Arrest over four miners' deaths at Gleision colliery

The four miners who died: Charles Breslin, Phillip Hill (top) and Garry Jenkins and David Powell (bottom, left to right)
Image caption The four miners who died: Charles Breslin, Phillip Hill (top) and Garry Jenkins and David Powell (bottom, left to right)

The mine manager at Gleision Colliery is questioned after being arrested in connection with the deaths of four miners.

Malcolm Fyfield, 55, is in custody at Port Talbot police station.

He was injured in the incident at the Swansea Valley mine and was taken to Morriston Hospital in Swansea but was recently released.

Four men died after becoming trapped at Cilybebyll near Pontardawe on 15 September.

Philip Hill, 44, Charles Breslin, 62, David Powell, 50 and Garry Jenkins, 39, died, and three others escaped when the drift mine flooded.

Their families and community leaders have been updated with news of the arrest, which happened at an address in the Swansea Valley on Tuesday morning.

South Wales Police are working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

The force said that examination of the scene at Cilybebyll, near Pontardawe, is complete and the mine is now closed and under the control of the Coal Authority.

Det Ch Insp Dorian Lloyd, of the South Wales Police specialist crime team, is the senior investigating officer leading the investigation into the deaths.

He said: "The arrest follows consultation between the South Wales Police, HSE and the Crown Prosecution Service to review the evidence gathered to date.

"We continue to work closely with the bereaved families throughout this process and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the communities affected by this incident for their continued support and patience."

He said they would do everything possible to fully understand how the four men lost their lives.

The miners' bodies were recovered from the mine on 16 September after initial hope that rescue teams might be able to find them alive.

Post-mortem examinations confirmed all four men died as a result of flooding in the pit.

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