Investigation starts after miner dies at Kellingley Colliery

AN investigation has been launched after the collapse of a pit roof killed one miner and injured another.

Specialist mine rescue teams were called to Kellingley Colliery on Tuesday afternoon but were unable to save one man who was pronounced dead at the scene.

North Yorkshire police confirmed the man was in his 40s and from North Yorkshire.

A second miner in his 40s from West Yorkshire was rescued and taken to Pinderfields Hospital with minor injuries.

Gareth Williams, managing director of UK Coal, said Health and Safety Executive and North Yorkshire Police would be conducting a joint investigation into the tragedy.

UK Coal said the roof fell in at around 4.35pm. The two men were brought to the surface about three hours later.

One of the men, who was trapped by the lower leg, was rescued by colleagues, but the second man was confirmed dead at the scene.

Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, said: “This is terrible and tragic news. All my thoughts are with the family, friends and workmates of both miners involved in this accident at Kellingley.

“The entire community will be devastated by this and I know everyone will want to support the families at this dreadful time.”

The incident is the third at the colliery in as many years.

Hemsworth miner Ian Cameron, 46, of Holly Street, had been carrying out maintenance work on a coalface in October 2009, when he became crushed by a hydraulic roof prop.

He was freed by colleagues and was airlifted to hospital but died from crush injuries.

Just days earlier, Dave Welka, of Crawley Avenue, South Kirkby, suffered serious burns in a separate incident at the colliery.

Mr Cameron had been one of his colleagues who came to his aid, throwing ice water over him to minimise his injuries.

In November last year, 200 workers were evacuated after a methane explosion, and in September 2008, Don Cook died in a rock fall.