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Media / Application stories / Atlas Copco Open the Life Channel for Miner

Atlas Copco Open the Life Channel for Miner


On June 14, 2010, along with the end of flooding accident rescue in Shanxi Jincheng Coal Group Jiaonan Coal Mine, 11 miners once trapped underground had been rescued successfully, thus creating the miracle of life. As the main equipment engaged in the rescue operation, Atlas Copco RD20II drill rig drilled holes efficiently and accurately so as to win the time to the farthest extent. Therefore, it was widely praised by the customer.

At 5 a.m. June 3, 2010, the flooding accident occurred in Shanxi Jincheng Coal Group Jiaonan Coal Mine and 11 miners were trapped underground. At that occasion, speed was hope and speed meant life. Upon the occurrence of this accident, Qinshui Lanyan Coal bed Methane Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Qinshui Lanyan) was ordered to organize two rescue teams overnight and dispatch more than 150 personnel to the accident site who were engaged in the task of drilling holes for excavation.

The coal mine flooding is the accident caused by digging to the underground water or abandoned underground ponding tunnel during the coal mining operation in tunnel. The tunnel is immediately flooded by the ponding water and workers have to swim to the higher places waiting for rescue. The harsh underground environment may swallow the life of works at any time. The whole rescue process is racing with the time. The quickest rescue option is to locate the drilling position through construction drawing and GPS position indicator, open the communication hole, supplies hole and drainage hole rapidly by means of air drilling, and provide adequate survival space and escape channel to the miners trapped underground.

The rescue tasks of Qinshui Lanyan include: (1) to lower two sets of production casings in the main well, thus forming the drainage system for water drainage from the underground tunnel; (2) to find proper positions to drill holes for drainage. The drilling equipments include mainly Atlas Copco RD20II drilling rig, XRVS1275 large mobile air compressor.
At the beginning of the rescue work, the biggest difficulty for the rescue team was the poor mountainous geographic condition and big roadway fluctuation. The rescue had to work on the hemidome ground. Furthermore, since the underground tunnels of small coal mines were not standardized, and there were huge errors to the well data, so it was difficult to locate the drilling positions accurately.
The rescue team had to overcome all adverse conditions locating the well positions, drilling holes, moving the machines and casing... 16 hours later through constant work day and night, 1# well was gotten through successfully. 1# well, with the depth of 115m, was drilled exactly above the tunnel at the hit area, through which a lot of underground water rushed out. Then the drainage work was started. At the meantime, the density of gas at the wellhead was reduced from 60 % to zero, which ensured the safe search and rescue underground in the next step. The net drilling time of Atlas Copco RD20II drill rig at 1# well was just 3.5 hours, whose speed was more than 5 times of the conventional drill rig. And it was free of deviation. The successful spudding of 1# well was critical to rescue the trapped miners.
After that, the drilling went on for two days. Totally 6 wells were drilled during the rescue, among which two for standby and the other four successfully casing for supplies and drainage.
1# well: diameter=311mm; depth=115m; drilling time: 4 hours;
2# well: diameter=311mm; depth=80.48m; drilling time: 2.5 hours;
3# well: diameter=311mm; depth=83.30m; drilling time: 2.5 hours;
4# well: diameter=311mm; depth=93m; drilling time: 3 hours;

At 22:35 p.m. June 7, upon the end of 5# well casing, when a wispy voice was transmitted along the steel tube to the ground, the site was in total silence. Right! "Dingdong, Dingdang..." was the life signal sent out by the miners trapped. The rescue team transmitted nutrient solution and food immediately underground. Soon afterwards, through a series of scientific and effective rescue, the first miner was taken out of the well at 23:37 along with the slow rising of the shaft cage. Until 24 o'clock June 7, 6 miners had been rescued successfully.

Through 262 hours of rescue in 11 days and nights, the site rescue was over on June 14, and 11 miners were rescued successfully. Atlas Copco RD20II drill rig had the total footage of 371.78m and the effective drilling time of 12 hours. The total delivery volume for pumping was 1500m3. The reliability, accuracy and stability of RD20II drill rig and drilling tool, XRVS1275 mobile air compressor had ensured the quickest drilling speed, thus winning the valuable time of rescue.
The perfect performance of Atlas Copco equipment in this rescue task had been highly praised by Qinshui Lanyan once again. In effect, as the professional branch of Jincheng Coal Group engaged in the overground development of coal bed methane and coal field geology survey, Qinshui Lanyan has precedent cooperation with Atlas Copco. In order to raise the production capability of coal bed methane, since March 2008, Qinshui Lanyan had introduced two sets of Atlas Copco RD20 multi-functional hydraulic mounted drilling rigs which were used to drill the coal bed methane well within 500-1500m depth range. The first Atlas Copco RD20 drill rig was started up in March 2008, and it had drilled totally 13 wells by the end of December in the same year.

So far, the two RD20 drilling rigs have been running smoothly constantly, which had won the praise from the Company at various levels. While summarizing this successful rescue experience, Qinshui Lanyan put forward particularly that Atlas Copco equipments perform perfectly during the routine coal bead methane drilling and particularly run smoothly and operate rapidly during the critical moment. The drilling equipments of Atlas Copco will become the first choice of Qinshui Lanyan. It is thus clear that the high-performance equipment is not only the guarantee to safety production but also the commitment to life.

For further information, please contact:
Caroline He
Marketing Communication Officer
Atlas Copco Construction and Mining Technique
Phone: +86 10 6528 0517     

Atlas Copco is an industrial group with world-leading positions in compressors, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. The Group delivers sustainable solutions for increased customer productivity through innovative products and services. Founded 1873, the company is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 170 countries. In 2010, Atlas Copco had about 33 000 employees and revenues of BSEK 70 (BEUR 7.3).  
Atlas Copco's Construction and Mining Technique Business Area  develops, manufactures, markets and services rock drilling tools, construction and demolition tools, drill rigs and equipment. It innovates for superior productivity in for surface and underground rock excavation, exploration drilling, rock reinforcement, ground engineering, water well, oil and gas drilling worldwide. The business area has its principal product development and main manufacturing units in Sweden and the United States. More information is available on