Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hopes High Trapped Miners; Rescuers Confident of Finding Men Alive and Well

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hopes High Trapped Miners; Rescuers Confident of Finding Men Alive and Well

Article excerpt

RESCUERS fighting to free four miners trapped 295ft (90m) underground said last night they believe they are all alive and well.

Major rescue efforts are continuing, but there is every prospect the men will be forced to spend the night underground.

The miners were named late last night as Phillip Hill, 45, Charles Bresnan, 62, David Powell, 50, and Garry Jenkins, 39.

A fifth miner remains critically ill in hospital after escaping as flood water engulfed the drift mine yesterday morning.

Two other men who were with him escaped largely unharmed and are aiding the rescue operation.

The alarm was raised at the Gleision Colliery, near Cilybebyll in Pontardawe, Swansea, South Wales, at around 9.20am yesterday.

A retaining wall holding back a body of water underground failed, flooding a tunnel that the seven men were in.

It left four men trapped about 820ft (250m) along the tunnel.

No contact has yet been made with the men, but rescuers believe the four, all fit and healthy seasoned miners, would have fled to an air pocket to await rescue.

Chris Margetts, from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: "They are experienced miners, they know the layout of the mine, they would know where to go in this situation.

"What we are dealing with is their egress out of the mine is full of water."

He said they were pumping it out and, once they were in a position to search off the main shaft, they would then systematically look through the smaller tunnels and shafts.

"The conditions down there are favourable, it's not raining, there's water at the bottom but the air supply is good. We are not overly concerned about the atmospheric conditions in the mine."

He added that rescuers were very "hopeful and optimistic" that the miners could be freed successfully.

He said they were constantly monitoring the quality of the air, but could not communicate with the trapped men. …

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