Mrs Iris Evans

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"When I arrived at the colliery it was quiet. Everybody was just waiting."

Mrs Iris Evans, now living in Newcastle Emlyn, was the Senior Nursing Officer who assisted with the rescue teams. That night she laid out 26 of the 45 dead miners.

Iris remembers the disaster as if it was only yesterday and how wives, parents and children waited desperately at the entrance to the colliery for news. Some kept vigil, without break, for more than 12 hours.

In particular she recals a little boy asked her "have they found my daddy?" The men were brought up by the rescue team, but there wasn't much rescuing to be done. All the 45 men in shaft five died in the airless chamber. The men's bodies were brought up at night as there weren't many people around. The schoolroom behind the chapel was turned into the overflow mortuary.

Along with Dr Ron Shepherd, who was acting as a coronor for that time, Iris prepared the bodies of the men that had been killed - making them presentable for identification.

By: BBC Cymru Wales

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