Community in mourning after mine tragedy

2011-09-16 22:27

kalahari.com

Cilybebyll - All four miners trapped by flash flooding in a colliery in Wales were found dead on Friday, police said, plunging a tight-knit community into mourning.

The body of the last of the four men was found by rescuers who had battled treacherous conditions in the privately owned Gleision Colliery mine near Swansea in south Wales.

Phillip Hill, 45, Charles Bresnan, 62, David Powell, 50, and Garry Jenkins, 39, went missing on Thursday when flood waters broke through a retaining wall.

Three other men with them managed to escape, but one was left in a critical condition.

More than 24 hours after they first went missing, rescuers discovered the fourth body. The bodies were found in close proximity to one another near where they were working 90 metres (295 feet) below the surface.

Peter Vaughan, Chief Constable of South Wales Police, said: "We've tried to bring this safely to its conclusion. Unfortunately the conclusion we have is the one none of us wanted."

Richard Smith, chief fire officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: "It's a bit too early to tell whether they would have stood any chance of survival or not..."

The first body was found overnight after divers sent into the mine could only proceed about 30m before having to turn back.

Relatives huddled together in a nearby community centre then spent an agonising day hoping in vain for good news.

Prime Minister David Cameron described the tragedy as a "desperately, desperately sad situation".

"It is clear the emergency services have done everything they can and worked incredibly hard," he said.

"They haven't lacked for anything but it is obviously a desperately, desperately sad situation for everyone concerned.

"The anguish of the families obviously is intense, worrying about their loved ones and the news is not good at all.

"There is going to be desperate sorrow in those families and communities as they come to terms with the loss."

The accident has shocked the tight-knit community in south Wales, once a coal mining heartland but where only a handful of collieries are still operating today following the rapid decline of the industry in the 1970s and 1980s.

Local lawmaker Peter Hain said it was a "stab in the heart" for the community.

"Everybody is rallying round but everybody is traumatised because they have not known this horror now for a generation or more," he said.

Read more on:    david cameron  |  uk
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Stikland 12:25 PM
Road name: Strand Road Eastbound

TRUCK CRASH between La Belle Road and the R300 Highway

Cape Town 12:12 PM
Road name: N1 Inbound

ACCIDENT near the N7 Highway bridge

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Social media is pulling you in and you have the desire to find out everything you know about your friends and you have the urge to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.