Rescuers of the 1877 Disaster

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, ScotlandBlantyre History of Mining

Rescuers of the 1877 Disaster

Rescuers of the 1877 DisasterThe Rescuers of the 1877 Disaster are photographed here with their Bibles which were given as presents and thanks for their heroism.

Women and off-duty miners hurried to the scene and soon 7 bodies were hoisted from no.2 pit but it was no.3 pit that concerned them. At midday the mines inspector went into the pit and found roof falls and a clear smell of firedamp. The main shaft had to be cleared and men worked in teams until they broke through at 10pm. Four miners were found but they were so seriously injured that they died later.

Work continued throughout the night and into the next day and despite very poor weather, sightseers arrived from Glasgow and Hamilton. The crowd around the pithead was so large that a hundred police were on duty to control it.

It was to take a week before the bodies were removed entirely from the mine which caused great distress for the families and incensed the villagers. In time the awful reality hit home when it was revealed that there was a death toll of at least 215 killed, resulting in High Blantyre having some 92 widows and 250 fatherless children.

Blantyre entered the history books as having the worst ever Scottish mining disaster.




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Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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