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Gleision: The Mine Owners' Story

Rescue workers at the Gleision Colliery, 2011 Credit: PA / PA Wire / Press Association Images

Seven years ago, coal haulier Gerald Ward took over a mine in the Swansea Valley. Little did he realise that the Gleision would eventually see him at the centre of worldwide media attention.

Gerald and his sister Maria Seage are partners in MNS Mining, the company found not guilty of gross negligence manslaughter following the deaths of four miners who died at the Gleision three years ago today.

Gerald and Maria have maintained a dignified silence throughout those three years, but tonight they talk exclusively to ITV Wales about their battle to get the mine up and running and the disastrous events of September 15th 2011.

Maria Seage, MNS Mining Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales

Maria says the loss of four men down a mine she owns haunts her constantly.

Honestly it's a struggle everyday, it's a struggle getting through the day.

– Maria Seage, MNS Mining

Gerald explains that when one of the colliers on that day ran to the surface shouting there was water everywhere, everything was flooded, he went down on his knees and prayed.

Gerald Ward, MNS Mining Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales

We was all there one minute and then four of the boys have gone... it was devastating.

– Gerald Ward, MNS Mining

Tonight, in the first of two programmes revealing the inside story of Gleision - the convicted conman who promised to invest in the mine, the coal haulier who found himself out of his depth and the big sister who came to the rescue, spending a small fortune on a pit which ultimately claimed the lives of four local men.

Wales This Week, Gleision - The Inside Story. Tonight at 8pm, ITV Wales

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Chief mine inspector defends Gleision investigation

The man in charge of the investigation into the Gleision Colliery disaster has said that nothing more could have been done to establish what happened.

Speaking exclusively to ITV Cymru Wales for tonight's Wales This Week programme, the Acting Chief Inspector of Mines Steve Denton said he is satisfied that the Health and Safety Executive did everything it could.

That comes despite criticism, from the families of the four miners who died in September 2011, that they were not thorough enough - and a public inquiry is now needed.

There is much more on this story on:

Wales This Week, tonight at 10.35pm on ITV Cymru Wales

Y Byd Ar Bedwar, tonight at 9.30pm on S4C

Two years on: Gleision mining disaster

Four men died at the Gleision Colliery in 2011 Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Images

Today marks two years since the Gleision Colliery mining disaster in the Swansea Valley. Four men died after getting trapped underground when a tunnel they were working in filled with water.

It was the worst mining disaster in Wales in recent times.

Three men initially escaped and a search and rescue operation was launched to find the other four miners who were trapped 300 ft below the ground.

Philip Hill, 44, Charles Breslin, 62, David Powell, 50 and Garry Jenkins, 39 were all found dead the following day.

Carwyn Jones, Wales' First Minister described the deaths as "a tragedy for all of Wales."

On Friday, a memorial stone in recognition of the miners was unveiled at the former Tareni Colliery, a short distance from the Gleision site.

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Gleision Colliery memorial to be unveiled

A major rescue operation was launched after the mine flooded

A memorial stone in recognition of the miners who lost their lives in the Gleision Colliery disaster will be officially unveiled today.

David Powell, 50, Garry Jenkins, 39, Charles Breslin, 62, and Phillip Hill, 44, lost their lives when the mine flooded in September 2011.

The stone is located on the site of the former Tareni Colliery, a short distance from the entrance of Gleision Colliery.

Man in court over Gleision Colliery mining disaster

A man accused of causing the death of four miners in the Gleision Colliery disaster has appeared at Swansea Crown Court.

Malcolm Fyfield was the general manager of the mine when the incident happened in September 2011. He has been charged with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter.

Mr Fyfield was remanded on bail until May 20, when he will be expected to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the charges.

Also appearing in court were representatives of MNS Mining Ltd, which owned the mine at the time of the incident, to answer charges of corporate manslaughter.

Lawyers told the court that the company representatives would also not be entering a plea, and will also appear in court on May 20.

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