Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Investigators Probing Death of Miner John after 'Gas Blow-Out' Tributes Paid to 56-Year-Old Man Who Died after Underground Blast in the Early Hours of Yesterday Morning

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Investigators Probing Death of Miner John after 'Gas Blow-Out' Tributes Paid to 56-Year-Old Man Who Died after Underground Blast in the Early Hours of Yesterday Morning

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian Johnson Reporter ian.johnson01@trinitymirror.com

INVESTIGATORS have arrived on Teesside following the death of a worker at Boulby potash mine.

John Anderson - known to friends as Richie - was killed after a "gas blow-out" in the early hours of Friday morning.

Colleagues have paid tribute to Mr Anderson, who worked at the mine for 35 years and lived in Easington.

They said the 56-year-old was known as "Mr Reliable".

The Mines Inspectorate has launched an investigation into the blast - described as a "sudden and powerful release of gas which displaced a significant amount of mineral".

The gas blow occurred at 3am, around 1km underground, and up to 5km out to sea.

There was a "full shift" of more than 100 staff underground at the time, with about eight staff working in a team with Mr Anderson.

He was driving a giant 40ft long continuous miner as part of his role.

Mining was stopped for the shift and the next, with staff possibly going underground today.

Mines Inspectorate staff travelled to Teesside yesterday to begin the probe.

Cleveland Police attended the mine at 5.20am although the force's involvement in the investigation has now ended.

Mine owner ICL UK - formerly Cleveland Potash - has said it is co-operating fully into the investigation.

Simon Hunter, safety manager, said "Naturally everyone involved with Boulby is affected by this tragic incident. "First and foremost our thoughts are with John's family and friends, and we will be doing everything we can to help and support them through this very dif-ficult time".

"The investigations into the incident have already begun, but they are at a very early stage.

"A gas blow is a sudden release of a small amount of gas at exceedingly high pressure which also displaces mineral. …

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