Muirkirk Accidents

This section contains newspaper reports on selected accidents. Please check the indexes in the Accidents Section for details of Inspector of Mines reports and other accidents covered on the site.

17 December 1835

Severe Accident At Muirkirk - On Thursday morning the 17th current, in one of the pits at the iron-works two colliers, James M'Farlane and James Gibson were killed by a fall of the roof-coal which they were in the act of taking down. When got by the other workmen in the pit all signs of life were extinct. From the quantity of coal that fell, their deaths must have been the work of an instant. [Scotsman 26 December 1835]

3 September 1847

Fearful Accident – A melancholy and fatal accident occurred last Friday afternoon, at a coal pit on the farm of West Wellwood, parish of Muirkirk. After the workmen had got up, a lad named James Shankland having left a napkin in the pit, wished to descend for it. Another lad named Angus, one of the workmen, who was standing at the pit mouth, volunteered to lower him, and was recklessly permitted to do so by the engineman, whose name is Oswald. On Shankland getting into the basket, Angus, by some mismanagement, reversed the engine, when the former was accordingly carried ever the pully, and falling headlong into the pit, 52 fathoms deep, was literally smashed to atoms. Both Oswald and Angus were apprehended by Thomas Eadie, criminal officer, on Monday, at Muirkirk, and committed to Ayr prison. [Caledonian Mercury 9 September 1847]

31 May 1855

Muirkirk Fatal Accident - Another of those alarming accidents which are so frequent in this district occurred on 31st ult. at No 12 Pit, Wellwoodmuir, by which a young man about 20 years of age, named Alexander Gibson, an his brother Thomas, a lad of 14, were deprived of life. It appears that they were engaged when what they term the head coal fell from the roof, by which they were fatally crushed – the weight being four to five tons. Their poor mother is now left to bewail the loss of four sons, who have all met with a similar fate. [Ayr Advertiser quoted in Glasgow Herald June 11 1855]

16 June 1884

Muirkirk – Fatal Accident - Thomas Haugh, engineman, was killed on Sunday morning at Galawhistle pit, Glenbuck, his head having been crushed by the connecting rod of the water engine wheels. He was engaged cleaning at the time. He was 20 years of age and unmarried. [Scotsman 17 June 1884]

29 May 1886

Fatal Accident - On Saturday, William Murdoch, coal miner, 34 years of age, was fatally injured while working in Lightshaw Pit, belonging to the Eglinton Iron Co. It appeared that he had prepared a shot and lighted the fuse and retired, but the shot not going off he ventured back, and had just approached the spot when the charge exploded, injuring him so severely that he died in a very short time.[Hamilton Advertiser June 5 1886]

12 August 1886

Serious Accident - On Thursday forenoon, while working in Wellwood Pit, Hugh Campbell, aged about 36 years, was seriously hurt by a large stone falling from the roof upon him. Dr Stevenson was in immediate attendance and did all he could for the sufferer, who is at present in a precarious state. He has a wife and family depending on him. [Hamilton Advertiser August 14 1886]

17 June 1887

Muirkirk – One Man Killed and Three Injured – On Friday, in one of the Cairntable Coal Company's pits at Glenbuck, named the Davy pit, John Dunbar was killed by a fall from the roof, and other three were injured. The names of the injured are Alexander Dunbar and David Dunbar, sons of the deceased, and David Keith. Latest reports are that one of the Dunbars is very badly injured and fears are entertained for his recovery. [Hamilton Advertiser June 25 1887]

15 September 1892

Fatal Pit Accident - Yesterday morning, Matthew Holden, aged 14, a pony driver in Kames Pit Muirkirk, was accidentally killed. Holden had left his own work to give the bottomers a hand, and by some means he was caught by the cage and taken up the shaft. While on its way up the shaft, the cage chain broke, and the cage fell back to the bottom, killing Holden in its fall [Scotsman 16 Sept 1892]

24 April 1893

Fatal Pit Accident At Muirkirk - While the men were being taken up the shaft of the Davy Pit last night, Andrew Woods , twenty-two years of age, residing at Carronhill, fell from the cage, and was killed. [Scotsman 25 April 1893]

17 October 1894

Fatal Mining Accident - Yesterday at Galawhistle Pit, Glenbuck, Muirkirk, a fatal accident happened to Thomas Davidson, miner, residing at Glenbuck. He was working at the face when a large fall of stone and coal from the roof fell and killed him instantaneously. [Scotsman 18 Oct 1894]

6 July 1895

Fatal Pit Accident - On Saturday a miner named James Torbet was so severely crushed by a fall of coal at Kames Pit, Muirkirk, that he died soon afterwards. [Scotsman 9 Jul 1895]

