South Wales Police has today announced criminal charges following an investigation into the deaths of four men at the Gleision Colliery in Cilybebyll on September 15, 2011.
Malcolm Fyfield, 57, has been charged with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter and will appear at Neath Magistrates Court on February 1.
The company which owns the colliery, MNS Mining Ltd, has been summonsed for four counts of corporate manslaughter and will also appear at Neath Magistrates Court on February 1.
The four men – Philip Hill, aged 44, Charles Breslin, 62, David Powell, 50 and Garry Jenkins, 39 - died after becoming trapped in the mine.
Their families and community leaders were updated with news of the charges earlier today.
Detective Chief Inspector Dorian Lloyd of the South Wales Police Specialist Crime Investigations Team is the Senior Investigating Officer and has led the investigation into the deaths.
DCI Lloyd said: “On 15 September 2011, a tragedy occurred at the Gleision Mine in the Swansea Valley which resulted in the deaths of four mine workers, Philip Hill, Charles Breslin, David Powell and Garry Jenkins.
“An extensive investigation was subsequently conducted by South Wales Police, together with the Health & Safety Executive. 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.
“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.”