[85], A photographer, W Benton, took a series of photographs as the disaster unfolded, and later published them as a set of postcards. Seeing the cage, I rushed to get into it, but I was pulled back. [22] [31] [32] The funerals for the victims started four days later, and the rescue and recovery operations lasted for six weeks. Because of the brittle nature of coal, coal dust can be created during mining, transportation, or by mechanically handling coal. An analysis of the figures by the mine officials gives the following table: Rescued                                         507, Dead                                               49, Still in mine                                     368. Stories of heroism and tragedy were everywhere, nowhere more so than in the house of 33-year-old father-of-four Albert Dean, who poured tea into his muffler, and gave it to a 14-year old with whom he had been working. a Senghenydd is a colliery village situated in the Aber Valley, an off-shoot of the Rhymney Valley, where a great many mining developments have taken place in recent years. The Senghenydd Colliery Disaster, four hundred and forty died that day. Amser i wylo : Senghenydd 1913. There was a slender hope some might still come out alive. Perhaps it will be a much needed boost for Senghenydd and the Aber valley after all these years; perhaps more visitors will come now, to see a national monument. As the water pipe in the shaft was out of operation, fire-fighting continued with hand extinguishers and work was only possible in 20-minute shifts. A large number made their way out by the adjacent York Pit, but escape was not open to all of them. ", Senghenydd Pit Disaster 14 October 1913 survivors, List of survivors of the Senghenydd Pit Disaster 14th October 1913, Mine disaster. [102] The company was convicted of failing to provide a ventilation system that could reverse the airflow and was fined £10 with £5 5 shillings costs. In 1906 a major explosion at a colliery in Courrières, northern France, caused the deaths of more than 1,000 miners. [17] [22] The colliery's two shafts were both 1,950 feet (590 m) deep, the downcast Lancaster and the upcast York. Video, Iceland PM keeps cool as earthquake strikes, Rare green puppy 'Pistachio' born in Italy, Poland abortion: Top court bans almost all terminations, Coronavirus: France extends overnight curfew as cases surge, LGBT students attacked in university Zoom meeting, Epstein: Ghislaine Maxwell denies witnessing 'inappropriate' activities, Boris Becker accused of not handing over tennis trophies to pay debts, The Countdown: Debate masks, Jennifer Lawrence and 60 Minutes, Why Nigerian protesters want Beyoncé to be more like Rihanna, Nagorno-Karabakh: Nearly 5,000 dead in conflict, Putin says, Nigeria Sars protest: Prison break and gunshots heard as unrest continues. At a consultation of leading mine engineers and miners' leaders yesterday, it was decided to lay down a fresh water supply and to cart away the burning debris until the fire is subdued. In 1981 a memorial to the men who died in the disaster was unveiled by the National Coal Board, followed by a second in 2006, to honour the dead of both the 1901 and 1913 explosions. One of these items was an 'In Memoriam' card - which reads: "In loving memory of 439 of the men and boys who lost their lives in the terrible colliery explosion at the Universal Pit, Senghenydd, S. Wales on Tuesday October 14th 1913" Some of the bodies were never recovered. The explosion, which killed 439 miners and a rescuer, is the worst mining accident in the United Kingdom. THE KING'S SYMPATHY. 14 th October 2013 – headline from the GuardianNotes: “Senghenydd: mining deaths remembered on disaster’s centenary.” The reports led to the Coal Mines Act 1911, which came into force in December that year. [74] [75] The fund was started by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff; another collection, the Mansion House Fund set up by the Lord Mayor of London, raised more than £3,000 on its first day. The men are working heroically and were it not that heavy falls have taken place the entombed men could be reached. The method used to load coal onto underground trucks created quantities of dust, which had aggravated a small explosion and created a chain reaction of related explosions throughout the workings. Available for everyone, funded by readers. Coal has been mined from shallow seams and outcrops since medieval times and possibly earlier. The party motored to Senghenydd, and the Home Secretary Inspected the colliery and enquired from the officials how the work of rescue was proceeding. Hope was at length rewarded, for at nine o'clock the joyful report was received that men had been found alive, and, hat was more cheering still, that some of them were not seriously injured. These two testimonies were typical of a number heard around the colliery as the day advanced, and the crowds maintained their patient vigil. Tracing their Family Roots. 