Hero miner dies at West Yorkshire pit

A hero miner died after the second accident within days at West Yorkshire’s last working pit. Ian Cameron helped save a colleague seriously injured in an accident at Kellingley Colliery in Knottingley on Thursday last week. Tragically, on Sunday, father-of-two Mr Cameron, 46, of Hemsworth, suffered fatal injuries when equipment collapsed on him. The miner, with 30 years experience, was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary but later died.

Last week Mr Cameron threw ice on injured miner Dave Welka, 48, after he suffered horrific scalding when a bag of hot water exploded on his back on the same coalface.

Mr Welka, 48, suffered 14 per cent burns to his back and neck and may need skin grafts on his right arm.

He said: “I never thought on Thursday after he helped me that it would be the last time I saw him. I’m completely devastated and really feel for his family.

“If it wasn’t for Ian and the other people cooling me down with ice water God knows what my injuries would have been like. He was a really good friend – a lovely, genuine man who was like a brother to me.”

Mr Cameron’s sister Gaynor Dickens, 40, of Hemsworth, said: “Ian was a placid, polite, pleasant guy with a wicked sense of humour, he’d do anything for anyone.

“I feel sick thinking about what has happened. Nobody can believe it. Everyone is in shock. We are all absolutely devastated.”

A UK Coal spokesman said: “Mr Cameron was one of a team working on the Silkstone seam, preparing the face for maintenance work, when he was apparently struck by equipment with which he was working.”

An investigation into the accident is being handled jointly by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and North Yorkshire Police with the support of UK Coal and mining trade unions.

The spokesman added: “There was an incident on Thursday October 15 in the evening. Mr Welka was close to the coal cutting machine when water discharged from a hose coupling as the machine started up.

“All accidents at all mines are investigated fully so that we can take measures if necessary to avoid a repeat of those circumstances.” There will be an inquest into the circumstances of Mr Cameron’s death. Kellingley is the largest of the three remaining working pits in Yorkshire.

The other two are in Maltby near Rotherham and Hatfield near Doncaster.



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