Trapped Coal Miners Named

Sep 15

Gleision Colliery mining accident

The Gleision Colliery mining accident was a mining accident which occurred on 15 September 2011 at the Gleision Colliery, a drift mine at Cilybebyll in Neath Port Talbot, in Wales. The accident occurred while seven miners were working with explosives on a narrow coal seam. Following a routine blasting operation the tunnel in which the miners were working began to fill with water. Three of the miners escaped, with one being taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, while the others were trapped underground. A search and rescue operation was launched to locate the four remaining miners, but they were found deceased the following day. The incident is the worst mining disaster to occur in Wales for three decades.

Explosion and rescue operation

The accident occurred in the Gleision Colliery drift mine in the valley of the River Tawe, north of Swansea, in Neath Port Talbot on 15 September 2011. Seven miners were working a narrow seam and using explosives at the coal face. After an intentional explosion, a routine blasting operation to extract coal, at 09.21, the passage in which the miners were working rapidly filled with a large quantity of water. Three miners were immediately able to escape to the surface; one of these was taken by ambulance to Morriston Hospital.

The Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service requested the assistance of Mines Rescue units from Wales and across the United Kingdom, with the aim of rescuing the remaining four miners trapped at a depth of 90 metres (300 ft) below the surface. On 16 September South Wales Police confirmed that all four of the miners had died. All family members were informed of the situation. At that stage formal identification had not yet been made, although the miners were named as Charles Breslin, 62; David Powell, 50; Garry Jenkins, 39; and Philip Hill, 44.Police officially announced the identities of the deceased miners the following day.

Information Source: Wikipedia