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Flintshire councillor’s fears over ‘death trap’ mine shaft in Cilcain, near Mold

A GAPING mine shaft which has opened up next to a footpath has been described as a ‘death trap’.

The huge hole appeared near footpath 67 in Cilcain, near Mold, several weeks ago, and has still not been filled in.

It is the fourth major suspected mine shaft collapse to hit Flintshire in just over a year, prompting fears the county could be riddled with unsafe voids.

Cllr Klaus Armstrong-Braun, who first noticed the hole and reported it to the council, said: “It is very near to the footpath, which is well used by families and more worryingly, by children playing.

“When I first came across it, it was fenced off with some very thin wire, which anyone could have just ducked under.

“I didn’t even notice it at first, which concerned me greatly. You can’t even see down to the bottom of it because it is so deep.”

Flintshire County Council chiefs say the hole has been fenced off, but the land it is on is privately owned and is therefore not the local authority’s responsibility.

Cllr Armstrong-Braun said he is in the process of trying to find out who is responsible for the patch of land.

He added: “It has been some weeks now and nothing has been done about it.

“It needs to be capped as soon as possible to prevent someone seriously hurting themselves, or worse.

“It could be a total death trap for young children, walkers and for wild animals in the area.”

Two large mine shafts opened up in Rhesycae, which borders Cilcain, in two separate incidents in June and October last year.

The gaping holes were near to the village’s school playing fields and swift action was taken by landowners Grosvenor Estates.

They capped both shafts and commissioned a costly technical land survey to provide a clearer picture of the land in the area, the full results of which have not yet been released.

And in February 2010, mum-of-two Jan Hinks was watering plants outside her semi-detached home in Wilton Road, Mancot, when the ground collapsed beneath her.

The 50-year-old was trapped for 15 minutes in the 25ft hole until a passerby heard her cries for help.

It was later discovered the hole was in fact an unrecorded, disused coalmining shaft.

There are dozens of old mine shafts dotted across Flintshire, but the areas where they are most concentrated include Halkyn Mountain, Cilcain and Rhesycae, Mancot and Mostyn.

Some of the biggest former mines in Wales were in and around Flintshire, including coal at Mostyn and Point of Ayr and Cilcain lead mine.