Gleision Colliery manager bailed over deaths

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 were Charles Breslin, Phillip Hill (top) and Garry Jenkins and David Powell (bottom, left to right)

The pit manager arrested in connection with the deaths of four miners last month at Gleision Colliery has been released on police bail.

Malcolm Fyfield, 55, was questioned at Port Talbot police station on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter over the Swansea Valley accident last month.

He escaped the flooding on 15 September that killed four men and had been in a critical condition in hospital.

South Wales Police said their investigations were ongoing.

Det Ch Insp Dorian Lloyd said on Wednesday evening that a 55-year-old man had been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

He had been arrested at an address in the Swansea Valley on Tuesday morning.

Examination of scene

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

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, was complete and the mine now closed and under the control of the Coal Authority.

Det Ch Insp Lloyd said: "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 everything possible would be done 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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