Bucyrus Erie 1450 SLIDE-IN

Photo's and details by: Fred Monger

I remember that I could not hear anything, and it was all in slow motion as I watched the machine slowly slide toward the highwall. The machine stayed level as the back hung over the edge further and further. At this time, I was not aware the coal loader was directly below the machine -- I thought it was further to the west. As about half the machine was hanging out over the pit, it slowly began to tilt downward, and as it did the boom began to go up quickly. I watched as the machine slid and tilted down into the pit, and the boom was pointing straight up, then it began to crumple as it continued it’s motion southward and finally landed draped over the machine, bent over backwards.

When all motion stopped, we ran over to the machine. The highwall had been rounded over by the tub sliding over it, and the left cab (where the operator was) had stopped near the top, where we could climb down the rounded highwall and into the cab. We were totally unaware of the danger of the machine continuing to slide down the highwall. The front window had broken out, and as we entered the cab, we found the operator crumpled against the back door. He was pretty shook up and unable to move.