Hundreds mourn Kellingley miner Gerry Gibson

Sean Gibson (rear left) and Brenda Gibson (rear centre), the son and wife of miner Gerry Gibson follow his coffin at his funeral service at Selby Abbey in North Yorkshire.
Sean Gibson (rear left) and Brenda Gibson (rear centre), the son and wife of miner Gerry Gibson follow his coffin at his funeral service at Selby Abbey in North Yorkshire.
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HUNDREDS of friends, relatives and colleagues of a Yorkshire miner who died after a roof collapsed in Kellingley Colliery said farewell to him at his funeral on Saturday.

Gerry Gibson’s coffin was carried into Selby Abbey with a miners’ helmet and fluorescent yellow vest placed on top.

Sean Gibson and Brenda Gibson the son and wife of miner Gerry Gibson arrive for his funeral service at Selby Abbey in North Yorkshire.

Sean Gibson and Brenda Gibson the son and wife of miner Gerry Gibson arrive for his funeral service at Selby Abbey in North Yorkshire.

Mr Gibson, 49, from Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire, died last week when he and a colleague were trapped by a rock fall at the pit.

Today, 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”.

Mr Gibson’s death was the third at Kellingley, near Knottingley, in three years.

Ian Cameron, 46, died when equipment fell on him at the pit in October 2009 and miner Don Cook died in a rock fall in September 2008.

UK Coal, which runs Kellingley Colliery, appeared at Pontefract Magistrates’ Court a week ago in relation to the death of Mr Cameron.

The Doncaster-based company is accused of health and safety breaches along with an equipment firm.

UK Coal is due to be sentenced later this month in a separate prosecution for breaching health and safety regulations in cases relating to the deaths of four miners at pits in the Midlands.