A fortnight ago Mines and Communities (MAC) reported the flooding of a coal shaft in Wales, which took the lives of four mineworkers.
MAC 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.”
MAC 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.
See http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=11214&l=1.
See also Don’t forget the victims of dust – they also suffered at http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=11195.