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Coal Mine Explosion

A former coal mining company has today been sentenced (22nd Oct) for safety failings following an underground explosion at the Kellingley Colliery in North Yorkshire in November 2010.

In a prosecution brought by the Mines Inspectorate of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Leeds Crown Court heard that a mixture of flammable gasses had accumulated near to the area in which the miners working – a safety curtain designed to prevent this from happening was damaged, partially removed, and inadequately maintained.

The spark that ignited the mixture of gases is thought to have been caused by falling sandstone striking sandstone.

218 miners were evacuated from the site, shortly before dozens of further explosions took place. Work could not resume at the colliery for almost three weeks.

UK Coal Mining Ltd of Harworth Park, Blyth Road, Harworth, Nottinghamshire, pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £50,000, but was not charged prosecution costs – it was agreed that the company’s limited funds will instead be used for the Miners’ Pensioners’ Coal Allowance.

HSE Principal Mines Inspector Bob Leeming commented:

“UK Coal Mining Ltd failed to recognise the risks of localised sandstone falls, that
are part of the normal sequence of mining, nor properly specify the design
and standard to be maintained of the protective curtain.

“This case highlights the importance of adequate risk assessments and the
need to properly educate and inform the workforce so that control
measures are understood and properly implemented.”

Since 2006, there have been 15 fatalities in mines in Great Britain.

If you think you, or someone you know, has been affected by an injury in the work place and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

Source: View Article

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