Colliery manager charged with manslaughter over Gleision mine pit deaths in 2011

 

The manager of a colliery where four miners died has been charged with fours counts of manslaughter, police said.

Charles Breslin, Philip Hill, Garry Jenkins and David Powell died at the Gleision mine near Pontardawe, south Wales, in 2011.

Today police announced that pit manager Malcolm Fyfield, 57, has been charged with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter.

The company which owns the colliery, MNS Mining Ltd, has also been summonsed to answer four counts of corporate manslaughter.

Detective Chief Inspector Dorian Lloyd, of the South Wales Police Specialist Crime Investigations Team, said an extensive investigation had been carried out by police and the Health & Safety Executive.

He said: "The aim of this investigation was to establish a full understanding of the events that led to such devastating loss of life.

"Upon completion of the investigation and following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, the mine manager, Malcolm Fyfield has today been charged with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter.

"In addition, a prosecution for four offences of corporate manslaughter against the owners of the mine, MNS Mining Ltd, is proceeding."

A major rescue operation was launched at the small hillside mine following its sudden collapse.

Mr Fyfield was seriously injured in the incident, but escaped through an old mine shaft.

Two other miners, including Mr Powell's son, escaped and helped raise the alarm.

Coming just weeks after the rescue of trapped Chilean miners, at the time there had been genuine hope that the four men would be found alive.

Their distraught families - along with an entire country - waited with bated breath for good news.

But as the hours went on, the trapped miners' bodies were discovered one by one.

Since then, their families have described the wait for answers into the deaths as agonising.

Neath Labour MP Peter Hain, who launched a charity fund for the dead men's relatives which topped around £1 million, welcomed the development in South Wales Police's investigation.

He said: "After such a devastating tragedy, the families and our communities have naturally been anxious to discover why and how the four local miners were killed.

"This prosecution will enable the truth to be revealed for the first time."

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot