Idiot of the week: Miner charged with smoking in underground mine

A former coal miner in Pennsylvania, U.S.A was charged with risking a catastrophe after being accused of smoking inside an underground mine.

Donald Adams, 51, was also charged with reckless endangerment for the incident that prosecutors say occurred on August 23, 2012.

There were 117 miners working at the mine at the time, Triblive reported.

Adams, who has since been fired, admits that a burned cigarette found inside the mine was his but has denied smoking it.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 14.

In Australia, Queensland's mining industry had one of its most unsafe years in more than a decade in 2012.

According to the Queensland Mines and Quarries Safety Performance and Health Report, while fatalities were down from three to one, the number of lost time injuries and injury frequency rate, as well as the number of high potential incidents reported actually increased year on year.

The report highlighted incidents such as a dragline house all but demolishing the rear of a service truck with two people in the cab; an electrician found working on live equipment in a gassy development panel; a contract mining smoking in one of the state's gassiest underground coal mines; and people tampering with methane detectors on mining equipment.


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