Timeline of Gleision mine tragedy
- 16 September 2011
- From the section Wales
Rescuers have found the bodies of four miners who were trapped at Gleision Colliery, near Cilybebyll, Pontardawe, Swansea Valley. Here is a timeline of events.
Thursday, 15 September
09:20 BST: South Wales Police officers, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, and ambulance crews are called to the colliery after four people are reported trapped. Three miners escape before rescue teams arrive and one is taken to Morriston Hospital.
13:00: Police describe the situation as "dynamic".
13:20: Neath MP and shadow Welsh secretary Peter Hain expresses his concern and says he is "seeking information on the miners' predicament".
15:00: Supt Phil Davies says emergency services are conducting a "difficult rescue operation".
16:30: First Minister Carwyn Jones makes a statement: "As someone with very strong family links with both the Swansea Valley and the mining industry, my thoughts and prayers - and those of the people of Wales - are with the trapped men and their families at this difficult time."
17:00: The miner taken to hospital is in a critical condition. Police set up a dedicated telephone line for members of the public to contact if they are concerned that relatives may have been involved in the accident.
18:00: Mr Hain says the situation is "desperately serious" after talking to the families of the trapped men who are his constituents. The families have gathered at a community centre.
18:20: Chris Margetts, of Mid and West Wales Fire Service, said he was "very hopeful and optimistic" that the four miners can be rescued.
19:45: Prime Minister David Cameron says "every support" will be given to emergency services.
21:30: The missing miners are named by South Wales Police as Phillip Hill, 45, Charles Breslin, 62, David Powell, 50, and Garry Jenkins, 39.
Friday, 16 September
04:00: Rescuers say divers have been forced to return above ground and abandon their efforts after about 30m (100ft).
04:20: It emerges that a team from Sure Wave Technology, based in Cheshire, is brought in to detect movement deep underground. More rescue teams are also brought in to relieve colleagues who have worked for at least 12 hours non-stop.
06:20: Mining engineer Frank Russell tells Sky News the miners are experienced and "know what to do to keep themselves safe and warm", stressing that there had been no explosion or other such "cataclysmic event".
08:30: Police announce that a body of a miner has been found. All the families have been notified, but the man has yet to be identified. The rescue continues.
13:30: Police announce that the body of a second miner has been found in another part of the mine. The man has not been identified. Emergency services stress the search and rescue operation is ongoing.
15:00: Officers confirm that a third body has been found.
18:00: South Wales Police Chief Constable Peter Vaughan announces that the fourth body has been discovered and says: "I can't begin to imagine what the families are going through."