Four miners drowned in flooding incident in Wales…
The owners and management of a colliery in South Wales are to face manslaughter charges after the deaths of four miners in a flooding tragedy in September 2011.
The mining company that operate the colliery face four counts of corporate manslaughter while the manager of the mine also has been summoned to face four counts of gross negligence after a police investigation into the deaths.
The four men ranging in age from 39 to 62 lost their lives after they became trapped in the flooded mine and subsequently drowned.
Detective Chief Inspector Dorian Lloyd commented on the tragedy: “Upon completion of the investigation and following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, the mine manager has 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 is proceeding.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all members of the local community for their continued support and understanding throughout this process. In particular, I would personally like to thank the families involved for their unwavering patience and courage and request that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”
Paul Verrico, principal associate at the international legal firm Eversheds also spoke about the case:
“The tragic events at Gleision colliery deeply affected the whole of the local community; in many ways that disquiet is reflected in the charges facing the mine manager.
“At trial, the case may explore the ‘senior manager test’, as it does not appear from Companies House that the mine manager was a director of the company.”
In the aftermath of the incident the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) issued a safety alert aimed at the mining industry encouraging all those working within the industry to be aware of all possible safety precautions especially related to the dangers involved with water breaches in underground mines.
The Shadow Welsh Secretary also urged the Government to reconsider moves to reform and weaken mine safety legislation as attempts to rescue the four men were undermined by a lack of resources at the site.
Author: Julian Roberts
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