York & North Yorkshire

UK Coal in court over 2009 death of Kellingley miner

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

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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