Rescuers locate the body of the fourth and final man missing in a Wales coal mine
The mine flooded on Thursday
All four bodies have been recovered; three other miners escaped
The search for missing workers in a flooded Wales coal mine ended tragically Friday as rescuers discovered the fourth and final man’s body, South Wales police said.
Authorities identified the men as Phillip Hill, 45, from Neath; and Charles Breslin, 62, David Powell, 50, and Garry Jenkins, 39, all from the Swansea Valley.
Searchers have recovered all of the bodies, police said.
Three other miners escaped Thursday after water rushed into the area where the men were working, apparently after they broke through to a neighboring abandoned mine, Rescue Officer Andrew Watson said. One of the surviving miners was hospitalized. His condition was not immediately known.
First Minister Carwyn Jones, who leads the Welsh government, paid tribute to the efforts of rescue workers and families of the miners before the discovery of the fourth was announced.
“My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with all of the families as this horrifying news filters through,” he said.
“The people of Wales, and indeed people across the world stand together in solidarity with the families through this terrible tragedy.”
The British government will carry out a full investigation into the incident, Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said in a statement released Friday.
As of June 2011, 1,500 people in Wales worked in the mining industry. according to government figures.
In a drift mine like the one where the men were trapped, coal is excavated from the side of a hill using shafts that are almost horizontal.
CNN’s Laura Perez Maestro and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.