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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Former Haig Pit miner died of industrial disease - inquest

A former coal miner died as a result of an industrial disease, an inquest has ruled.

Thomas Gill died on September 24 last year as a result of a heart condition. However, an inquest into his death heard that a lung condition, caused by more than 30 years on the coalface, was a “major factor” in his death.

Mr Gill, 73, had been feeling unwell for a number of days before he died, the inquest heard, and collapsed at his home at Meadow Road, Whitehaven. He was taken to the town's West Cumberland Hospital but was pronounced dead at the scene.

Janet Gill, Mr Gill’s widow, told the inquest that her husband began working at Haig Colliery, Whitehaven, after he left school and was one of the last workers to leave the pit when it closed in 1986. He went on to work as a labourer, including a spell at Sellafield, before his retirement.

Mr Gill was diagnosed with the lung condition, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which grew worse as he got older, added Mrs Gill.

Coroner David Roberts, in returning a verdict that Mr Gill died of industrial disease, said: “The post-mortem showed a heart condition to be the main cause of death, but COPD was a major factor.”

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