At about 11:30 a.m., CONSOL engineer Paul Stuart Carter arrived at the site "after receiving numerous emails from Mr. [Michael] Friedline, [a CONSOL supervisor], in the past weeks concerning the high readings being obtained" on the embankment's pressure monitor.
Carter and Friedline went to the location of the monitor, where they "observed excessive bubbling of water in the impoundment along the eastern toe/slope and east of the [monitor]," the report said.
"Mr. Carter asked Mr. Friedline if he had noticed the bubbling earlier in the day," the report said. "Mr. Friedline said, 'yes, but not as bad.' Mr. Carter then stated, 'we need to get off the fill.'"
Friedline radioed Koon, who was operating a dozer on the outer slope of the dump, telling him to leave the area.
"Mr. Koon was pushing refuse up the slope to install berms and to seal and track loose material of the outer slope," the report said. "Mr. Koon immediately trammed the dozer to the top of the slope when a large crack began to develop across the refuse fill area.
"After the large crack developed, a large section of the fill immediately became unstable," the report said. "Water/slurry shot through the developing cracks, causing large sections of refuse to break off, sinking into the impoundment."
The report said that Koon was heard on the radio saying, "what's going on" as the refuse fill began to fail.
"As the section of the refuse began to slide, it caused the dozer that Mr. Koon was operating to turn, going blade first into the water of the impoundment," the report said. "The cab of the dozer was visible for a few seconds then sank into the water."
The report said that Friedline and Carter tried to run to stable ground, but both became submerged in the water and slurry, along with the pickup trucks they had driven to the site.
"The conditions of the impoundment deteriorated quickly, causing large sections of an approximately 5-foot high wave of slurry to travel west to east, then return to the collapsed area of the saddle dike," the report said.
Friedline swam to safety. Carter was swept out to a "slurry island," the report said, and was later rescued by local emergency responders.
The report added that the investigation "has been ongoing since the victim was recovered. Data and information has been collected and is still being gathered at this time. Further recommendations and findings of fact may be submitted when all data and information is collected and reviewed."
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.