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Final farewell for tragic miner

Hundreds of mourners have been united in grief as they paid tribute to a miner killed in a colliery disaster.

Charles Breslin, 62, a life-long miner, was described as a "devoted husband, father and brother" during an emotional funeral service which ended with the song Working Man.

Mr Breslin, from Cwmllynfell, South Wales, was one of four men who died when water engulfed the Gleision Colliery in Cilybebyll, Pontardawe. His was the first funeral to take place.

The tragedy at Gleision occurred on September 15, when emergency services were called to the small hillside mine.

Three miners managed to escape as flood water engulfed the pit's shaft, when a retaining wall holding back a body of water underground failed.

A search and rescue operation recovered the bodies of Mr Breslin, Phillip Hill, 44, Garry Jenkins, 39, and David Powell, 50, the following day.

More than 350 mourners stood in silence as they watched Mr Breslin's coffin, adorned with yellow flowers, driven into Swansea Crematorium, near Llangyfelach.

His family, including his wife Mavis, followed the coffin into the crematorium, supported by friends and family.

Mr Breslin had recently celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary.

The gold-handled coffin was decorated with a miner's helmet covered with small yellow flowers with a note that said: "To Uncle Charles, Gone too soon, never forgotten, always missed."


From Belfast Telegraph