Miners at Daw Mill Colliery last night got the news they have been dreading, the pit is to close. It is one of the last deep coal mines in the country, but has been under threat of closure for some years.
A fire at the coal face, which began two weeks ago and is still burning has now put paid to any hopes it might survive, as Callum Watkinson reports.
MP criticises the Energy Secretary's absence in light of Daw Mill closure
Barry Gardiner MP who advises Labour leader Ed Milliband on energy, has 'hit-out' at the Energy Secretary today in parliament, criticising him for not being present following the closure of Daw Mill colliery.
The leader of the house Andrew Lansley defended Energy Secretary Ed Davey, saying he had been meeting with UK Coal to discuss matters.
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.