Miners lose lives in Paxton mine tragedy

TWO men have tragically died on the job at the Austar coalmine at Paxton.

Phillip Grant, 35, and Jamie Mitchell, 49, were working 500 metres underground last Tuesday night when a 15-metre-long wall of coal erupted and collapsed onto them. They were believed to have been killed instantly.

A catastrophic rock burst, known in the mining industry as a pressure bump, is suspected of causing the explosion.

Mr Mitchell, of Aberdare, and Mr Grant, of Metford, were part of a crew of seven who were using a continuous mining machine to gorge out new areas of the site ready for longwall mining when the tragedy struck.

Their workmates remained on site to pay tribute until both bodies were recovered on Wednesday.

The mine remains closed while investigations are under way.

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