Police have confirmed that one miner has been found dead today at Gleision Coal Mine but owing to falling debris and dangerously high water levels divers were forced to abandon their rescue attempts to free the remaining miners trapped 300ft underground in Swansea, South Wales.
The resuce services have been unable to recover the dead miner:
“A miner has been found. He is deceased. We are not in a current position to recover him from the mine and therefore we don’t know the identity of that person.
“This is a dynamic, ongoing search and rescue operation and all emergency services are working hard to get all the miners out of there as soon as possible”, said a spokesman for the Emergency Services.
The trapped men were among of team of seven digging for coal in the mine when the collapse happened. Two of the men managed to make a quick escape and raised the alarm to rescue a third man who is in a serious condition in hospital. But four men remain trapped in the collapsed coal chamber after they accidentally drilled into an underground reservoir along the banks of the River Tawe, South Wales causing thousands of gallons of water to come surging in.
The men, named last night as Phillip Hill, 45, Charles Bresnan, 62, David Powell, 50, and Garry Jenkins, 39, were trapped when torrents of water rushed into a mineshaft yesterday morning and blocked them from the exit.
A spokesman for the fire service said that the dead man had been found on the ‘exit side of the body of water’, but added that the other three are still believed to be located ‘on the other side of the blockage’, where there may still be air pockets.
He added that rescuers were very ‘hopeful and optimistic’ that the remaining miners could be freed successfully.
“The conditions down there are favourable, it’s not raining, there’s water at the bottom but the air supply is good.”
The three men who escaped are likely to have been working closer to the flood and battled through the water before it rose too high.
One rescuer said: “We donâ€™t know where they are or how much water is inside the mine. We are making progress draining the water away, which will allow us to get further in, and then we will know more about what we are dealing with.”
As of yet there has been no contact with the trapped miners atÂ Gleision Colliery in Swansea, Â South Wales, Â which is one of the few last remaining pits operating in Britain’s once-proud mining industry.
Tragically a second body has been found by the rescue workers at the site where where the miner had been working and aÂ third body of one of the trapped miners was discovered in another location, which has not yet been disclosed.
None of the men have been formally identified, but it is believed that their families have been informed.
All hopes of finding the last remaining miner alive were fading this afternoon, but rescue attempts continued at the Gleision Colliery in South Wales.
Police have now confirmed that tragically all four bodies of the trapped coal miners have been found dead.