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Youngster falls to his death from colliery headstock

A 24-year-old from Maasmechelen (Limburg) plunged to his death from the headstock of Eisden colliery last night.   

News that somebody had fallen from the coalmine’s headstock reached police just after midnight.  Police, the fire service and a medical response unit attended the scene, but the young man hadn’t survived his fall.

Police chief Freddy Gevaert: “Two witnesses spoke with the man shortly before his ascent. They then heard a thud and alerted the emergency services.  Bilzen fire service’s climbing team recovered the victim’s body from the roof of the headstock.  Our investigation suggests he climbed right to the top, to the crow’s nest”.

Local Mayor Raf Terwingen speaks of the possibility that the man was involved in Free Running and Urban Climbing: “The victim is thought to be a Free Runner, somebody who knows how to climb buildings and then displays acrobatics”.

Headstocks form landmarks in the former coal mining district of Limburg.  The lift constructions were used to transport miners down the pit and bring up the coal.

The Eisden headstock is located at an entrance to the High Kempen National Park.  Visitors are able to climb part of the tower via steps.  At night there is no access to the headstock. The local mayor hopes youngsters will use their common sense and there will be no repeat of this incident.

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