Welsh mine deaths: As it happened

Key points

  • All four miners trapped underground at Gleision Colliery have been found dead
  • The bodies of the men were found in close proximity to one another near where they were working
  • Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan says there will be a "full investigation" into the accident
  • Local MP Peter Hain describes the deaths as a "stab through the heart" of the community
  • Prime Minister David Cameron says the tragedy was "desperately sad"
  1.  
    0752:

    Hello and welcome to the BBC's live coverage of attempts to rescue four miners trapped 90m (295ft) underground at the Gleision Colliery near Cilybebyll, Pontardawe, in the Swansea Valley. We'll bring you the latest developments as events unfold.

     
  2.  
    0756: Retired ambulance training officer

    emails: As a retired ambulance training officer with Swansea ambulance my thoughts and prayers are with all working at this mine. May they be safe. God bless.

     
  3.  
    Mathew Guerin

    tweets: I cant believe my cousin is trapped down the mine disaster in pontardawe. god please help them.

     
  4.  
    0805:

    A police press conference is expected to be held at around 0830 BST.

     
  5.  
    0813:

    BBC Wales reporter Jordan Davies says the rescue effort has "unified the local community".

     
  6.  
    0817:

    For those of you who would like to learn a little more about the Gleision Colliery, which dates back to the 1960s and is one of just a handful of small mines left in the area, read a brief history of the site.

     
  7.  
    Kay Michelle

    tweets: Good job I bought my 7 seater- taking all the village kids to school as their taxi can't get near the village #welshminers

     
  8.  
    0825:

    Efforts to rescue the men on Thursday were thwarted and latest efforts will now concentrate on pumping out water from the mine.

    Rescue workers at Gleision Colliery on Thursday 15th September
     
  9.  
    Gary Miller

    tweets: #welshminers hopefully rescued today, fingers crossed. Not for lack of effort I'm sure. Have we got some Chilean Footy shirts ready?

     
  10.  
    Cameraman for c4 Jason Farrington

    tweets: Heading to Swansea Valley to where 4 miners are trapped 300 feet underground. #c4news

     
  11.  
    0829:

    A press conference due to start any minute now - at 0830 - will be given by South Wales Police Superintendent Phil Davies and Chris Margetts, who is Senior Operations Officer for Mid- and Western Fire Service.

     
  12.  
    0832:

    Bethan Jenkins, a Plaid Cymru member of the National Assembly for Wales, says there is a need to assess whether more "stringent policies" should be put in place for private mines.

    She hopes the Assembly will discuss an urgent question she tabled following the accident.

     
  13.  
    Elementary Force replies to Jason Farrington,

    tweeting, @CameramanJase have a good journey - look forward to seeing them break surface #welshminers #thoughtfortheday

     
  14.  
    0836: Breaking News

    Police say one miner has been found dead.

     
  15.  
    0837:

    BBC reporter Jordan Davies, who is at the scene, says the atmosphere is "very tense" and people are awaiting any updates.

     
  16.  
    0837:

    A look at the support being offered to the family and friends of the miners during their "harrowing" wait for news can be found here.

     
  17.  
    Jenni

    tweets: sad news this morning, thoughts are with the whole of Wales and the miners families #welshminers

     
  18.  
    0838:

    The miner found dead was on the "exit side" of the water but the search and rescue mission will continue because the other miners are thought to be on the other side of a shaft.

     
  19.  
    0839:

    The search and rescue team were not in a position to recover the body of the dead miner, so they were unable to confirm his identity.

     
  20.  
    Kulgan of Crydee

    tweets: Death announced of one of the trapped miners... RIP. Condolences to the family & friends & I hope they get the remaining 3 out. #welshminers

     
  21.  
    0841:

    Neath MP Peter Hain says it is "almost worse than not knowing" for the families who have learned of one miner's death, but do not yet know his identity and whether their loved one is still alive.

     
  22.  
    0844:

    Peter Hain MP, speaking at the scene, described the situation as a "very serious tragedy", the like of which had not been seen in the area "for a very long time".

     
  23.  
    Kay Southall

    tweets: Lets show our support for trapped #welshminers their loves ones and emergency services working tirelessly to get them out @swpolice

     
  24.  
    0850:

    Superintendent Phil Davies told reporters the "dynamic" search and rescue operation was ongoing, adding that "all emergency services are working hard to get all the miners out of there as soon as possible".

