Verdict of misadventure at inquest into death of Boulby potash miner

Boulby Potash Mine.
Boulby Potash Mine.

A jury returned with a unanimous verdict of death by misadventure at the inquest of potash miner John 'Richie' Anderson.

The experienced miner died at Boulby Potash Mine in June last year following an incident described as a "sudden and powerful release of gas."

Mr Anderson, 56, of Easington, had worked at the mine for 35 years but lost his life in the incident which occurred 1,000 feet underground.

A post-mortem examination suggested that Mr Anderson had died due to asphyxiation after becoming buried in the rubble caused by the explosion.

Strict safety rules said that no miner should operate within 20 metres of a rock face while it is being drilled, but Mr Anderson had been stood within this exclusion zone when the gas blowout occurred.

A statement released by Cleveland Potash, the company which runs the mine, said: "Everyone involved with the mine was deeply shocked by this tragic incident. Richie was a well-respected and long-standing colleague and our thoughts remain with his family and friends.

"Safety is always our first priority and we have worked closely with the Health and Safety Executive’s Mines Inspectorate in the investigation into the incident which, as was explained to the inquest, concluded that it was ‘not foreseeable.’"

A statement from Mr Anderson's family praised him as a dedicated family man.

The three-day inquest was heard at Teesside Coroner's Court.