Three coal miners have been found dead after an underground accident in South Wales. A rescue operation is under way to reach one more mine worker who has been trapped since Thursday morning.
The men became stuck 90 metres below the surface after a flash flood at the Gleision Colliery near Swansea. Three other miners managed to escape. For emergency crews, the search is a delicate task.
“It is a very difficult operation to break through whilst not causing the rest of it to collapse on the rescue workers and creating an even more terrible tragedy. All in all, I described this as a grim and harrowing situation and I’m afraid it still remains that,” said Shadow Welsh Secretary and local MP Peter Hain.
Pumps have been brought to the mine as efforts continue to remove water. Although no methane has been detected and oxygen levels are described as good, more oxygen is being pumped in to increase the remaining miner’s chances of surviving.
Wales, once famous for the mines in its valleys, has only a handful of private mines still in operation. Britain has only about six thousand working miners compared to nearly 200,000 three decades ago.