THE National Coal Mining Museum partially reopened today after a fatal underground accident.
A 58-year-old man, who has not been named, was killed when he was trapped in a piece of machinery as he carried out excavation work at the museum near Grange Moor on Tuesday morning.
The venue was closed to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday.
But a spokeswoman said some facilities would reopen today.
Speaking yesterday, she said: “The museum has remained closed during Tuesday and today, but the galleries and all of the above ground facilities will re-open on Thursday.
“The underground tour will remain closed until next week, pending further information.”
The man was part of a team of contractors from Barnsley company Amalgamated Construction who were working on a project to extend the underground tour.
About 200 metres of new tunnels are being created. The project includes underground classrooms, a geology section, interactive activities to show youngsters the sights and sounds of mining, a ‘touch and feel’ sensory section and areas for working machinery.
More than 120,000 people visit the museum every year, with nearly 100,000 of those taking the underground accompanied by retired miners.
The museum also hosts 500 school visits each year and is used as a conference venue.
The museum spokeswoman added: “The accident happened before the museum was open to the public and at no time was there any danger to visitors.
“The structure of the underground area where the work was being carried out was not a factor in the accident.
“The museum would once again like to extend its deepest sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues.”
Amalgamated Construction said it did not want to comment on the incident yesterday.
Wakefield coroner’s office was working to formally identify the man before a post-mortem was carried out.
The Health and Safety Executive’s mines inspectorate is conducting a full investigation into the accident.
The museum spokeswoman said staff would be co-operating fully with the inquiry.
She added: “Although no longer a working coal mine, the museum still operates under the stringent regulations of mines and quarries health and safety legislation, regulated by HM Inspectorate of Mining.”