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Gleision - The Unanswered Questions

Working Plan of the Gleision Colliery Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales

There is to be no full inquest into the deaths of four miners at the Gleision Colliery, ITV Wales has learned. The Health and Safety Executive has confirmed it will now be publishing a report on its investigation into the tragedy.

Three years after the fatal flood at Gleision, there are continuing calls for answers into what went wrong from the victims’ families, the mine owners and local MP Peter Hain.

Talking to Wales This Week, he said he would be raising the issue in Parliament.

Mine owner Maria Seage revisits the mine Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales

At least to bring to a wider audience my doubts and my questions, and to speak to the families. Not to re-open the trial, not to seek vengeance, not to try and find scapegoats because I doubt that there are any to be found. This was a terrible tragedy and we want to know what went on, and nobody’s telling us.

– Peter Hain MP
Lee Reynolds, previous surveyor for the Gleision Colliery, speaks out for the first time Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales

Wales This Week has uncovered evidence which sheds new light on the history of the mine; confusion about when it was licensed and working; serious doubts about the number and accuracy of underground plans; and a gap in the provision of legally required documentation for the Gleision.

Wales This Week tonight at 8 on ITV Cymru Wales.

  1. Fiona Scott

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


  1. Hannah Thomas

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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