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Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Man who died after partial collapse at Tipperary mine named as Mario Francis

The married father-of-two was trapped in a loader underneath a rockfall in an incident yesterday afternoon.

Updated 9.30pm

A MAN WHO died after the partial collapse of a mine in Tipperary yesterday afternoon has been named as Mario Francis, a married father-of-two.

Francis, who was in his 40s, had worked at the mine for over twelve years having come to Ireland from the Philippines.

He was was trapped by a collapse at a part of the Lisheen Mine at around 4.40pm yesterday afternoon and was pronounced dead a short time later.

Francis was the driver of a loader and was trapped in his vehicle underneath the rockfall.

SIPTU organiser for the mining sector, John Regan, paid tribute to Francis in a statement this evening: “Mario’s death has left his work colleagues in shock and underlines the dangerous nature of work underground.”

In an earlier statement, management at the mine said no other people were involved in the incident. A recovery operation is now in place to safely remove the man’s remains to the surface.

An investigation has begun and the mine will be closed until further notice.

The mine has operated since 1997 and claims to be one of the largest producers of zinc concentrates in Europe. Some 370 people are employed there.

Regan added: “In these tragic circumstances Mario’s family will be offered all the support possible by his SIPTU colleagues and the wider trade union community.”

- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell

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