Two security guards remain seriously ill in hospital after New Year’s Eve explosion at disused Welbeck Colliery site

Emergency services at Welbeck Colliery on New Year's Day.
Emergency services at Welbeck Colliery on New Year's Day.

TWO security guards remain in a critical condition in hospital after the explosion at the former Welbeck Colliery site at Meden Vale late on New Year’s Eve left them with serious facial burns.

Police, the fire service and the Health and Safety Eexecutive are investigating after the incident in a building, used as an electrical sub station, at around 7pm.

Welbeck Colliery on New Year's Day.

Welbeck Colliery on New Year's Day.

The explosion is not being treated as suspicious, but investigations into the cause of the explosion are continuing.

A police spokesman said: “Detectives are liaising with the site owners, UK Coal, with the fire service and the Health and Safety Executive to determine the sequence of events leading up to the incident.”

Local residents spoke of a short power cut in the area before watching police, fire and ambulance crews race to the old pit site on New Year’s Eve.

Two men, aged 38 and 26, were taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham suffering from serious facial burns. Police initially said that “their injuries are believed to be potentially life-threatening” and on Sunday lunchtime a spokesman described their condition as “critical, but stable”.

UK Coal, which still owns the land, confirmed to Chad that the two seriously injured men were security guards.

A spokesman said that the site had been made safe, adding: “We are helping police with their enquiries.

“There has been no mining at the Colliery since it was closed in May 2010, following which all of the underground shafts and workings have been sealed and closed.

“The electricity substation is situated on the surface and supplies both the site and surrounding area when required.

“The two injured men were not UK Coal employees, but were contracted to be working as security guards on the site.

“UK Coal continues to help the police and HSE investigations.”The site has been cordoned off as the investigation continue.

A spokesman for Notts Fire and Rescue Service said the explosion was inside the electrical substation and led to a small fire. Fire crews from Mansfield and Worksop attended, together with a specialist unit from Tuxford.

Welbeck Colliery ceased production in May 2010 after a century of mining and last March the headstocks were demolished.

Local residents say that the only building remaining at the site is the old power house.

UK Coal’s website says that “a small dedicated team remain on site decommissioning the mine”.