. The other consideration is the effect of weather/atmospheric pressure on the amount of air being moved around the mine this can lead to bad air some days and other days it being fine.

    The main gases involved in mines are below bad plus the obvious low O2

    Fire-damp … is inflammable and consists chiefly of methane (marsh gas).
    Black-damp … extinguishes flame and causes death by suffocation It is composed of
    carbon dioxide and nitrogen. It is also known as stythe or choke-damp.
    White-damp … is a subtle and extremely poisonous gas, also known as carbon monoxide.
    After-damp … is the gas resulting from an explosion; it nearly always contains dangerous
    amounts of carbon monoxide.
    Stink-damp … or sulphuretted hydrogen, is hydrogen sulphide and is a very poisonous
    gas with a pungent smell of rotten eggs, but it is seldom found in dangerous quantities.

    All of the above will kill you very quickly if your not armed with a gas detector to give you a read out of the gas levels in the workings and allow you to escape.This is why pits had a deputy who's job it was to check the levels of the gas and O2 in the mine and keep an eye on the dust levels that are also inflammable.

    given the nature of pits some where classed as gassy and doing the research into the workings and before going down is advised as if the workings had a history of being gassy you are all ready aware of the nature of the mine and the risk of gas.
     
    #1 dangerous dave, Jul 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013

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  2. Aditaddict

    Aditaddict 28DL Member
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  3. Aditaddict

    Aditaddict 28DL Member
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    Hi on the same note ,I was researching a local drift mine which closed some years back the first article on google was this
    I have been in a few old coal mines over the years , I have found areas with no air , but as yet never encountered gas, This brought home to me just how dangerous gas can be, and how little time you would have ,even if experienced, before it can kill you
    Please read it ,as it's shocking as well as informative

    http://www.historicbolton.yolasite.com/brackley-pit.php
     
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