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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007, 08:41 GMT
Police name coal mine death pair
Pennyvenie open cast mine
Investigations at the mine are ongoing
Two men killed in an industrial accident at an open cast coal mine in East Ayrshire have been named.

Colin Ferguson, 37, from Prestwick, and Brian French, 48, from Kelloholm, died on the site at Pennyvenie, in Dalmellington, at about 1300 GMT.

It is thought the pair were in a Land Rover which is believed to have been crushed by a dump truck.

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said that both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

He added: "We dispatched two land ambulances and one air ambulance helicopter but the two persons died at the scene due to the nature and extent of their injuries.

"We are led to believe that the dump truck ran over a Land Rover type vehicle containing the two persons who died."

'Terrible tragedy'

About 140 men work at the Scottish Coal-owned site which has been open since 1986 and produces 750,000 tonnes of coal a year.

Andrew Foster, Scottish Coal's managing director said the site had been closed until further notice.

He added: "The company remains committed to ensuring its procedures are as safe as possible to minimise the risk of workplace accidents.

"As an investigation is under way, it would be inappropriate to make comment on the specific details of the accident until we have the findings of the preliminary report.

"Our thoughts are with the families, friends and work colleagues of the deceased."

Local Labour MSP Cathy Jamieson, the justice minister, spoke of her shock at the tragedy.

She said: "My immediate thoughts are with the family of the two men and with the other workers, who I'm sure are going to be absolutely devastated."

National Union of Mineworkers president Nicky Wilson added: "It's a terrible tragedy and until investigators find out how it happened all our thoughts are with these men's families."

The Health and Safety Executive has launched an investigation into the accident and Strathclyde Police said a report would be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

The incident has shocked the mining community in Ayrshire

Mine worker crushed on lorry
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