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National Coal Mining Museum Reopen Underground Tours

The National Coal Mining Museum is open this weekend and Underground Tours re-open from Monday 31 January 2011.

The Museum galleries and all of the above-ground facilities are open for visitors and the Underground Tours will resume from Monday 31 January.

The Underground Tours were suspended from Tuesday 25 January after a fatal accident in which a contractor, who was a former miner, was trapped by machinery being used underground. Although the accident occurred in a different area of the mine, the Mines Inspectorate needed full access to all the underground areas in order to carry out their investigation. The Inspectors have now given clearance for the mine to be re-opened and for the Underground Tours to re-start.

The Tours, which are enjoyed by over 100,000 visitors each year, are led by experienced ex-miners, who will continue doing their hugely valuable and successful job of sharing our mining heritage with our visitors.

Whilst Caphouse Colliery is no longer a working pit, the Museum works to the same stringent regulations and high standards of safety as a working UK mine; these standards are laid down in the Mines & Quarries Health & Safety Legislation and are regulated by HM Inspectorate of Mining. Employing ex-miners as Guides is one of the many ways that the Museum ensures the safety of visitors.

The Museum, the site and the staff remain very closely connected to the local mining community and everyone has been shocked and saddened by this accident. Our deepest sympathies continue to be extended to the family, friends and colleagues of the victim.

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