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Service for pit collapse victim

A miner who died when a roof collapsed in a pit is to be remembered at a church service.

Gerry Gibson, 49, from Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire, died on Tuesday after he and a colleague became trapped in a rock fall at Kellingley Colliery.

Churchgoers at St Botolph's Church in Knottingley, West Yorkshire, will be asked to light a candle in Mr Gibson's memory at today's Holy Communion service.

Reverend Clive Flatters, team rector for Knottingley and Kellington parishes, where the colliery is located, said: "We will be lighting a candle and remembering Mr Gibson at the beginning of the service, and we will be praying for those in the mining industry."

On Friday, Mr Gibson's family said they were "devastated" by the miner's 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".

A major rescue operation was launched on Tuesday after the roof collapsed 800 metres underground at the North Yorkshire pit.

Phil Sheldon was rescued and suffered minor injuries after he was trapped by his leg in the incident but Mr Gibson was later confirmed to have died.

UK Coal, which owns the mine, has said initial investigations showed no obvious cause of the roof fall and the firm was, at this stage, "at a loss" to know why it happened. The company said it would publish results of its investigation into the accident as soon as it could.

An inquest into Mr Gibson's death will be opened at Selby Magistrates' Court tomorrow.

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