Torfaen farmer stumbles upon a collapsed Varteg mine shaft
11:10am Thursday 18th October 2012 in News
A SHEEP farmer in Varteg had a shock when he stumbled upon a collapsed mine shaft.
Ray Williams, 75, who came across the hole on Monday morning while out checking his sheep, said: “I’m lucky that I didn’t get injured, if it had been a bit darker I could have ended up down it.”
The hole, near Salisbury Terrace, was 2.4 metres long. He said: “My sheep are currently in lamb and if one of them had been near the site when it collapsed, the panic could have made them lose the lamb.
“Worse, a person could easily be injured by the collapsed land.” The hole was in the northerly area of the site that is currently subject to a decision from the Planning Inspectorate for Wales on whether the land should be reclaimed through opencast mining.
Mr Williams said: “Alot of the people who live near the site are for the plans as we recognise that the area needs to be made safe.”
He said although local people would have to put up with the short-term effects of opencast mining, this was outweighed by the benefits of the land being made safe for use.
The Coal Authority was contacted regarding the collapsed land, and immediately arranged for a contractor to go to the site to make the area safe