Gleision colliery disaster

As tributes pour in questions asked about safety

Heroism of mines Rescue

"This is in sympathy with the families of the miners who died at Gleision Colliery and in tribute to the Mines Rescue and other rescue services who tried with such courage, such skill and such tireless effort to save them."

At the moment our thoughts are with the families of the four miners who have died.

Messages of solidarity and sympathy have also been coming in from the RMT, the PCS, the NUT, UCU and other unions far beyond the coal fields.

It would be impossible to say enough in praise of the rescue teams at the scene. Teams of miners from the Unity Mine (formerly Pentreclwydau Colliery) and from Aberpergwm Colliery, many of them previously Tower miners, train year round as Voluntary Mines Rescue in the most demanding and difficult conditions, so that when they are needed they can move into action. Alongside the full time Mines Rescue service, whose members previously worked in a range of collieries in the Valleys, they have shown in this disaster - as always - tremendous courage, calm and determination - heroism, in fact - while they have done everything humanly possible to bring the trapped miners out alive.

That is all that anyone is thinking of right now, but NUM members have raised for years the issue of antiquated conditions in small private mines. Conditions in some of the large privatised mines are also a matter of concern and following these events, the climate may exist for those urgent concerns to get a hearing.

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