15 April 1899

Fatal pit accident - On Saturday morning while William Reid was working at the face in Galawhistle Pit, Muirkirk, a large piece of coal came away and fell on him, killing him instantaneously. [Scotsman 17 Apr 1899]

Ayr - Fatal Accident Inquiries - Two mining fatalities were the subject of inquiry before Sheriff Orr Paterson and a jury in the Sheriff Court, Ayr, yesterday. ...... In the other case, which concerned the death of William Reid, miner, Glenbuck, a formal verdict was returned to the effect that the injuries which caused his death were the result of a fall of coal from the face of the stoop at which he was working in the 6ft seam of the Gallowhistle Coal Pit belonging to the Cairntable Gas Coal Company. [Glasgow Herald 1 June 1899]

9 January 1901

At Ponisk Pit, Muirkirk, belonging to Messrs Wm Baird & Company, yesterday afternoon, a serious accident happened to George Samson, miner, Victoria Buildings, Muirkirk. While on his round a s a pony driver, a fall of coal took place and caught him in passing, injuring him in a most serious manner about the face, body and legs. His condition is precarious. [Scotsman 10 Jan 1901]

[NB George Samson died on November 20 1909 aged 28]

25 January 1901

Fatal Mining Accident - At Davy Pit, Glenbuck, Muirkirk ,belonging to the Cairntable Coal Company, yesterday afternoon a fatal accident befell William Wilson, (21) miner, residing with his parents at Wanlass Place Muirkirk. Wilson was drawing the road, when a large fall from the roof took place killing him instantly. The body was removed home. Much sympathy is felt for the bereaved family. [Herald 26 January 1901]

Deceased's brother was killed in the mining accident some eighteen months ago. [Scotsman 26 Jan 1901]

NB Williams brother was Charles Wilson, 21, miner killed by a roof fall in Douglas, Lanarkshire on July 13 1899.

11 Jan 1907

Yesterday afternoon at Bankhead pit belonging to Messrs Barr & Co, a fatal accident occurred by which Robert Hazel (17) Muirkirk and Robert Brown (16) drawer, Muirkirk, lost their lives while Thomas Watson, roadsman, was seriously injured. Hazel and Brown were on their way home after the completion of the days work, while Watson was just entering duty, being on the afternoon shift. They were caught by a runaway rake on the dook road, and owing to want of room they were unable to clear themselves. Hazel & Brown were killed while Watson received serious injuries, his arm being broken and ne of his eyes almost knocked out. The bodies of the lads Hazel & Brown were conveyed home. [Scotsman 12 Jan 1907]

9 February 1907

Compensation for the death of a husband - Sheriff Sharp has issued an interlocutor in an action at Ayr Sheriff Court in which Mary Marshall or Rennie, widow of Thomas Rennie, miner, Garronhill, Muirkirk, sued William Baird & Co. coalmasters, Lugar Ironworks, for £256, 2s. as compensation for the death of her husband.  It appeared from the proof that on 9th February last Thomas Rennie, while at his work in No, 2 Kames Pit, Muirkirk received a slight wound on the back of his left hand, which had subsequently led to blood-poisoning, pneumonia, and death. The Sheriff finds it proved that Rennie met his death from this injury while in the employment of the defenders, and awards £256, 2s., the amount claimed, one-third to the pursuer and two-thirds to her three pupil children; and finds her entitled to expenses. [Scotsman 21 Nov 1907]

14 April 1913

Serious Mining Accident - Yesterday afternoon at Kames Pit, Muirkirk belonging to Messrs William Baird & Co Ltd, an accident which terminated fatally, befell David McSkimming (20) residing at Douglas Park, Muirkirk. McSkimming was at work at the pithead when he was caught and crushed between two waggons, receiving severe internal injuries. McSkimming was taken home in the ambulance van. He died in the evening from his injuries. [Scotsman 15 Apr 1913]

9 July 1914

Yesterday afternoon, at Grasshill Pit, Glenbuck, belonging to Messrs William Baird & Co (Limited), a serious accident befell James Dempster, a miner, residing at Madeleine Place, Muirkirk. While at his work a large fall of coal took place. He was caught in the fall, and was seriously injured on the spine, as well as internal injuries.[Scotsman 10 July 1914]

5 November 1915

Fatal Accident at Muirkirk - Yesterday afternoon at Carmcoup Colliery, belonging to Kennon Coal Co [NB In Douglas District], a fatal accident occurred to James Cringan, pithead boy, residing at Jack's Buildings, Muirkirk. While at his work, Cringan was accidentally caught in the machinery, and was badly mutilated, death being instantaneous. [Scotsman 6 Nov 1915]