     
  25.  
    0851:

    The dead miner was found on the "exit side of the body of water" and it is "quite possible the team has been split", says Chris Margetts of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

     
  26.  
    0855:

    Peter Hain, seen here talking to reporters on Thursday, has praised the efforts of the search and rescue team.

    Peter Hain, speaking to reporters on Thursday 15th September
     
  27.  
    BBC's Gavin Lee

    tweets: Search and Rescue op for trapped Welsh miners is ongoing, acc police. It's thought the miners were separated from each other. #welshminers

     
  28.  
    0904:

    BBC News correspondent Simon McCoy, at the scene, says: "The mood has changed overnight from one of hope of finding all four men alive to a much more sombre feel with the news, in the last few minutes, that one of the miners was found dead in the mine."

     
  29.  
    0913:

    Chris Margetts, from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, says water levels are receding and rescuers are continuing to pump water away to make the operation easier.

     
  30.  
    0919:

    There is a strong culture of "care and community solidarity" in the part of Wales where the accident occurred, Peter Hain MP tells the BBC.

     
  31.  
    0920:

    Councillor Ali Thomas, of Neath Port Talbot Council, himself a former miner, describes the mood: "Optimism is maybe the wrong word - hope, I would rather use that. Yesterday I was quite optimistic, today I am cautiously hoping that, for those remaining three, while they haven't been found yet, I believe there is still hope."

     
  32.  
    0924:

    South Wales police has clarified that one of the trapped miners is called Charles Breslin, not Charles Bresnan as had previously been reported. He is 62.

    The other miners are David Powell, 50, Garry Jenkins, 39, and 45-year-old Phillip Hill.

     
  33.  
    0926:

    This aerial image shows the site of the rescue effort.

    An aerial view of the site
     
  34.  
    Sally and Geoff Jones, Coedpoeth, Wrexham

    emails: My family wish to send our sympathy to the family of the miner who has tragically lost his life this morning. As decendents of Dowlais mining community, this situation reminds us of times past when loved ones were injured and killed underground. Please know that you and your community are in our thoughts and prayers.

     
  35.  
    0930:

    The Wales rugby team, currently in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup, have expressed their concern for the missing miners. Coach Warren Gatland says: "Our thoughts are very much with the miners, their families and friends."

     
  36.  
    0937:

    For those of you who are just joining us, here are the latest developments in the rescue effort:

    • A 50-strong rescue team has been using pumps to lower the water level
    • Oxygen is being pumped in to help provide an air supply to the miners
    • Specialist divers felt their way 30m into the shaft but they could not get any further because of low visibility and debris blocking the rest of the route
    • The body of a miner has been found but cannot be recovered
    • The miners are thought to be 90m below the surface and specialist listening equipment has been brought in to find them
     
  37.  

    Watch: Here is the senior police officer at the scene, Supt Phil Davies confirming one miner has been found dead.

     
  38.  
    0940:

    "My heartfelt condolences go out to the families at this distressing time," says Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan. "I know that the emergency services have been working extremely hard. I am being continually updated and my thoughts are with all involved as they continue to manage this most difficult situation."

     
  39.  
    0943:

    Commenting on the accident, Prime Minister David Cameron said every support would be given to the emergency services "to ensure they continue to do all they can".

    "In due course we must ensure we fully understand and learn from the causes of this accident," he said.

     
  40.  
    0953:

    Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones arrives to meet with police and emergency services who are involved in the search and rescue efforts at Gleison Colliery.

     
  41.  
    Gloria Grocott, Stoke-on-Trent

    emails: My husband was down the mine 1975 aged 23 and once you're a miner's wife, always a miner's wife. My thoughts are with all involved and I hope that they will find them alive. Things like this bring it all back to me and you never forget all miners are, and will be, a great big family. God bless them

     
  42.  
    1000:

    Listen: For an insight into the efforts being made to save the trapped miners, listen to Gary Evans, of the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team, describing how divers were forced back by murky conditions and debris in the mine.

