Scottish Mining Website

1866 Deaths listed in Mine Inspectors Report
This table is compiled from appendices to the reports of the Inspector of Mines and Collieries - William Alexander for the Western District of Scotland and Ralph Moore for the Eastern District of Scotland. Additional details from the main body of the report are given where available. Many accidents are not listed in these reports and additional names have been added from newspaper reports and other sources - information not sourced from the mine inspectors reports is indicated by a shaded gray background
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YearMonthDayName of CollieryWhere situatedOwners namePerson(s) killedOccupationAge if givenCategory of AccidentCause of deathExtra Details
1866January3MotherwellWishawJohn Watson junArchd CoatsCollier--ExplosionsExplosion of fire damp in stables. The pit had been shut up for a month to smother out a fire. It was opened up, and air on for 30 hours before accidentNewspaper report
Andrew GoldCollier--
1866January3Neilston MineKilsythWilliam Baird & CoRobert NicolEngineman25Ironstone mines – above ground Got entangled with the Pumping machinery

From Main body of report:
The deceased was engineman, and at the time of the accident he was alone, and attending to the pumping machinery. It is supposed that he had been attempting to drive a wedge between the "key" and the "plumber" block of the pumping shaft, when he was caught by the revolving pinion wheel, and crushed between it and the wheel into which it was geared.

It seems unaccountable that enginemen, after so many warnings, should continue to expose themselves unnecessarily to so much risk, by oiling and working about the parts of the machinery while in motion, when by stopping it for a few minutes the work could be done deliberately and without risk.
1866January4ProvanhallBailliestonProvanhall Coal CoWilliam PrenticeOversman38In shafts Part of the shaft falling in while he was engaged securing it

From Main body of report:
There are three seams of coal worked in this pit, the first at 38 fathoms, the second at 40 fathoms, and the third at 78 fathoms. It appears that the shaft which was mostly "wooded " or " barred " between the two upper seams had shown symptoms of failure for some time previous to the accident. That is there was an apparent pressure upon the wood from behind and forcing it inwards. It had been arranged by the general manager and the deceased that the "barring" at that part of the shaft should be over-hauled and renewed at the new-year holidays. Accordingly preparations were made, and the deceased, in company with three assistants, descended the shaft to make the alterations required. Before beginning operations they had formed a scaffold at the second coal for the purpose of standing upon, and a partial scaffold had been erected a few feet higher up. After making these arrangements I understand that they had commenced to relieve, and had relieved, part of the "midwall" for the purpose of inserting stronger u side barring," and, while they were doing that, part of the old barring thus relieved was forced into the shaft by the pressure from behind, and carried away the lower scaffold, and the deceased who was standing upon it, to the bottom of the shaft. The assistants in some way managed to scramble into the "doorhead" at the mid seam, and were afterwards drawn safely to the surface.

