Tours suspended after death at Wakefield mining museum

National Coal Mining Museum
Image caption The museum is due to reopen on Thursday

Underground tours at the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield have been temporarily suspended after a mineworker was killed there.

The man was employed by contractors extending an underground roadway when he became trapped by machinery.

The 58-year-old has not yet been formally identified. A post-mortem examination is being carried out.

An investigation is under way by the Health and Safety Executive's Mines Inspectorate and West Yorkshire Police.

The museum was closed on Tuesday and Wednesday "as a mark of respect" and is due to reopen on Thursday.

'Stringent regulations'

The museum said the underground tour "would remain closed up to and including Sunday 30th January at the earliest".

The tours are a popular attraction at the museum, with visitors able to go 450ft down one of the oldest working mines in England.

In a statement, the former Caphouse Colliery at Overton said the man had been working on a project to extend the museum's underground tour when it is understood he became trapped by the machinery being used.

The accident happened before the museum was open to the public and the museum said "at no time was there any danger to visitors".

The statement said: "Although no longer a working coal mine, the museum still operates under the stringent regulations of Mines and Quarries Health and Safety legislation, regulated by HM Inspectorate of Mining."

It added: "The museum would like to extend its deepest sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues."

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