A major fire at the UK coal-owned Daw Mill Colliery in Warwickshire, England, has forced the company to temporarily shut operations while a risk of permanent closure remains pertinent.
The underground mine witnessed a serious fire incident on 22 February 2013, with 92 workers rescued as per standard emergency procedures.
A specialized team of 14 miners, however, remained underground to control the fire but were forced into a retreat due to the severity of the situation.
The fire was reported to have started at a depth of 540m and quickly spread across the tailgate area.
Ventilation to the mine was cut to reduce oxygen levels feeding the fire. UK coal said in a statement that residents living above the mine or close to the site currently face no risk from the incident.
The company however believes that the mine may not be restored to operational status in the next three to six months.
UK Coal chief executive Kevin McCullough remarked that this fire is on a scale not seen for decades.
“The suddenness of the fire and its ferocity is something we train for and hope never to see, so the safe evacuation of over 100 miners is something the whole team can be proud of,” McCullough said.
UK Coal is not expected to undertake a ‘prompt, safe and orderly’ close down of the mine over the next few months, with help from the Coal Authority.