     
  43.  
    1013:

    Mining has been beset by tragedy over the years: in 1913, 439 men and boys died in a gas explosion at the pit in Sengheydd, Glamorgan. Read about the key mining disasters in Britain

     
  44.  
    1014:

    Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan says the government will carry out a "full investigation" into the accident at Gleision Colliery.

     
  45.  
    1017:

    Radio 5 live reporter Nicky Smith is outside the mine. She says the rescuers are optimistic that the other miners may still be safe. But they say the rescue effort will be a slow process. You can listen live here

     
  46.  
    1023:

    This picture shows the interior of Gleision Colliery in 2008:

    Gleision Colliery
     
  47.  
    1029:

    Peter Lewis, a local vicar, has been comforting relatives of the missing miners and described the atmosphere as being "very still and very calm".

     
  48.  
    Lambeth Palace

    tweets: Archbishop's prayers for the Welsh miners and their families bit.ly/r5ZZf7 #welshminers

     
  49.  
    1051:

    A Downing Street spokeswoman said the prime minister is receiving regular updates on the situation.

     
  50.  
    1055:

    Follow the events as they happened from Thursday when three miners escape the underground collapse and the alarm is first raised...to divers being sent in on Friday in our timeline.

     
  51.  
    BBC's Huw Thomas

    tweets: First Minister Carwyn Jones tells @bbcradiowales it's been 40yrs since similar incident, but reminds us mining can never be completely safe

     
  52.  
    1101:

    This image provides a glimpse of the rescue operation as efforts continue to pump water out of the mine.

    Chris Margetts, from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, told reporters rescuers were making slow and steady progress.

    Rescue team at the site
     
  53.  
    1106:

    Here's a diagram of the task facing rescuers. You can see a bigger version of it here

    Mine graphic
     
  54.  
    1153: Dave Dullin BBC News

    Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan is speaking to families at the community centre. One local thinks David Cameron or Nick Clegg should be here

     
  55.  
    1131:

    Mike James, a county councillor at the community centre with the families of the miners, broke the news to them that one of the men had been found dead but his identity remained unknown.

    Describing the atmosphere among relatives, he said: "You have a sense of Russian roulette in there."

    But he said the families were "upbeat" because they believe there is "a pocket of air hidden in that mine that those miners have got to".

     
  56.  
    1148:

    Neath MP Mr Hain said rescue workers had recently discovered there was no methane in the mine. He said: "The families have been told there is oxygen in the vicinity of the mine.

    "We hope that those trapped have been able to find and air pocket and were able to scramble to safety."

     
  57.  
    Swansea boxer Enzo Maccarinelli

    tweets: Thoughts go out to the trapped miners and their families

     
  58.  
    Peter Hain Neath MP

    tweets: Some relief on mine site: no methane down below, oxygen levels good

     
  59.  
    1229:

    Pioneering technology which can detect movement deep underground has been brought in to locate the miners, the Daily Telegraph is reporting. The paper says the microseisimic monitor from Cheshire-based Sure Wave Technology picks up the noise the men are trained to make to alert rescuers they are still alive.

     
  60.  
    1232:

    The South Wales Evening Post reports that members of the community have been taking food to Rhos Community Centre for the families gathered there. Meanwhile, Simon Lewis from the Red Cross says the charity delivered blankets and pillows overnight.

     
  61.  
    Huw Jenkins in Neath

    texts: I don't think people realise that this type of drift mining is almost Victorian in nature. It will bear no resemblance to the Chile situation last year. Conditions will be difficult. I know one of the miners and his family well and hope it all works out.

     
  62.  
    1237:

    Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has released a statement in which he said: "We shall be praying for all those involved in the tragedy at Gleision Colliery - the men who are trapped and their families, the rescue services, and of course the one miner whose body has been found and his family."

     
  63.  
    1240:

    The accident is the latest setback for a community that was hit by the death of a five-year-old boy in tragic circumstances on Tuesday.

    The child, who lived within walking distance of the pit in the nearby village of Alltwen, apparently released the handbrake on the family's car.

     
  64.  
    1243:

    More updates in this BBC News website round-up on how the community is rallying around the rescue.

     
  65.  
    1244:

    Mine rescue workers, some of whom are seen here during a shift change, are continuing in their attempt to drain water out of the network of underground tunnels and find the remaining miners.

