A MINER who was killed in a roof collapse at a North Yorkshire colliery was unaware of the danger he was in, despite an almost identical accident five days earlier, an inquest has found.

Gerry Gibson, 49, was trapped at Kellingley Colliery on September 27, 2011.

This week, an inquest at Selby heard a number of bolts used to secure the roof had been broken in an almost identical incident on September 22.

The jury said: “The subsequent investigation was inadequate and additional roof support system was put in place, but was discontinued on September 26.

The relevant information regarding the incident was not cascaded appropriately and effectively.”

The jury said Mr Gibson and his colleagues were “following normal working procedures” prior to the incident, but had not been told to avoid the site of the “previous significant fall”. When a powered roof support was lowered, Mr Gibson and another man were trapped under debris.

Mr Gibson’s sons Sean, 22, and Andrew, 19, both work at Kellingley as a welder on the surface and on the coalface, respectively.

Speaking outside the inquest with their mother Brenda, they thanked Mr Gibson’s colleagues for sharing their “harrowing recollections” of Mr Gibson’s “untimely and unnecessary death”.

He said: “We continue as a family to suffer greatly from the aftermath of Gerry’s death.

“He has left a huge hole in our lives and hearts. We are glad UK Coal has been made to account for their obvious shortcomings in health and safety regulations and the apparent lack of robust and rigorous assessment and communication, which may have prevented the tragedy.

“We are relieved the inquest has come to an end and hope the findings go some way to ensure a tragedy like this doesn’t happen again.”

Chris Kitchen, general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers, said the incident highlighted the dangers of mining, and said he was “very upset that Gerry had to pay with his life to identify the failings” at the colliery.

He said: “There is a distinct possibility that had the rules been obeyed, the accident would not have had the tragic consequences it did.”

A statement released by UK Coal, owners of the colliery, said: “We deeply regret the loss of Gerry Gibson and have taken a number of steps to strengthen health and safety procedures since this tragic event.”