15 HOURS ENTOMBED. he said. In an earlier disaster in May 1901, three underground explosions at the colliery killed 81 miners. At half past ten the rescue operations were still in progress. Senghenydd Pit Disaster 14 October 1913 survivors. He took charge and descended the York shaft, accompanied by overman D R Thomas. The Home Secretary also sent a telegram to Dr. Atkinson expressing the hope that there was still some hope of saving the entombed, and adding: "He shares in the terrible anxiety and grief of all whose husbands, children, or relatives are in the mine. There are several grounds upon which an inquest can be adjourned, including the possibility of a public enquiry or if criminal proceedings are pending. Once again a touch of sorrow has made the world akin. His Majesty had in past told him that he would himself have come to Senghenydd if it had been at all possible forr him to do so. I got from the six-foot to the nine-foot landing. Two of the injured brought out on Tuesday have succumbed, and the number of dead now accounted for is 46. There was a glow exactly like the burning of a small coal or of the head of a match, partly expended. The Bedford Colliery disaster occurred on Friday 13 August 1886 when an explosion of firedamp caused the death of 38 miners at Bedford No.2 Pit, at Bedford, Leigh in what then was Lancashire. Thomas later reported that the view into the western workings "was exactly like looking into a furnace". [87] The deaths of 440 men from a small community had a devastating effect; 60 victims were younger than 20, of whom 8 were 14 years old; 542 children had lost their fathers and 205 women were widowed. [52] [53] They found that the men from the east side of the workings (approximately 450 workers) were unharmed, and their evacuation was ordered. Prof Mills, who has worked in Cheshire for the last 30 years, says he was surprised at how little his English friends knew about the explosion until he showed them photos taken on the day, which he inherited from a family friend. It was known that firedamp was present in the pit and it is likely that this was ignited by a naked flame. This is one of the matters we will certainly have to investigate, but in the absence of full official information it would be unwise and unfair to those in charge of the exploration to state definitely that the Britannis district should have been entered earlier. The firemen for the Mafeking return had to travel more than two miles from the shaft bottom to the workface. But in the end the count stood at 439 dead miners, plus one dead rescuer. The little boy from Aber was still at my side sometimes in tears, I gave him a drink of water and told him all would be well. [67] On the surface the townsfolk waited for news; a reporter for The Dundee Courier thought: "the scene at Senghenydd last night was depressing in the extreme. Progress in tackling the fire over the previous days had been slow, and it had only been extinguished in the first 30 yards of the roadway—still two miles (3.2 km) from the coal face. Not only is it one of the most appalling on record, but the rescue of eighteen men after they had been fifteen hours in the pit, and were given up as lost, came as a tremendous sensation, and raised hopes (which are not likely to be realised) that others may be yet brought out alive. (a few words near the end unreadable). I was coughing continually on account of the dense smoke. In some cases several members of the same family have perished. Video, Biden or Trump? Ten members of the town's rugby team were killed; half the male voice choir died. The dead have been brought up throughout the day. Hydrogen sulfide, another highly toxic gas, may also be present. The old pit hooter was wheeled out and sounded again. "I wasn't born until years after the disaster, and my father was a steel worker, not a miner, so we were one of the least-affected families." [3] [lower-alpha 1] As employment became available, many people moved to the area of the South Wales Coalfield; between 1851 and 1911 the population increased by 320,000. For many families, too, it's still living history. However, it is the high content of carbon monoxide which kills by depriving victims of oxygen by combining preferentially with haemoglobin in the blood. Several were seriously injured and two died on the way to Cardiff Infirmary, to which most of the worst cases were conveyed, special trains taking them down to the city. It's said the whole valley shook. Arranged: That relays of men be provided for each shift under the Company's officials, after the fire has been put out, to send in rescue men to examine the air bridges and section doors. [87] [88], The inquiry into the disaster opened on 2 January 1914 with Richard Redmayne, the Chief Inspector of Mines, as the commissioner; he was assisted by two assessors, Evan Williams, the chairman of the South Wales and Monmouthshire Coal Owners Association, and Robert Smillie, the president of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain. [54] [55] Shaw and Thomas moved to the western side, where they found other men, alive but injured, and arranged for them to travel to the surface. Mon 14 Oct 2013 18.53 BST Its owners sank the first pits into a rich coal seam in the 1870s from which, within 20 years, over 700 tons were being extracted daily. Over the years several seams were worked through four shafts: Kettledrum pit, Lamp pit, Mary pit and New pit.