    Rescue team members
     
  66.  
    1252:

    Police and rescue officials are expected to hold a press conference to outline the latest developments at around 1330 BST.

     
  67.  
    1308:

    Sian James, Swansea East MP has spoken to the families of the trapped miners. She tells BBC Radio 5 live: "Each family seems to be coping with this in a different way. That's not to say there's not a common concern and worry. This is the difficult time, this is the waiting time... It's an age-old experience for miners' wives and families. They don't know yet and they are waiting."

     
  68.  
    1323: Peter Hain, Neath MP

    tweets: Mood grim amongst families. They need our support. Older miners recall such hell generation ago

     
  69.  
    1328:

    Geologist Prof Dennis Buchanan, who has studied detailed plans of the area, says there has been extensive mining over the years. He tells Sky News: "The problem is, if you close a mine and go back in, inevitably... where pillars have been left and where there have been falls of ground, you're going to find cavities. Surface precipitation can build up and you can have a considerable build up of water."

     
  70.  
    1329:

    Stand by for an update from police. We're just minutes away now from a press conference to be held by South Wales Police.

     
  71.  
    1333:

    Second miner found dead, police say.

     
  72.  
    BBC's Huw Thomas

    tweets: Police say the continuing operation is still a search and rescue mission #welshminers

     
  73.  
    1337:

    All families have been informed of the two fatalities, but the identity of the deceased have not yet been confirmed, police tell a press conference.

     
  74.  
    1340:

    The first dead miner was found at the bottom of the main shaft and the second was discovered where he had been working, says Chris Margetts from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

     
  75.  
    1342:

    Peter Hain, Neath MP, tells the press conference it is a "terrible situation getting worse".

     
  76.  
    1343:

    First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, describes conditions at the mine after a visit: "It's a horizontal entrance rather than a deep vertical shaft but it's very narrow. It's about seven or eight feet high if that, maybe four feet, five feet wide of which half of that is taken up with a conveyor belt."

     
  77.  
    1344:

    More from Mr Jones, who says: "It's a very confined space and I understand it gets even more confined the further in you go. It's dark, it's dusty, there's water there. You can't see through the water so visibility is very, very difficult."

     
  78.  
    1349:

    First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, continues: "Once the water's been pumped out, that will obviously give them a better idea of how to get to the area where they hope they'll find the men alive. I think they're looking into going in another way as well." He said the mine was "honeycombed" with old mine workings and there may be a way in through another entrance.

     
  79.  
    1350:

    Peter Hain, Neath MP, tells Sky News the rescuers are experiencing "very tough" conditions. "They come out black and dusty and full of grime but they it's incredible the way they operate."

     
  80.  
    1354:

    NUM Secretary Chris Kitchen says collieries can use seismic tests to help predict where water lies underground, but adds "unfortunately they're not economic in a mine this size".

     
  81.  
    1355:

    Just a reminder that the bodies of two miners have been located by rescue workers but not identified. Peter Hain tells the BBC the situation is an "unbelievable nightmare" for the families. "It's traumatic beyond belief," he says.

     
  82.  
    1406: Journalist Andy Halls

    tweets: This planning map shows the extent of the mine's tunnels #welshminers

     
  83.  
    1407:
    Emergency services break news of the second death

    This is how news of the second death was broken half an hour ago.

     
  84.  
    1358:

    Rescue services remain hopeful over the fate of the two remaining trapped miners. Chris Margetts, from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, tells reporters: "The search and rescue operation is still on-going and we maintain hope we can find them alive."

     
  85.  
    1408: Keith Hill, Worcestershire

    emails: My deepest sympathy and prayers go out to the family. It brings back memories of when I was 10-years-old. I answered a call at my home then in South Wales, they asked for my mother who was at the cinema. They told me to go and get her as my father (a miner) had had a "smack" at the pit. He had been buried but they eventually got him out alive. My grandfather was also a miner.

     
  86.  
    1410:

    Neath MP Peter Hain tells the BBC there is "always hope". He says: "I've spoken to all the families and I can't believe how they're bearing up. There's alot of emotion, but they are stoic and still caring and hoping their remaining two loved ones will come out alive."

     
  87.  
    1413:

    Watch: This is how Chris Margetts from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service told reporters a second body had been found.

