Cwmbran man's fatal lung disease came from working in a mine
JOVICH Petrovic spent just three years of his eventful 86-year life working underground in a Gwent coal mine.
But that was enough to damage his lungs to an extent sufficient for him to develop the pneumoconiosis that killed him more than 60 years later, an inquest was told.
Mr Petrovic, who lived with wife Joyce in Cwmbran, died on April 28 last year.
Gwent coroner David Bowen was told that Mr Petrovic was born in Croatia - in the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia - but left home at the tender age of 12, toward the end of the 1930s.
He, along with four brothers, became guerilla fighters, taking up arms against the Communists.
Gwent Coroner's Court, sitting in Newport, heard that during the closing stages of the Second World War, Mr Petrovic was forced to seek exile in Italy.
He came to Wales in 1948 and after training at Oakdale Colliery, went to work underground at Celynen South, near Newbridge.
That lasted for just three years however, before he worked as a painter and decorator, and later for more than 25 years at the Girling factory in Cwmbran. He retired in 1986.
Mr Petrovic suffered with chest problems for many years, becoming housebound late in life.
It was thought that this problem might have been due to exposure to asbestos, but analysis of a sample of lung tissue after his death revealed the presence of pneumoconiosis, a common cause of health problems among coalminers.
Mr Bowen said it was a surprise given the short period of time he had worked underground. His verdict was that Mr Petrovic died as a result of an industrial disease.