Retired Stoke-on-Trent miner dies after being exposed to coal dust for 35 years


Retired miner Donald Clarke was found dead at home after being exposed to coal dust during his 35-years down the pit.

The 74-year-old had complained of feeling unwell when he was visited by his ex-wife last December.

But when she went to see him again two days later she found him dead on the sofa at his Consett Road home, in Blurton. The dad-of-one’s funeral service was held at Bradwell Crematorium in January.

An inquest heard he suffered from a number of health problems, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), which he developed as a result of his exposure to coal dust. The inquest did not disclose where he had worked.

Consett Road in Blurton

Referring to his ex-wife’s visits, daughter Bethan Wilson told the inquest: “He complained of feeling unwell. He asked her to buy some cold remedies.

“When she called again on December 11 she found him sitting on the sofa. She suspected he had died.”

Paramedics were called but there was nothing they could do to save Mr Clarke.

A post-mortem examination found he died from pneumonia linked to his other health conditions, including the COPD.

North Staffordshire assistant coroner Sarah Murphy has ruled that Mr Clarke died from an ‘industrial disease against a background of natural causes’.

She said: “Mr Clarke died from pneumonia. One of the contributory factors was COPD and the most likely cause of the COPD was his long-standing coal dust exposure.

“I do find that, in part, the death was caused by industrial disease.”





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