     
  88.  
    1413:
    A rescuer at the mine

    There's just been a shift change amongst the rescue teams.

     
  89.  
    1417:

    Wayne Thomas, from the NUM in south Wales, says the rescuers have the best equipment and are "world leaders" in this field with "phenomenal" expertise. The youngest member of the team is 39 years old, he adds.

     
  90.  
    1422:

    Watch: This is how Supt Phil Davies confirmed the discovery of a second body.

     
  91.  
    1424:

    Anthony Hodge, from the International Council on Mining and Metals, tells the BBC there's a "tremendous emphasis" within the industry on developing a culture of safety. He adds: "There's no question more needs to be done. The ideal is zero accidents, and we have a way to go before we get there."

     
  92.  
    1426: James in Cardiff

    texts: A very sad day indeed. Everyone in Wales is thinking about the trapped miners and their loved ones and praying for their safe return.

     
  93.  
    1432:

    A quick reminder of the images in our picture gallery. We've also charted the history of Gleision Colliery, which opened in the 1960s.

     
  94.  
    1439:
    Mining rescuers

    Rescuers leave Pontardawe Community Centre, near Gleision Colliery.

     
  95.  
    1450:

    As water levels have now dropped, rescuers say the main focus is now to remove debris. Chris Margetts from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service says teams now have begun to search "the myriad of tunnels" in the mine.

     
  96.  
    1500: Hywel Griffith BBC Wales correspondent

    says the fact that only two bodies have been found has given hope to the rescuers. The teams believe the miners still missing may have managed to move away from the direction of where the bodies were located.

     
  97.  
    1502: Hywel Griffith BBC Wales correspondent

    says some of the family members of the trapped miners have been in Rhos Community Centre in Swansea for more than 24 hours. "Around half an hour ago I saw around a dozen people leave from the back of the hall... clearly tired, clearly some tearful, ashen faced."

     
  98.  
    1502:

    A third miner has been found dead, police confirm.

     
  99.  
    1504:

    Labour leader Ed Miliband tweets: "So sorry to hear about the deaths... My thoughts are with the families and loved ones of these men."

     
  100.  
    1505: Hywel Griffith BBC Wales correspondent

    says optimism is starting to fade for the fourth trapped miner as news of a third fatality is confirmed.

     
  101.  
    1508: Keith Heron, Northampton

    emails: As an ex-Durham miner my thoughts are with the lads and their loved ones, I am sure I can speak on behalf of everyone from, what was once a proud mining area, Durham.

     
  102.  
    1512:

    Local councillor Rosalyn Davies tells the BBC: "I know three of the families of the miners involved. It's devastating for the entire community.

    "Some of them are still hoping there's one still alive. They were very positive until three quarters of an hour ago, they're not positive any more."

     
  103.  
    1514:

    Councillor Davies adds: "It's so good to realise that there are other people thinking of you in a situation like this. It is of some comfort."

     
  104.  
    1526:

    A second ambulance has been seen leaving the scene after it was confirmed a third body had been found.

     
  105.  
    1527: Helen Elliot

    tweets: #Welshminers. A dark cloud hangs over south wales today

     
  106.  
    1529: Wales based BBC Radio 5 live journalist Mark Hutchings

    tweets: Ambulance has just left the scene. Rescuers look exhausted and shell-shocked. #minerescue

     
  107.  
    1539:

    Watch: Councillor Rosalyn Davies, who knows three of the families, on the news that a third miner has been found dead.

     
  108.  
    1544:

    Labour Assembly Member Gwenda Thomas tells the BBC: "It's been years now since we've had this kind of tragedy in our communities. You can only guess at what these families are feeling. It must be truly horrendous."

     
  109.  
    1546: Sky News' Tom Parmenter

    tweets: More family members leaving community centre in tears in south wales - #miners

     
  110.  
    1549:

    Another update from police and rescuers is expected at around 1800 BST.

     
  111.  
    1551:

    First Minister Carwyn Jones reacts to news of a third body. He says: "My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with all of the families as this horrifying news filters through.

    "I would like to pay tribute to the tireless work the rescue teams have done and continue to do throughout this incident. The people of Wales, and indeed people across the world, stand together in solidarity with the families through this terrible tragedy."

