MAC: Mines and Communities

Miner dies at UK Coal Yorkshire colliery

Published by MAC on 2011-10-05
Source: Reuters, BBC (2011-09-28)

A fortnight ago we reported the flooding of a coal shaft in Wales, which took the lives of four mineworkers. See: Mining disaster returns to Wales

We commented then that: "The Gleision tragedy could now mark the end of a particularly hazardous type of small-scale coal extraction - one that has been endured for far too long."

We also pointed out that larger deep-pit coal mines in the UK employed some 3,548 workers, producing 7.4 million tonnes of coal last year.

These mines are far less likely to be closed down in the near future. But their toll in lives continues.

Just last week, two miners were trapped by a roof collapse at Yorkshire's Kellingley colliery, one of whom, Gerry Gibson, died.

Only 10 months earlier, over 200 workers had to be rescued from the same mine following a methane gas explosion.

The company responsible, UK Coal, is Britain's largest miner of the black stuff. It is shortly to appear in court, charged with neglect in respect of a miner's death in 2009.

And it has admitted "breaches" of health and safety regulations in the case of four other workers since 2006.

Miner dies at UK Coal Yorkshire colliery

Reuters

28 September 2011

One miner has died and another rescued after being trapped underground following a roof collapse in a mine operated by UK Coal Plc in northern England, the company said on Tuesday.

The fatality was confirmed by the company's own medical team, UK Coal director Gareth Williams told reporters. The surviving miner had been brought to the surface after receiving treatment for a leg injury, he added.

The men had been trapped at the Kellingley colliery in Yorkshire, one of three deep mines operated by UK Coal, Britain's largest coal miner.

Rescue services had gone to the mine after the alarm was raised around 1600 GMT.

The incident comes less than a month after four miners died after a flash flood inside a small, privately run coal mine in south Wales, one of the worst mining accidents in Britain in many years.

Last November some 218 miners were evacuated safely from Kellingley after a methane gas explosion.

UK Coal employs 2,900 people and its coal output is used to generate around 5 percent of Britain's electricity.

The money-losing company produced 7.2 million tonnes of coal last year.


UK Coal in court over 2009 death of Kellingley miner

Kellingley Colliery Three miners have been killed at Kellingley in the last four years

BBC News

29 September 2011

The firm which runs Kellingley pit, in North Yorkshire, where a miner died earlier this week, is due in court over another death at the colliery.

UK Coal is expected to appear at Pontefract Magistrates Court on Friday in relation to the death of Ian Cameron in 2009.

Earlier this week, Gerry Gibson, 49, died following a roof collapse.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the current investigation at the pit had concluded.

UK Coal said it hoped to resume production "within 48 hours".

Safety breaches

Mr Gibson's death was the third in four years at the colliery.

Don Cook was killed in a rock fall in September 2008 and Ian Cameron died after equipment fell on him on in October 2009.

The HSE said UK Coal was due to appear in court alongside mining equipment firm Joy Mining Machinery Ltd.

Both companies are charged with breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act in relation to Mr Cameron's death.

In a separate prosecution, UK Coal is due to be sentenced in October for breaching health and safety regulations in cases relating to the deaths of four miners at pits in the Midlands.

The firm has admitted safety breaches in relation to the deaths of three miners at Daw Mill colliery, near Coventry.

'Deeply traumatised'

They are Trevor Steeples, 46, who died in June 2006; Paul Hunt, who died in August 2006; and Anthony Garrigan, who died in January 2007.

They also admitted breaches in relation to the death of Paul Milner, who was fatally injured at Welbeck Colliery, near Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, in November 2007.

Kellingley, which is on the border of North and West Yorkshire, is one of the largest remaining deep mines in Britain.

The Labour MP Jon Trickett, who represents the neighbouring constituency of Hemsworth, has called for an inquiry into safety at Kellingley.

He said it should be totally independent so that everyone could have "confidence" in its findings.

St Edmunds Church at Kellington, the nearest church to the pit, will be open all day on Thursday.

Rev Clive Flatters said: "I happened to be visiting one of my parishioners whose husband is a miner and he helped to bring Mr Gisbon to the pit head.

"I realised how deeply traumatised he was, and I thought we ought to offer them [the miners] a place where they might come and reflect upon what happened."

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