In pit work, such as repairing shafts, it is difficult to lay down any particular regulations as to how it should be done; but the usual and safe way to make such repairs is to commence at the surface and proceed downwards.
Newspaper report - Old Monkland pages
1866January22Broxburn    John Shields    Not listed Death not listed in Inspectors report  Newspaper report - Lothian pages
1866January26Wishaw    Thomas Marshall    Not listed Death not listed in Inspectors report  Newspaper report - Cambusnethan pages
1866January27Hurlford No 12HurlfordAllan Gilmour & CoDavid George, boyCollier14Falls of coal and roofFall of roof at face 
1866January27SwineridgemuirBeithMerry & CunninghamJohn FordCollier28Falls of coal and roofFall of roof in his working place 
1866January30Gartshore    Daniel Laverry    Not listed Death not listed in Inspectors report Newspaper Report - Dunbartonshire accidents
1866January31MorningsideWishawShotts Iron CoThomas MarshalCollier57MiscellaneousChoke damp from an old workingNewspaper report
[NB Date should be 26 January]
1866February1DuncanziemerCumnockDunsmuir & McDougalJohn DunsmuirSinker34In shafts Killed whilst being drawn up the pit (the sinking pit) from a "shot" 
1866February1GlespinDouglasJames SwanJames InglisCollier60MiscellaneousSqueezed by cage. His tub had got off the cage rails, and some one pulled the bell while he was lifting it on, and the engineman raised the cage and squeezed him against doorNewspaper report
1866February10GreenfieldHamiltonHamilton Coal CoWilliam DochertyFurnaceman70In shaftsHe had fallen from the main coal, where he worked, to the splint coal, and his body was found there.Newspaper report - Hamilton pages
1866February14Heathery KnoweBailliestonHeathery Knowe Coal CoJohn Wotherspoon, boyPithead assistant15In shaftsPushed a hutch into the shaft, and fell to the bottom with itNewspaper report - Old Monkland pages
1866February15StevensonHolytownStevenson Coal CoPat McAuleyCollier23Falls of roofFall of roof at faceNewspaper report - Cambusnethan pages
1866February20CuttlehillDunfermlineHenderson & WallaceJohn ParkReelsman22Falls of roofFall of roofNewspaper report - Fife pages
1866February26BankNew CumnockBank Coal CoThomas PatrickOversman44Falls of coal and roof Fall of roof

From Main body of report:
On the morning of the accident, when a few of the workmen engaged at taking out pillars were passing to their work they discovered that the roof during their absence had fallen, and shut up one of the openings leading into a working place. On further examination, they had considered it advisable to remove at once the rails and other implements, in anticipation of a second fall of roof, and the oversman was sent for to advise as to further proceedings. I understand that the oversman was satisfied with what had been done, and directed the persons who worked in the place to abandon it for a time.

The usual crushing or breaking of the overlying strata under such conditions generally gives a certain amount of warning before an extensive fall of roof happens. It is possible that these premonitory symptoms may take place at night, or during the absence of the workmen, at all events there appears to have been very little warning in this case, for before the persons could rush out, who were really sitting at a supposed safe distance, observing the action of the fractured strata, a large mass of roof fell, and four of them were crushed under it. Two were rescued, but the deceased, of whom the oversman was one, if not killed instantaneously, were dead before they could be taken out.
Matthew MorrisonCollier36
1866February26StandAirdrieJames Smithers & CoBridget MechanLabourer22Ironstone mines – in shaftsFell down pit after a tub 
1866February28Addiewell    William Wardrop    Not listed Death not listed in Inspectors report Newspaper report - Lothian pages
1866March16Chapel Colliery   John Paterson   Not listed Death not listed in Inspectors reportNewspaper report - Cambusnethan pages
1866March17BarleithHurlfordJohn Galloway & CoFrancis MartinFurnace boy13In shafts Fell down the shaft from the "McNaught" to the "Major Coal"

From Main body of report:
There are two seams of coal worked at this pit, about 20 fathoms distant from each other. In the upper seam the operations were confined to a single place, worked by two men, and were of an exploring or experimental kind. It was the custom to send notice to these two workmen, when the day's work was finished in the under seam, and it appears that the deceased had on two occasions accompanied the person who had been sent for that purpose. On the evening of the accident he had been lowered to the upper seam, in company with a young man who worked in the pit; they were safely landed, and proceeded to the place where the two men worked, which was near to the pit-bottom. It was explained by the men that he remained only a few minutes in their place, as they were ready to leave, and he passed out towards the pit, with a light, slightly in advance of them. They heard a noise as they approached the shaft, but saw no light, and the impression was that the light which the deceased carried when he left the face had gone out, and in advancing towards the shaft he had unknowingly walked into it, and fallen to the bottom.
1866March30CorselKilwinningEglinton Iron CoWilliam McCraeCollier22In shafts By falling from the cage while ascending the shaft

