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Last Updated: Monday, 6 September, 2004, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Explosion warning over methane
Mine (generic)
Methane gas was pumped out when the mines were open
Experts are warning of the danger of methane gas, which has built up in abandoned mine shafts across the country, blowing up.

The gas, which is produced naturally by coal seams, is trapped underground now the mines are closed.

Although builders put additional gas protection measures into new homes on the sites of former collieries, methane experts say houses are at risk.

The dangers are highlighted on Inside Out, on BBC One at 1930 BST on Monday.

Gas monitor

Programme makers found that dozens of houses in Barnsley had been affected by gas from the former Monk Bretton Colliery.

Resident Anne Booth has a methane monitoring alarm in her home and neighbouring homes have been demolished due to the problems.

"How can I sell my house with a gas monitor in it and a view across the road of boarded up houses? Who in the hell is going to buy a house like that?," she said.

The programme also claims that homes near Wakefield and Kimberworth in Rotherham have similar problems.

But chairman of the Association of Coal Mine Methane Operators Cameron Davies said the problem was not as alarming as it sounded.

"I would say that there is no immediate hazard on these sites but there should be something done in the long-term to allow this gas to be used as energy rather than wasted," he said.




SEE ALSO:
Methane 'belch' theory gets boost
06 Jun 04  |  Science/Nature
Methane seeps into tenant's home
11 Sep 03  |  England


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