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Lofthouse Colliery Disaster 21st March 1973

Lofthouse Colliery Disaster

• In the early hours of Wednesday 21st March 1973 water, from a disused mine shaft sunk in 1831, surged into the South 9B district of Lofthouse Colliery.

• The miners knew of the shaft but had not realised its depth, or that it was filled with water.

Lofthouse Colliery Disaster

• Seven men were trapped and lost their lives in the flood. • Initially, rescuers thought the miners may have survived in an air pocket and continued for six days in an attempt to rescue them.

Lofthouse Colliery Disaster

• More

than 200 men were involved in the rescue attempt including men from the Yorkshire Rescue Stations at Rotherham, Doncaster and Wakefield. • A rescue team from Staffordshire, with trained frogmen, attempted to dive through the water to assess the situation.

Lofthouse Colliery Disaster

• The

body of Charles Cotton, Face Worker, was recovered on 26th March, 1973. • It was decided that it was too dangerous to clear away the debris. It was possible that removing it could have led to another inrush of water, so the remaining six bodies were left underground.

Lofthouse Colliery Disaster • The bodies of the following men, all Face Workers, remained underground:

Frederick William Armitage Colin Barnaby Frank Billingham Sydney Brown Edward Finnegan Alan Haigh


• A seven sided stone obelisk listing the names of the seven Miners was erected above the point where they were trapped.

Further Reading

• Calder, J. W., Report on the Inrush at Lofthouse Colliery (HMSO)

1973 • Posket, Frank My Life with Miners and Disasters 2000 • Tuffrey, Peter Yorkshire People and Coal (Amberley) 2012 html


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