FAMILY of the men killed in the Six Bells Colliery disaster are being sought before a memorial to the men opens next year.

Six Bells Communities First is trying to track down anyone who is related to one of the 45 miners killed in the explosion on June 28, 1960.

They are also trying to find three men, or their families, who were working in the area on the day, but survived.

It is understood the surnames of the men were Legge, Lewis and Purnell.

The opening event will take place on June 28 next year, the 50th anniversary of the 1960 gas and coal dust explosion.

Communities First are also hoping to find other people who helped in the rescue attempt, including the fire service, ambulance service, police, Mine Rescue teams and the Red Cross, to help piece together what happened in the aftermath of the explosion, where the rescue teams came from and who helped support and comfort families.

The £100,000 statue, which will be paid for by money from the Heads of the Valleys programme, will depict a miner and will stand 12m high on top of a 7.4m concrete plinth, which will feature the names of all the men killed.

The design will be by Sebastien Boyesen, who also commissioned the Chartist Man in Blackwood as well as the Lost Sailor, Deus Ex Machina and the railings/fencework at Newport's Riverfront centre.

* Anyone who has information which can help is asked to call Bethan Trapnell or Mair Sheen on 01495 320 497.