Fatal Accident in a Douglas Colliery - The death of a lad named James Roxburgh Dickson Cringan, employed, as a coal cleaner at Kennox colliery, Douglas, was reported to the Lanark police yesterday. The boy, who was working at the coal-cleaning tables, came in contact with a pinion wheel, with the result that he was dragged into the spokes. He was dead when taken out. [Scotsman 9 November 1915]

26 March 1919

Robert Parker, miner, residing at Kames Cottage, Muirkirk, was killed by a fall of coal in Kames Pit, belonging to Messrs William Baird & Co. [Scotsman 27 March 1919]

12 August 1920

At Muirkirk yesterday a fatal accident befell Thomas Thomson miner, residing at Glasgow Road, Muirkirk. While working in Kames Pit, belonging to Wm Baird & Co Ltd, Muirkirk, a fall of coal took place, severely crushing him about the body. Thomson succumbed to his injuries while being conveyed to Kilmarnock Infirmary. [Scotsman 13 Aug 1920]

3 July 1922

Muirkirk – Fatal Mining Accident - On Monday morning at Kameshill Pit, Muirkirk, belonging to William Baird & Company Limited, a fatal accident befell David Loggie, miner, residing in Co-operative Buildings, Kirkgreen, Muirkirk. When at work, a heavy fall of coal took place and when he was extricated life was found to be extinct. [Hamilton Advertiser 8 July 1922]

20 July 1922

Glenbuck – Fatal Accident – At Grasshill Pit, Glenbuck, belonging to Messrs Wm Baird & Co Ltd, a fatal accident befell Archibald Allison, 18, residing with his parents at Grasshill Row, Glenbuck. While at work Allison was caught by a runaway hutch and severely injured. He was removed to Kilmarnock Infirmary where he succumbed. [Hamilton Advertiser 22 July 1922]

21 May 1923

Mining Accident at Muirkirk - A mining accident occurred yesterday at Grasshill Pit, Glenbuck, belonging- to William Baird & Co, (Limited), Muirkirk. Joseph Cameron, drawer, residing at Grasshill Row, Glenbuck, while at his work, was caught by a runaway hutch, causing severe injuries to his head over the right eye. Cameron was removed to Kilmarnock Infirmary. [Scotsman 22 May 1923]

3 March 1924

Roadsman Killed in Muirkirk Pit - At Kames Colliery, Muirkirk, belonging to W Baird & Co Ltd, a fatal accident yesterday befell George Loggie, roadsman, residing at Garronhill, Muirkirk. Loggie was at his work when a fall took place. Death was almost instantaneous. Loggie leaves a widow and five of a family. [Scotsman 4 March 1924]

12 January 1925

Muirkirk Miner Severely Injured - At Kames Pit Muirkirk, belonging to Wm Baird & Co Ltd, yesterday afternoon, a serious accident befel George Thomson, miner, residing a Garrawhill, Muirkirk. While at work he was caught by an extensive fall from the roof, receiving severe injuries to the head and back, and his left leg is broken. Thomson was removed to Kilmarnock Infirmary. [Scotsman 13 Jan 1925]

Muirkirk Miners Fatal Injuries - George Thomson, miner, residing at Garronhill, Muirkirk, who met with a severe accident at Kames Pit, Muirkirk, on Monday, has succumbed to his injuries in Kilmarnock Infirmary. Thomson who was 24 was married recently. [Scotsman 14 Jan 1925]

Muirkirk - Miner Fatally Injured - At Kames Pit, Muirkirk, belonging to Wm. Baird and Co (Limited), on Monday afternoon, a serious accident befel George Thomson, miner, residing at Garrawhill, Muirkirk. While at work he was caught by an extensive fall from the roof, receiving severe injuries to the head and back, and his left leg was broken. Thomson was removed to Kilmarnock Infirmary, where he died the same evening. He was 24 years of age and only recently married. [Hamilton Advertiser 17 January 1925

17 April 1925

Muirkirk Mining Accident - At Kames Pit, Muirkirk, belonging to Messrs Wm Baird & Co a serious accident yesterday befell Andrew Murdoch, roadsman, residing at Holmhead, Muirkirk. An extensive fall took place and Murdoch was caught by debris, sustaining a fracture of the leg and other severe injuries. He was removed to Kilmarnock Infirmary. Murdoch was the victim of a pit accident a few months ago. [Scotsman 18 Apr 1925]