     
  112.  
    1554:
    Mine rescuers

    Rescue workers leave Rhos community centre, about a mile from the mine.

     
  113.  
    1603:

    David Dulin, BBC Wales News website reporter, has been following events at Rhos Community Centre near the Gleision mine since Friday morning. Read his report here.

     
  114.  
    1612:

    One of the three men who escaped from the mine is in a stable conditions at nearby Morriston Hospital, and not as badly injured as once thought, sources tell the BBC.

     
  115.  
    1619:

    A third ambulance was seen driving along the single track road towards the remote mine just after 15:50 BST.

     
  116.  
    1623:

    Viewers in Wales will be able to catch up with the latest reports on the mine rescue in an extended edition of Wales Today on BBC1 at 22:25 BST.

     
  117.  
    1624:
    Aerial shot of mine

    This aerial shot taken from a helicopter shows tents erected over the entrance of the mine.

     
  118.  
    1633: Kevin Price, Pontardawe, Swansea

    emails: Having lived in the area for a long time it's hard to imagine such tragedies can happen in such little time. My deepest sympathies go out to all affected in the area and hope we find the last person alive. Always in our hearts.

     
  119.  
    1634: Adam Jones

    tweets: Can we have a minute's silence for the Welsh miners before the Wales vs Samoa game on Sunday please, in remembrance? @rugbyworldcup

     
  120.  
    1640:

    Events at Gleision Colliery have been followed in the United States and around the world. Fox News has this report on the fatalities, CNN also carries the story, and the Washington Post is amongst the papers carrying the news. ABC News in Australia, meanwhile, reports on the rescue operation.

     
  121.  
    1645:

    Coal industry consultant Phil White, a former director of Tower Colliery in Wales, tells the BBC: "It's a stark reminder isn't it that the industry is still a very hazardous and dangerous industry to work in."

     
  122.  
    1649:

    Mr White adds: "Gleision mine is... sometimes known to be a wet drift mine which means that there's water involved and you know I think you've got to take those extra safety precautions and whether those have been taken will be found out with the investigation that will be carried out."

     
  123.  
    1651: B Gaskell, Lancashire

    emails: As an ex-mining deputy and mines rescue trained, my family joins me to extend our deepest sorrow to the families for their loss. Knowing miners, if there is any chance to survive they will, God willing. One has to me a miner to understand.

     
  124.  
    1654:
    Rescuers at Gleision colliery

    The latest pictures from the scene show rescue workers at an entrance to the mine.

     
  125.  
    1657:

    South Wales Police confirm their latest press conference updating the media on the rescue operation will take place at 18:00 BST - in around an hour.

     
  126.  
    1704: Martin Ward, Hucknall, Nottinghamshire

    emails: As an ex miner my thoughts are with the families of these brave men.

     
  127.  
    1710:

    The Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, pays tribute to the "superb" rescue services and says his heart goes out to the families. "This community is a very close-knit community. Family and friends rally round, the local vicar has been here all night, offering support," he says. "We're thinking about them. The whole of Wales is thinking about them."

     
  128.  
    1730:

    Several MPs, Welsh Assembly members and councillors have been consoling local people, but resident Linda Ware says they are not welcome. She told BBC Radio 5 live: "One thing that is really upsetting the people here in this community is the politicians on the televisions," she says. "This is private grief. The grief is of the families affected; this grief is not belonging to the nation."

     
  129.  
    1731: Joseph Stokes, Mansfield

    emails: As a retired deputy and shot firer, my deepest sympathy goes to the three bereaved families and my fervent hope that the last miner is found alive, safe and well. All we can do is hope and pray.

     
  130.  
    1744:

    Reaction from Prime Minister David Cameron, who tells the BBC: "It's clear the emergency services have done everything they can, have worked incredibly hard and they haven't lacked for anything, but it's obviously a desperately, desperately sad situation for everyone concerned."

     
  131.  
    1750:
    David Cameron

    Speaking from his Oxfordshire constituency, Mr Cameron says he's spoken to the Welsh Secretary, Welsh First Minister, gold commander heading the rescue operation, and the local MP Peter Hain. "The anguish of the families obviously is intense, worrying about their loved ones... there's going to be desperate sorrow as those families and communities come to terms with the loss," he says.

