Welsh mine deaths: Post-mortems on four Gleision miners

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)

Post-mortem examinations have been carried out on the four miners who died after they were trapped in a Swansea Valley mine.

The bodies of Charles Breslin, Phillip Hill, Garry Jenkins and David Powell were recovered from Gleision Colliery on 16 September.

The tests confirmed all four men died as a result of flooding in the pit.

Police said investigations into the cause of the accident could take up to three months.

Meanwhile, an appeal fund to help the bereaved families has so far raised £150,000.

One of the fund patrons, Neath MP Peter Hain. tweeted the new total on Friday, saying it had so far raised £80,000 online with another £70,000 brought in to his constituency office.

Specific information on how each of the miners died will only be known following further investigation which is likely to take eight to 12 weeks.

Safety investigation

An investigation into the disaster at Cilybebyll, near Pontardawe by South Wales Police and the Health and Safety Executive is continuing.

Police said specialist inspectors are still on site and are likely to be there for at least two weeks.

Part of their investigation will see them accessing the area where the miners were working at the time of the incident on the morning of 15 September.

Inquests into the four men's deaths will be opened on Tuesday, 27 September.

Det Ch Insp Dorian Lloyd of the South Wales Police specialist crime team who has been appointed senior investigating officer said the aim was "to understand with certainty the circumstances that led to this tragic event".

"We want to establish how it happened, why it happened and whether there were any influencing factors.

"This will be a protracted and complex process, but we will do everything possible to find out how these four men lost their lives."

The miners' families are being supported by trained police family support officers.

More on this story