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Auchengeich Mine Disaster
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clear gif


Auchengeich
Mining Disaster

see the Statue Returns

It was midnight and a cool autumn wind rustled through the silent crowd of 1200 people gathered at the pit-head, many of them women with their children wrapped in shawls cuddled close to them.
It was the night of 18th September, 1959, and the coal mine was at Auchengeich, Lanarkshire, where an inferno raged deep below.

Ronald Parker, Scottish Chairman of the National Coal Board, stepped forward and addressed the crowd, telling them that it had been decided to flood the mine to put out the fire even although 48 men were still missing.

Cries of despair and anger rent the air and under the glare of floodlights the Scottish Miners union leader Abe Moffat appealed to the crowd to go home.

Three men shouted, “Why do you tell us this now? They should never have been down there. It was the fan, the fan . . . . “

They were moved on by police.

It was believed that a faulty booster fan-belt operating electrical equipment 1400 feet underground had burst into flames and had spread fire along a gallery. Around 7am. on that fateful day - on which occurred Scotland's worst mining disaster of the 20th century - the early morning shift had just clocked on and were being carried in a small train of bogies towards the coalface.

The sole survivor of that brief train trip was 50-year-old Big Tam Green, a 6 ft. 4” giant from Marnoch Drive, Glenboig, who later told how he and his mates ran into thick, black, choking smoke.

In Memory Of those Who Died
Alexander Morrison Beattie
   
Age
Roadman
26
mas Bone Beltmen
27
Francis Broadley Developer
38
William Brynes> Coal Cutterman
54
 Mathew McIwain Cannon Coal Face Stripper
38
Walter Clark Back Brusher
61
Henry Clayton Train Guard
62
Robert Conn (Rab) Back Brusher
30
Andrew Crombie Oncost Worker
42
James Devine Shotfirer
39
Docherty, Andrew Coal Cutterman
43
John Duffy Shotfirer
39
Francis Jones Fisher Shotfirer
49
Martin Fleming Stripper
51
Michael Fleming Shotfirer
47
Richard Hamilton Stripper
48
James Harvey Stripper
44
Patrick Harvey Developer
33
Edward Henery Stripper
61
George Jackson Spare Stripper
21
Peter Kelly Stripper
40
Francis Kiernan Beltmen
26
William Lafferty Stripper
39
Alexander Todd Lang Stripper
35
William Leishman Oncost Worker
65
Gerald John Martin Shotfirer
34
John McAuley Back Brusher
42
Robert McCoid Stripper
55
Joseph McDonald Stripper
53
Denis McElhaney Developer
49
George Thomas Thompson McEwan Oncost Worker
20
George Wilkie McIntosh Shotfirer
58
Andrew McKenna Deputy
41
P. McKenna  
55
James McPhee Shotfirer
54
Peter McMillan Shotfirer
55
William Meechan Oncost Worker
22
John Muir Oncost Worker
38
John Mulholland Senior Stripper
50
James Nimmo Oncost Worker
50
Aaron Price Stone Worker
50
Robert Price Stone Worker
47
Alexander Sharp Stripper
34
John Shevlin Oncost Worker
46
William Skilling Oncost Worker
53
John Mack Stark Stripper
23
Thomas Stokes Oncost Worker
32
Donald Cameron Weir Roadsman
30

 

 

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