Thursday 25 February 2021

UK Coal Authority denies liability for flooding in Welsh village.

The UK Coal Authority is denying responsibility for a flood that hit the village of Skewen in Neath Port Talbot, South Wales. The village was hit by a flash flood on Thursday 21 January 2021, after water which had built up in a disused mine on the hillside above the village burst out, rushing through the village and forcing about 80 people to evacuate their homes. A month later many residents are still unclear when they will be able to return to their properties, nor how they will pay to clear up the damage caused by the flood.

Flooding in the village of Skewen in Neath Port Talbot, South Wales, in January 2021. South Wales Police.

The Coal Authority is responsible for the maintenance of disused mines in the UK, and admits that it was it's responsibility to ensure that water in the mines does not build up to the point where it becomes dangerous, but denies liability on the basis that it is not responsible for water once it reaches the surface. Instead the Coal Authority has offered a one off payment of £500 to each of the residents effected by the flooding, something which has been described as 'frankly derisory' by local MP Stephen Kinnock.


Eighty people were evacuated from Skewen, in Neath Port Talbot, after a mine blow-out. BBC.

In addition to the immediate damage, the local council is concerned about the dangers of further flooding to the village, both from the mine, where remediation work to fix the problem is expected to take at least six months, and from normal runoff from the hillside, as much of the village's drainage system has been blocked by silt brought down from the mines by the floodwater.

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