April 1927

Ayrshire Pit Accident - William Samson, residing at Midhouse Row, Muirkirk, while working at Kames Pit, Muirkirk, belonging to William Baird & Co, met with a serious accident. As the result of the explosion of a shot, he was very seriously injured about the face. After being attended to by the works doctor, he was removed to the Glasgow Eye Infirmary for further treatment. [Scotsman 21 Apr 1927]

August 1927

Muirkirk Miner injured - Richard Bain, a miner, residing at Empire Buildings, Muirkirk, was severely crushed and bruised about the lower part of the body by a fall of coal, whilst he was working on Thursday at Grasshill Pit, Glenbuck, belonging to Wm Baird & Co Ltd. After medical attention Bain was removed by ambulance to the home of his mother, his wife and family being on holiday. [Scotsman 6 Aug 1927]

25 April 1928

Muirkirk Miners' Remarkable Escape - Whilst at work yesterday in Kames Pit, belonging to Wm Baird &; Co., Muirkirk, two men, Robert Bradford (38), married, residing at Donaldo Place, Muirkirk, and Patrick Mackin (16), residing at Kames Row, Muirkirk, were buried under a heavy fall of coal. The relief parties took two hours to dig them out, but after examination it was found that apart from severe bruises both men escaped from other injuries. One of the men, Bradford, fainted on being released. They were both medically attended at the pit and removed home in the ambulance [Scotsman 26 Apr 1928]

August 1928

Muirkirk Pithead Accident - Whilst at work at the erection of the new washing plant at Cronberry Moor Pit, belonging to William Baird & Co Ltd, James Ross, residing at Hunters Buildings. Muirkirk, accidentally fell from a scaffold a distance of about 25 feet. He was unconscious when picked up and after medical attention was removed home in the ambulance waggon suffering from severe injuries about the lower part of the body. [Scotsman 16 Aug 1928]

11 December 1928

Muirkirk - A serious accident occurred in Grasshill Pit on Tuesday forenoon, when Archibald M'Donald, Fergus Place, was crushed by a fall of coal. After being attended to by the local doctors he was conveyed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where he now lies in a critical condition. [Hamilton Advertiser 15 December 1928]

31 December 1928

Fatal Result of Pithead Accident – As a result of the accident on Saturday at the Kames Pithead, Muirkirk, belonging to Wm Baird & Co, Ltd, William Marshall, 15, who had his arm very severely crushed at the tables, has succumbed to his injuries in the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. [Scotsman 3 January 1929]

Muirkirk - Fatal Accident - On Saturday afternoon last, Wm Marshall, 15, son of Mr Frank Marshall, residing at Bridge Street, was seriously injured about the arm, shoulder and head, through being caught in the machinery of the pithead plant at Kames Colliery, where he was employed. He was immediately conveyed to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, where he died on Monday afternoon. [Hamilton Advertiser 5 January 1929]

4 June 1929

Muirkirk - Accident - On Tuesday forenoon, John Davidson, residing at Iron Works Cottages, had his ankle crushed while following his employment in Kames Colliery. He was conveyed home in the ambulance waggon and attended to by Dr T P Hutchison. [Hamilton Advertiser 8 June 1929]

29 August 1929

Two young miners were killed in Kames Colliery, Muirkirk, Lanarkshire, yesterday afternoon as the result of a heavy fall from a roof. Their names are Michael Parker, 45 Springhill Terrace, Muirkirk, and James Casagranda, Main Street, Muirkirk. It appears that the men were working together when a large mass descended upon them. Rescue parties worked strenuously, but owing to the heavy nature of the fall several hours elapsed before they could extricate the men, who were dead when brought to the surface. The colliery belongs to Messrs William Baird & Co [Scotsman 30 Aug 1929]

Pit Workers Killed – Man and Boy Crushed By Heavy Roof Fall - A man and boy were killed at Kames Colliery Muirkirk, Ayrshire, last night - Michael Parker 35, of Spring Hill-terrace, Muirkirk, and James Casagranda, 16, of Main-street, Muirkirk. A heavy fall of many tons from the roof the pit entombed the miners, who encouraged rescuers by constant conversation, but all the latter's desperate efforts were thwarted by a second fall. Parker leaves widow and two children. Casagranda had only recently started work. The colliery is owned William Baird and Company. “Take time, boys and keep steady." This was the warning shouted Parker to the rescue party who worked at high pressure to clear the fall. When they were almost through to the trapped miners another fall took place, which, when cleared away, revealed the fact that the two unfortunate men, who were within a few yards of being saved, were dead. [Nottingham Evening Post 30 August 1929]

