Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Bodies found in Welsh miners rescue operation

Handout photo issued by South Wales Police of emergency workers at the scene in Gleision Colliery near Swansea, South Wales, where four men are trapped following structural damage.

Rescuers attempting to free four miners trapped in a flooded pit have located three bodies.

Police confirmed at 3.00pm this afternoon that a third body had been found.

Speaking after the discovery of a second body, Superintendent Phil Davies, of South Wales Police, said: "The miner who was found deceased overnight has now been recovered from the scene.

"A second miner has been found, and tragically he was also deceased. Both families have informed.

"No formal identification has been made at this stage, so no identities will be disclosed at this time."

Mr Margetts said the first dead miner was found at the bottom of the main shaft and the second was found where he had been working.

Phillip Hill, Charles Breslin, David Powell and Garry Jenkins became trapped when the colliery flooded yesterday morning.

Divers trying to find the men were forced to abandon their attempt during the night.

It had been hoped that the miners, trapped 295ft (90m) underground, were able to find an air pocket after the pit flooded when a retaining wall holding back a body of water underground failed.

The miners have been named as Phillip Hill, 45, from Neath, Charles Bresnan, 62, David Powell, 50, and Garry Jenkins, 39, all from the Swansea Valley.

A fifth miner was critically ill in hospital after escaping as the flood water engulfed the drift mine yesterday.

Two other men who were with him escaped largely unharmed and were helping the rescue operation.

The alarm was raised at the pit at around 9.20am yesterday.

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