A MINER was trapped by heavy machinery and killed as he worked on a new underground tunnel at the National Coal Mining Museum.

An inquest on Michael Buckingham, 58, of Taylor Crescent, Grimethorpe, was told he was working 140-metres below the surface when he became trapped on January 25, last year.

Mr Buckingham was a mining electrician and had been working for contractors AMCO at the museum at Caphouse Colliery, near Wakefield.

The jury of five women and six men were told the incident happened at 8.15am as a team of mine workers from AMCO worked on a new tunnel which was going to form part of new underground exhibition area.

Museum worker and first aider Christopher Schofield said: "Mick was laid on his side in the recovery position.

"I had a quick look and there was blood coming from his mouth and nose. He was laid on a small pile of rubble so I asked for the stretcher."

Mr Schofield, who is also a full-time fire-fighter, said that Mr Buckingham was totally unresponsive and was taken to the surface on a stretcher.

"When we got to the top the paramedic was stood waiting. I immediately told the paramedic that he had no pulse and wasn't breathing."

Mr Buckingham was transferred to an ambulance and taken to Pinderfields Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A statement from his wife, Gail, was read out in which she said he had worked in the mining industry since he was 15 years old.

She said: "Mick was a very skilled and experienced worker and as held in high regard by both his colleagues and employers alike."

Mr Buckingham also leaves a daughter Faye, and son Dean and more than 500 people attended a funeral service at St Luke's Church in Grimethorpe.

Returning a narrative verdict, the inquest concluded that Mr Buckingham had become trapped between two pieces of machinery, one of which he did not use regularly.

In the absence of floodlights, Mr Buckingham was working using a cap lamp which gave little peripheral vision.

The jury found there were a number of contributing factors to Mr Buckingham's death, including the absence of a method statement and risk assessment for the work being undertaken including the usage of a forward tipping dumper.

While the shuttle was not found to be defective, the alteration to the tracking controls, resulting in reversed operation and the lack of any formal certified retraining was also a factor.

Mr Buckingham had successfully completed one cycle of the task being undertaken, but because of spillage of the debris from an open tailgate on the second cycle, this changed the condition of the working area.