4 February 1930

Buried by a fall - Man Killed in Muirkirk Pit.  - While at work on Tuesday night in Kames Pit, Muirkirk belonging to Wm Baird & Co Ltd, two road repairers were buried in a heavy fall from the roof, and it took 3 hours before they were liberated. One of the men, John McCulloch (62) residing at 27 Kames Row, Muirkirk, was dead when extricated. The other man, William Kay Gorvan (55), Garden View, Main St, Muirkirk, had a miraculous escape, but was very severely bruised about the head, body, legs and ankles. He was removed home in the works ambulance after medical attention. [Scotsman 6 February 1930]

22 March 1930

Muirkirk - Mining Accident - On Saturday, Robert Turner, residing at Smallburn, and a young lad, J Kirkwood, residing at Kames Row, were caught by a fall from the roof in Kames Colliery. Kirkwood escaped with slight injuries, Turner sustained a serious fracture of the leg, and was immediately removed to Kilmarnock Infirmary. [Hamilton Advertiser 29 March 1930]

6 August 1930

While at work in Kames Pit No 2 belonging to William Baird & Co Ltd, Muirkirk, John Dodds (36), a miner, residing at Kames Row, Muirkirk, was caught by a fall and buried in the debris. When he was extricated some time later, life was found to be extinct. He leaves a widow and family of 6 young children. [Scotsman 7 August 1930]

2 February 1931

While working on the back shift, a young man, Owen McGarry (20), residing with his parents at Main St Muirkirk, was fatally injured by a fall in Kames Pit, belonging to William Baird & Co Ltd, Muirkirk. [Scotsman 4 February 1931]

29 November 1933

Muirkirk Miner Killed – James M'Call, a miner, aged 52, of Muirkirk, was killed in Kames Colliery, Muirkirk, as the result of a fall of coal. He was working at the face securing the coal, when a large piece came away, striking him on the head and killing him instantly. He leaves a widow and two daughters. [Scotsman 1 December 1933]

18 April 1935

Kames Colliery Muirkirk, was idle on Saturday as a mark of respect to Alexander Prentice, who was killed by a fall of stone in the colliery two days previously and whose funeral took place to Muirkirk Cemetery. There was a large concourse of mourners. [Scotsman 22 Apr 1935]

12 February 1936

John Logie, 31, a married man residing at Morton Place, Furnace Road, Muirkirk died as a result of an accident yesterday at Kames Colliery, owned by Bairds and Dalmellington Ltd. He was employed as a pit bottomer and was at work at the foot of the shaft when he fell into the cage seat, and sustained a fracture of the skull. Medical aid was procured but he died about half an hour afterwards. All the workers at the colliery stopped work after the accident. Logie leaves widow and three young children. [Scotsman 13 Feb 1936]

22 November 1937

Alexander Summers (66), a miner, residing at Hedgegrove, Muirkirk, was crushed by a fall of stone from the roof in Kames Colliery, Muirkirk. He was conveyed to the ambulance room at the pithead, and died about an hour later. [Scotsman 24 Nov 1937]

Muirkirk – Mining Fatality – On Monday night near the close of the afternoon shift, Alexander Summers (56 years of age) was buried by a fall from the roof in Kames Colliery. He was alive when extricated by his fellow workers, but only lived a short time after being brought to the pithead. Deceased was unmarried and had been in this district for 34 years. [Hamilton Advertiser 27 November 1937]

7 July 1938

Kames Colliery Muirkirk was idle yesterday as a mark of respect for Benjamin Hendry, 37, Main St Muirkirk who was fatally injured on Thursday. Hendry, who was employed as a shot borer, was caught by a fall of coal from the roof, and died while being conveyed on a stretcher to the pit bottom. Hendry leaves a widow and a young family of three [Scotsman 9 Jul 1938]

4 February 1940

Pit Fatality - Following an accident in Muirkirk Colliery on Sunday, William Lang (32), who resided at 72 Goodwin Drive, Annbank, died later in Ayr County Hospital. He leaves a wife and young family. [Scotsman 6 February 1940]

6 February 1941

Fatal Accident - On Monday afternoon of last week, while at work at Kames Colliery, Robert Williamson Dempster, coal-packer, was accidentally struck and buried by a fall of coal from the roof. He was conveyed to his home at 30 New Terrace, Muirkirk, suffering from severe bruises to the body, and the following day was removed to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, where he died on Thursday as a result of his injuries. The deceased was 58 years of age and leaves a wife and a family of four, for whom widespread sympathy has been expressed in their tragic bereavement. [Muirkirk Advertiser 13 February 1941]