'A terrible day in our community'

Peter Hain MP for Neath arrives to speak to media as rescue workers try to rescue group of Welsh miners. Photo: Getty images
Peter Hain MP for Neath arrives to speak to media as rescue workers try to rescue group of Welsh miners. Photo: Getty images

By Phil Scullion

Peter Hain has branded it a "terrible day for our community" after a third miner was confirmed dead in Wales.

A police statement added: "I will reiterate the fact that this is still and ongoing search and rescue operation and all emergency services are fully committed to getting those miners out as soon as possible."

The four men became trapped when the Gleision Colliery was flooded on Thursday morning.


The final possible survivor is thought to be 90m below surface, although rescuers are still not certain where exactly he is located.

David Cameron has pledged "every support" for the emergency services, a sentiment echoed by Labour leader Ed Miliband.

The prime minister is being regularly updated on the situation.

"In due course we must ensure we fully understand and learn from the causes of this accident," he added.

Rescuers are hopeful of successfully reaching the stranded man and have had some degree of positive news in that oxygen levels are thought to be good and no methane has been detected in the area he is thought to have scrambled to.

Earlier on, when only one miner had been found, Mr Hain said: "We still don't know where the trapped miners are.

"The rescue workers are right down to the sump at the bottom which shows the remaining miners are not in that area so must have been trying to get back into the old workings to escape the existing mine.

"The good news is oxygen is circulating in the mine and the old mine workings, creating a circular supply of air."

Many MPs have taken to Twitter to express their concern and support for the miners.

Chris Bryant, Rhondda MP, tweeted: "Heart goes out to the miners trapped at Pontardawe. Savage reminder of the value of mines rescue service in dinas".

Jamie Reed, MP for Copeland, said: "From one historic mining community to another; all of the thoughts of people in West Cumbria are with those in Wales."


 

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