Sunday, 18 September 2011


      Across the globe people die just trying to earn their crust of bread, some might have been unavoidable, but most of the others were in all possibility caused by lack of proper health and safety regulations being in place or not being enforced. Health and safety often competes with profit and profit comes first in this capitalist system. Money is sacred, money is scarce, but there's always another worker there to take the place of the killed worker.
      The recent mining disaster in Wales where 4 miners lost their lives due to flooding is a stark reminder that even today in this country, mining is still a very dangerous occupation. Today for me, as the son of a miner, is a very poignant day, September 18 is the 52 anniversary of one of the worst mining disasters in the UK. My father worked in the mine and retired just about a month before the disaster.

Memorial to the miners who lost their lives in the Wester Auchegeich Colliery disaster.

      In September 18th. 1959, 47 men lost their lives in a coal mine near the village of Auchengeich. The cause of the disaster was a faulty fan purifying the air in the colliery that caught fire due to an electrical fault. The men, who were on their way to start their shift at approximately 6:50am. were in bogies travelling to the coal face to start their days work. Forty three were found dead in the bogies, one seemed to have fallen off and three were found some way from the carriage dead by the side of the track. They had all died because of the intense smoke that developed in the tunnel. There were in fact just a few hundred yards from safety. The mine was eventually flooded to put out the fire; there was only one survivor from the crews. The Mining accident was one of the worst within the UK in the 20th century, widowing 41 women and leaving 76 children without a father.


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