Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Hundreds mourn miner killed in pit

A miner's helmet and yellow vest placed on top of the coffin of Gerry Gibson at his funeral service
Gerry Gibson died when he and a colleague were trapped by a rock fall in Kellingley Colliery

Hundreds of friends, relatives and colleagues of a miner who died after a roof collapsed in a pit have said farewell to him at his funeral.

Gerry Gibson's coffin was carried into Selby Abbey, in North Yorkshire, with a miner's helmet and fluorescent yellow vest placed on top.

Mr Gibson, 49, from Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire, died last week when he and a colleague were trapped by a rock fall in Kellingley Colliery, near Knottingley.

The mourners were led by Mr Gibson's wife, Brenda, and his eldest son, Sean, who followed his coffin into the abbey, which was packed for the Requiem Mass.

A major rescue operation was launched 2,625ft (800 metres) underground following the roof collapse on September 27.

Rescuers pulled out Mr Gibson's colleague Phil Sheldon, who suffered minor injuries after being trapped by his leg. Mr Gibson was pronounced dead at the scene.

An inquest this week heard he died from asphyxiation.

His family have said they were devastated by his death and paid tribute to all those involved in the rescue effort.

Mr Gibson was originally from Shotts, North Lanarkshire, and the Scottish National Union of Mineworkers said he would be "sorely missed".

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