Miner dies after roof caves in at North Yorkshire colliery


Click to follow
The Independent Online

A miner who became trapped in a Yorkshire colliery by a fallen roof died yesterday. A second miner was rescued and treated in hospital.

Emergency services were called to Kellingley Colliery, Knottingley, North Yorkshire at 5pm yesterday after two men, who had not been named last night, became trapped up to their waists in debris.

Speaking outside the mine, Gareth Williams, managing director for coal mining for UK Coal, said: "[We] can confirm a a fall of roof occurred at 4.35pm which trapped two of our colleagues". He added: "Colleagues successfully recovered one of the two employees trapped by the lower leg. He is now on the surface. UK Coal regrets to confirm the second colleague was confirmed dead by our own team, despite our best efforts."

While the rescue was still going on, family members gathered at the mine entrance, many in tears.

UK Coal evacuated 218 workers from the Kellingley mine last year after methane gas seeped into the area and ignited.

Ian Cameron, 46, died at the colliery after an equipment failure in October 2009. At the time, UK Coal received summonses from the Health and Safety Executive relating to four deaths in separate incidents at its collieries.

Before it was announced that one man had died, shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper fought back tears as she told Labour supporters there had been a mining accident on the edge of her Pontefract and Castleford constituency.

Apologising to the audience for planning to cut short her appearance at a party conference fringe event, she said: "There has been an incident at a colliery on the edge of my constituency. There are reports of two miners trapped underground."

The drama follows the tragedy in South Wales earlier this month when four men died at Gleision Colliery.