One dead after British mining accident

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One miner died and another was rescued alive on Tuesday after an accident at a colliery in northern England just weeks after the death of four miners in a Welsh pit, the mine operator confirmed.

Gareth Williams, managing director for coal mining for UK Coal, said: "UK Coal can confirm a fall of roof occurred at 4:35 pm (1535 GMT) which trapped two of our colleagues.

"Colleagues successfully recovered one of the two employees trapped by the lower leg. He is now on the surface," he added.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service said emergency crews were sent to the Kellingley Colliery, outside the town of Knottingley, after receiving an emergency call at 4:51 pm (1551 GMT).

The ambulance service confirmed a hazardous area response team and a specialist team of ambulance staff trained to work underground were sent to the site.

It came less than two weeks after four miners died when they became trapped by flash flooding at the Gleision Colliery in Cilybebyll, south Wales.

The colliery, operated by private firm UK Coal, is the largest remaining deep mine in Yorkshire.

Its two main shafts are almost 800 metres (2,600 feet) deep. One shaft is used by miners, while the other transports coal. The pit supplies local power plants and produces some coal for domestic use.

Mining accidents are rare in Britain following the rapid decline of the industry in the 1970s and 1980s.

© 2011 AFP

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