HeadLine: HUGE FLOOD MEANS END OF THE MINE
The Mirror, 27/03/2002, p1
by SHAUN MILNE
DOZENS of miners cheated death by just hours as a massive tidal wave
swept through their pit.
But the flood is almost certain to sound the death knell of the
Longannet complex in Fife – Scotland’s last deep mine.
Professor Ross Harper, chairman of Mining (Scotland) Ltd, said: “If
this unexpected flooding had taken place 24 hours earlier, there could
have been serious loss of life.”
The huge tidal wave of 17 million gallons of water, poured through the
mine just three hours after the last man had left the coal face.
Last night grim faced bosses had still been unable to assess the full
extent of the devastation.
The 500-strong workforce – who have fought against all the odds to keep
the pit open – is now expect to be axed.
An emergency board meeting will be held tomorrow to decide the future
of the mine.
Nicky Wilson, of the National Union of Mineworkers said: “The company
are trying to get as much of the water pumped out as they can and they
are doing everything possible to help the workforce.”
Central Scotland MP Martin O’Neill said the news couldn’t have come at
a worse time for the mine where development extraction targets were
running at 50 per cent above expectations as the result of new
He said: “It could prove to be a dreadful end to Longannet.
“The staff who work there are among the most skilled in the United
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