Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Driver's body recovered from mine

A father of two from the Philippines died after rockfall at the Lisheen Mine in Co Tipperary

The body of a driver killed by a rockfall inside a mine has been recovered.

Father-of-two Mario Francis, who is from the Philippines, was buried in a loader he had been operating in a shaft of Lisheen Mine in Co Tipperary on Thursday evening.

His remains were freed at 11.30pm on Saturday night and brought to the surface.

Lisheen Mine general manager John Elmes extended his deepest sympathy to Mr Francis's wife My-Ann, her sons Jomar, nine, and Jolrem, five, and his daughter Julemar, 22, and son Mario Junior, 19.

"Despite the shock and sadness we all still feel at the death of our colleague Mario, we are comforted that his remains are now back in the care of his family," he said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

"Mario was a well-liked employee and we will dearly miss him. We also wish to thank the emergency services and mine rescue team and all his colleagues who assisted and worked tirelessly to recover Mario's remains in order to ensure that his body could be safely recovered as quickly as possible."

Mr Francis's remains were brought under Garda escort to Limerick General Hospital, and it is expected that an autopsy will be conducted. His remains will then be repatriated for burial in his native Philippines.

Mr Francis, an employee of the Lisheen Mine for more than 12 years, was killed when he was caught under a rockfall in a localised section of one mine tunnel. The alarm was raised at around 4.45pm on Thursday and his body found trapped in his vehicle underneath the rockfall. While he was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene a short while later, the scene was not safe enough to allow his body to be immediately recovered.

The Lisheen Mine is a lead and zinc mine between the villages of Moyne and Templetuohy in north Tipperary. It employs about 370 people and is part of the Vedanta Resources Group.

The Health and Safety Authority is investigating.

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