Miner killed and 16 hurt in collision at Scottish pit

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The Independent Online
ONE mineworker died and 16 others were injured - nine seriously - last night when a vehicle in which they were travelling collided with a truck, rolled over and crashed into a wall.

The accident happened at the Dalquhandy quarry complex near Coalburn in Lanarkshire shortly after 7pm. The men were being driven to the coalface inside a cabin set on top of a flat-bed lorry when it collided with a dumper truck inside the Scottish Coal-owned complex.

Ambulance services in the area declared a "major incident" at the scene, where the worst injured had been crushed as the lorry overturned. They were taken to Monklands, Law and Hairmyres hospitals, also in Lanarkshire. Hospital spokesmen described some of the injured as "walking wounded". It is understood that the serious casualties suffered chest and back injuries. Several had been trapped and had to be freed by firefighters.

One of the survivors at Monklands Hospital said: "We were in the manrider and a dump truck just hit us. It went bang. I thought to myself 'I am gone'. It ... rolled over and over a couple of times, everything was just flying about. I think someone was thrown out. I still can't believe it. But I am lucky, there's a couple in there who might not make it."

In a separate incident, two North Sea oil workers died when one fell from a platform and the other apparently drowned during the search for him. The tragedy occurred 110 miles off the Aberdeenshire coast yesterday. Total Oil said the first man fell from the normally unmanned MCP-01 platform during routine maintenance.

He was reported overboard by others in the 18-strong maintenance crew and a search began. During that search, the second man fell from the standby vessel Veesea Garnet.

Last night, Total said a team of investigators was on its way to the scene. "Our deepest sympathy goes to the men's families at this time," said Lucien Lallier, the company's managing director. "We will be working with the employers of both men to help in any way we can. Total will be co- operating fully with all the investigations into the circumstances surrounding the incident."

The maintenance team was on a day visit to the installation, which used to provide compression facilities on the pipeline from the Frigg field to the St Fergus gas terminal. A total of 12 people were on the standby vessel, owned by Vector Offshore and on sub-contract to North Star Shipping.