Wales

Port Talbot rail deaths: Minute's silence for workers

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Media captionAn announcement was made at Swansea station ahead of the silence

A minute's silence was held by rail bosses to remember two workers who died when they were struck by a train.

Colleagues from GWR, Network Rail and Transport For Wales fell quiet at 10:00 BST to remember Gareth Delbridge and Michael Lewis.

They were hit by the Swansea to Paddington train last Wednesday near Margam.

The minute's silence was announced by Hannah Tuck, the railway chaplain for Wales and the Marches.

In tribute, Mr Delbridge, 64, was called an "absolutely fantastic guy" while the family of Mr Lewis, 58, said he was "loved by everyone".

A third worker was treated at the scene for shock, but was not injured.

In a statement, Mr Lewis's family said: "We would like to thank everyone so much for their support during this difficult time and ask that we are now given the space we need to grieve."

Alan Gitsham, a former railway worker who used to work with both men, said: "Mike was great, a tidy fella. I'm devastated, I can't believe he's gone."

On Wednesday, Network Rail announced it was launching a taskforce to improve the safety of track workers, along with £70m to develop new systems such as providing advance warnings of approaching trains.

It would be a partnership of industry organisations including rail regulator, the Office of Rail and Road, trade unions and contractors.

"The tragic deaths in Wales last week are a stark reminder to us all that more needs to be done," said Martin Frobisher, Network Rail's safety, technical and engineering director.

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