A TEAM of mine rescuers from Mansfield Woodhouse was called in to help with the search for four miners trapped at the Gleision Colliery in South Wales last week.
Mines Rescue Ltd, of Leeming Lane South, travelled to the site in the Swansea Valley on Thursday morning to provide extra support to the local rescue teams trying to free the miners.
Three other miners had managed to escape as flood water engulfed the mine’s shaft when a retaining wall holding back a body of water underground failed.
But the rescue operation ended in vain when the bodies of the four trapped miners - Charles Breslin, Phillip Hill, Garry Jenkins and David Powell - were discovered inside the mine on Friday.
Said Andrew Watson, of the Mines Rescue Ltd: “There was always the hope that one of them was in an air pocket and that was always a possibility until the last body was discovered.”
The Mansfield firm is the only UK provider of the escape and rescue scheme approved by the Government.
Mr Watson said the Mansfield team was still on standby as the police and Health and Safety Executive investigation into the tragedy continues.
Added Mr Watson: “I think we do our job in the hope that we are going to be able to save some lives but you have to realise that the bodies have to be recovered and returned to the families and by doing that we achieved something that very few would have been able to.”