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Fire at Daw Mill Colliery forces closure

UK Coal Mine Holdings has announced that Daw Mill Colliery in Warwickshire will close.

The company blames the closure to 'the largest fire seen in a UK coal mine in over 30 years'.

The fire is still burning 740m below the surface and shows no signs of reducing.

“This has been a terrible week, not just for the company and its employees but also for the energy security of the country, as it brings an end to 47 years of coal production at Daw Mill."

Only a 'small, core team' will keep their jobs to secure the site over the next coming months. The rest of the 650-strong workforce will lose their jobs.

“We are now exploring the possible transfer of some colleagues to our other mines. Regrettably however, this news is likely to see the majority of the Daw Mill workforce being made redundant and our thoughts and best wishes are with these colleagues and their families at this difficult time.”

– Kevin McCullough, Chief Executive for UK Coal Mine Holdings

Daw Mill has been at risk of closure since March 2012 when it was also announced that a restructuring was needed to safeguard the entire business.

Over 100 miners were evacuated when it was clear the fire was too fierce

The Chief Executive of UK Coal, Kevin McCullough, has told ITV News Central that the safety of miners was the main concern following the large underground fire on Friday 22 February.

By 9:30pm, all 106 miners were evacuated when the colliery realised it was 'incapable of controlling the fire'.

Around 650 jobs may now be at risk.

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UK Coal: "This fire is on a scale not seen for decades"

Daw Mill Colliery's future remains in doubt this morning following a fire which broke out on Friday afternoon.

Over the last year, the future of the colliery has been the subject of significant uncertainty.

The company is said to be consulting with the workforce over the coming weeks.

This fire is on a scale not seen for decades. I want to thank everyone in the mine that day for their professionalism and commitment.

– Kevin McCullough, Chief Executive for UK Coal

It is said there is no risk or impact from the fire to residents living close to the site or above the mine.

800 jobs saved at Daw Mill colliery in Coventry

Britain's biggest coal producer has reshuffled its business and has safeguarded 2,500 jobs nationally, 800 are in Coventry.

"The restructuring has helped to safeguard 2,500 highly skilled and well-paid jobs, a skilled supply chain, and created a funding plan for the £450 million pension deficit that UK Coal has been burdened with."

– Jonson Cox, Chairman

Coalfield Resources, formerly UK Coal, has split into two businesses. A mining arm called Mine Holdings and property division Harworth Estates.

The group previously warned that Daw Mill, in Coventry, could close by 2014. It also has a deep mine in Thoresby in Nottinghamshire.

"This has been a restructuring of unprecedented scale and complexity for this size of company. I'm delighted that we've succeeded in completing it. Without it, it was almost certain that the coal mines would have been unable to trade beyond the first quarter of 2013."

– Jonson Cox, Chairman
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