     
  132.  
    1751: Patricia Anne Hughes, Copenhagen, Denmark

    emails: This unfolding tragedy has touched me deeply, and my thoughts and prayers are with the remaining, missing miner and with all the families and the whole community. My father (H. Elfed Hughes) was from a mining family in Carmathenshire and one of his brothers was killed at a young age in a mining accident before I was born. But it is still part of my inheritance and suddenly seems very close.

     
  133.  
    1803:

    The fourth missing miner has been found dead, South Wales Police Chief Constable Peter Vaughan confirms.

     
  134.  
    1804:

    Chief Constable Vaughan said officers would now move from a search and rescue operation to one of investigation.

     
  135.  
    1808:

    Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones says "all that was humanely possible was done" to rescue the men.

     
  136.  
    1810:

    The bodies of the four miners were found in close proximity to one another, Richard Smith, from Mid and West Wales Fire Service, tells the press conference. He says one man was found on the exit side of the blockage and the other three all together in the area they had been working in. They have all been recovered from the mine, he adds.

     
  137.  
    1810:

    More from Chief Constable Vaughan, who says the conclusion of the rescue was "the one that none of us wanted".

     
  138.  
    1811:

    Neath MP Peter Hain describes the deaths as a "stab through the heart" of the community.

     
  139.  
    1815:
    Press conference led by South Wales Police

    Formal identification of the four men - Charles Breslin, 62; David Powell, 50; Garry Jenkins, 39; and Phillip Hill, 45 - has still not taken place, the authorities say.

     
  140.  
    1820:

    Mr Hain goes on to pay tribute to the "superhuman efforts" of the rescue workers.

     
  141.  
    1820:

    Chief Constable Vaughan adds: "On behalf of us all I would like to express our deepest and most sincere condolences to the families."

     
  142.  
    1821: Hywel Griffith BBC Wales correspondent

    says as well as the police investigation, the health and safety executive will search "very closely into the safety record of this mine". He says: "They'll make sure that all the inspections that were meant to take place happened, all the paper work is in place, and that everything possible had been done to ensure the safety of these men."

     
  143.  
    1823:

    Labour leader Ed Miliband adds his voice of sympathy. "Well I want to send my deepest condolences to the families of those who have died," he says. My heart goes out to them. They will be feeling terrible sorrow and grief and I'm sure the thoughts of the whole country are with them."

     
  144.  
    1824:

    Mr Miliband adds: "These are tight-knit communities so this is a tragedy not just for those families but also for the community as well. You saw the amazing rescue effort that happened but sadly it was in vain."

     
  145.  
    1830:

    Watch: As hope faded of finding the last trapped miner alive, County Councillor Ali Thomas told the BBC it would be a massive blow for the families.

     
  146.  
    1831:

    For an overview of the tragic events at Gleision Colliery, with maps, graphics, and background, read our main story. By the way, we'll be wrapping up our live coverage in half an hour.

     
  147.  
    1834: John Summerscales, Alloa, Clackmannanshire

    As an ex-miner we all know the price we pay for coal, very hazardous occupation and sometimes this is forgotten and taken for granted.

     
  148.  
    1838:

    See how the South Wales Evening Post is reporting the story here. There's a section on its website for people to leave messages of support.

     
  149.  
    1849:
    People walk away from the press conference in Rhos

    People walking away from the press conference which confirmed the death of all four miners.

     
  150.  
    1850:

    Steve Phillips, chief executive of Neath and Port Talbot County Borough Council, pays tribute to the "unstinting efforts" of the emergency services and says the outcome comes with "profound sadness and regret".

     
  151.  
    1850: Ryan Williams

    tweets: Very sad about the 4 Welsh miners. My family were all miners, my generation were 1st not to go down the pit. How lucky we are.

     
  152.  
    1858:

    Swansea City Football Club confirms a minute's silence will be held at Liberty Stadium on Saturday before the Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion. Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins says: "Our sympathy goes out to the families who have lost loved ones in extremely sad circumstances. All our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time."

     
  153.  
    1900:

    We are going to wrap up our live coverage now on what has turned out to be an eventful and emotional day. Thanks for joining us. You can, of course, continue to keep up to date on any developments in the story on the website.

     

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