Clear up begins at giant coal tip in Rhondda Valley over fears of further landslides

Watch the full report from ITV Cymru Wales journalist, Charanpreet Khaira

More than 60,000 tonnes of spoil from a former coal tip in Tylorstown is being removed after it suffered a dramatic landslip during winter storms.

Unprecedented weather conditions caused severe flooding in communities across Rhondda Cynon Taf and other areas of Wales in February.

The landslip was caught on video at Tylorstown in the Rhondda Valleys during Storm Dennis after it was triggered by heavy rain.

At the time of the incident, ITV Cymru Wales spoke to people living nearby who said the incident made them fearful of another Aberfan. In 1966, 150,000 tonnes of coal waste from a colliery spoil tip collapsed into the village of Aberfan, killing 116 children and 28 adults.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Leader, Andrew Morgan said he understands how the community would have been scared and reminded of Aberfan, which is only a short distance from Tylorstown.

Mining historian Dr Ben Curtis said the Tylorstown landlslide "evoked memories" of Aberfan.He said: "The Aberfan disaster was such an unspeakably horrific thing that cast a deep shadow over popular memory in the area."So whenever we see anything like this, which is distressing in itself, it evokes images of Aberfan."

Inspections have already begun across Wales as part of an urgent review of all coal tips to see if there is any risk to people or property.The £2.5m project to remove the coal waste is being carried out by Contractor Walters.The UK Government and the Welsh authorities have asked the Coal Authority to coordinate vital public safety work.Lisa Pinney, Chief Executive at the Coal Authority, said: "We’re working quickly to collect data from our partners and, based on the information assessed and categorised so far, we’ve drawn up an inspection schedule for the coal tips in Wales."These inspections are already taking place and drone flights have also been arranged for some of the high-priority sites."

The aftermath of a landslide in Tylorstown

Andrew Morgan, leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: "Phases Two and Three will be completed later this year and will remove 60,000 tonnes of spoil material to two council-owned receptor sites, which were former railway and colliery sites respectively."By utilising these nearby sites, it will prevent an estimated 6,000 lorry movements required to move the spoil on the road - which have caused noise, air pollution, dust, disruption to road users and damage to the carriageway, while also being more costly."He added the work would make the site safer and is expected to cause "very little disruption to road users".