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Mosside Mining Accident

22 September 1939

"reproduced with permission from Scottish Mining Villages"

Link to Penny Project Article

Crowd.jpg (9107 bytes)

Relatives and local people waiting anxiously at the pit head for news of the trapped men.

Airdrie Miners Entombed  Three Feared Drowned By Inrush of Water    Others have Remarkable Escape    Three miners are feared to be drowned following an inrush of water at the Mosside Mine worked and owned by Mr Francis McLean.  The accident occurred about midday yesterday (Friday) when eight men were working in the section. Sufficient warning was obtained by five of the men to clear out of the mine but the other three were trapped. The inrush of water was considerable and was still rising an hour after the accident.

The names of the three men are:-
Thomas Lang, Park Street, Airdrie;
James Walker, Wilson Street, Airdrie; and
Alex. Kinnaird, Davidson Street, Airdrie.

It is understood that one of the miners was boring to find out about the water when there was a fall followed by a terrific inrush.

John Young, Whitehall Avenue, saw what was happening and his timely warning is believed to have saved the lives of a number of his colleagues. John Lynch and his brother just escaped in the nick of time but the three trapped men had no chance at all.

Two pumps were drowned out by the inrush and were afterwards found to be unworkable.

The mine some time ago was drained dry and at the present time the miners were working in three shifts. Airdrie Police and the Mine Rescue Corp from Coatbridge were immediately informed but on arrival at the scene of the tragedy found that the water was still flowing into the mine and with two of the pumps unworkable they were not in a position to perform rescue work.

The Chief Constable and Mr Francis McLean went down the mine with the rescue squad to see if anything could be done.

Large crowds, including anxious relatives, collected round the mine and the anxiety felt for the unfortunate men was evident in the white and strained faces of the silent spectators.

The section fireman, Mr Isaac Greig, was one of the survivors but when approached by our representative said that he did not know how the accident had happened.

A tragic coincidence to the accident was found in the burial on the same day of Joseph Cameron, who was employed at the mine. He collapsed and expired on Wednesday night just after completing a shift at the mine. He had just started work a fortnight previous. [Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 23 September 1939]

Three Scottish Miners Dead    Trapped By Inrush of Water - Three miners lost their lives when they were trapped by an inrush of water at Mosside Mine, Airdrie, yesterday. Five workmates in a different section of the mine made their escape after a desperate dash along one of the roads with water at one stage nearly up to their chins. It is believed that, the inrush came from disused workings in the neighbourhood, and it burst into the mine at a level higher than the working place at which the three ,men were engaged. The men who lost their lives were:- James Walker (33), of 137 Wilson Street, Airdrie; Thomas Lang (51), of 28 Park Street, Airdrie; and Alexander Kinnaird , 57 Davidson Street, Airdrie.

Walker was a single man, and the other two were married, Lang having a family of eight and Kinnaird seven. The men who escaped are John Clark, John Young, John Lynch. Joseph Lynch, and Andrew Mitchell.

Race Against Death - When he felt the water surging round his legs, John Young immediately raised the alarm, and the five survivors made a dash for safety along a “face-line” which joined the main shaft near the surface. The race against death was won with only seconds to spare, Andrew Mitchell stated in an interview that he led his workmates out, and the water was almost up to their faces when they reached the main shaft. At that point he looked back and saw Joseph Lynch was in difficulties. Holding on to a prop, Mitchell said, he allowed the others to pass him, and then went back. He grabbed Lynch round the neck and managed to drag him to safety. Mitchell added that the three men who lost their lives were working in a side gallery on the opposite side of the main shaft. It is understood that some time will elapse before the bodies of the men can be recovered, as the mine was extensively flooded and the main pumping apparatus was submersed. [Scotsman 23 September 1939]

 

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