From Main body of report:
The deceased was a drawer, and on the day of the accident, after taking a full hutch to the pit-bottom, he had arranged with the bottomer to be raised to the surface. It appears that he got properly on to the cage, and was signalled to be raised in the usual way. There was no evidence to show how the accident happened. The engineman felt a check after raising the cage about four fathoms from the pit-bottom, and the idea seems to be that the deceased had got entangled with the shaft, which displaced the cage, and allowed him to fall past it to the pit-bottom.
1866April2ClunieDunfermlineW & A GoodalWilliam ClarkManager--Above groundFell from a scaffold six feet off groundNewspaper report - Fife pages
NB Correct date was 5 May 1866
1866April3Baltic PitHurlfordJohn HowieJoseph ErskineCollier38Falls of coal and roofFall of coal while holing it 
1866April3BogheadBathgateJames Russell & CoR MurraySinker--Ironstone mines – miscellaneousEngine got out of gear and they fell to the bottomNewspaper report - Lothian pages
James BrashSinker--
1866April11Skellyton    John Wardrop    Not listed Death not listed in Inspectors report Newspaper report
1866April23Opencast No 2CoatbridgeWilliam Baird & CoJames ThomsonCollier29Falls of coal and roofFall of roof while forming a roadwayNewspaper report - Old Monkland pages
1866April23Unthank    Edward Shearer    Not listed Death not listed in Inspectors reportNewspaper report - Old Monkland pages
1866April24Palacecraig No 6AirdrieWilliam Baird & CoGeorge HammelCollier50Falls of coal and roofFall of roof in his working placeNewspaper report
1866May3DrumgrayAirdrieDrumgray Coal CoM GarallieWoman26Ironstone mines – in shaftsStumbled in stepping off windlass platform and fell down pit. 
1866May5FergushillKilwinningArchibald FinnieJames FauldsEngineman16Above ground Got entangled with the Pumping machinery

From Main body of report:
The deceased was an engine boy, and his duty was to keep the pumping machinery in motion, to suit the required drainage of the mine. I understand that he had reached the pit on the day of the accident in good time to enter upon his duties before the day engineman left. He started the pumping machinery, and it had been in operation for about ten minutes before the accident took place. It is supposed that he was in the act of oiling it, when he got caught between the wheel upon the pumping shaft and the wall upon which the shaft rested.

A great many of the accidents from machinery are occasioned by the persons injured injudiciously oiling the parts while in motion. I have often called attention to this dangerous and absurd practice, but without much effect. Pit machinery is often arranged so that there is very little space between the gearing and other moveable parts. It should never be oiled when in motion, and until such a regulation is strictly observed by the enginemen, this description of accident will continue to happen.
1866 May 5 Clunie Fife   William Clarke       Death not listed in Inspectors report See entry under 2 April 1866
1866 May 12 No. 1 Balbardie Coal-Pit Lothian   Catherine Leech       Death not listed in Inspectors report Newspaper report - Lothian pages
Ann Baxter
1866May17HaugheadHamiltonMerry & CunninghamWilliam BarrieDrawer15ExplosionsExplosion of fire damp Newspaper report - Hamilton pages NB Deceased was John Lang, age 15
1866May19Annbank No 4AyrT F GordonJohn O'HaraBrusher36Falls of coal and roofFall of roof while redding under itNewspaper report - Ayrshire pages
1866May19SkellytonHamiltonHamilton & McCullochJames WardropDrawer19MiscellaneousCrushed by tubs running over him on incline 
1866May29LassodieDunfermlineLassodie Coal CoJames TerrisCollier20In shaftsFall of stones out of shaft side Newspaper report - Beath pages
James HoustonCollier--
1866May29Prince of WalesStevenstonMerry & CunninghamRobert MarrCollier20Falls of coal and roofFall of roof at face 
1866June2RedburnKilwinningEglinton Iron CoJohn FairlieBrusher26Falls of coal and roofFall of roof while engaged working under it 
1866June3PolkemmetBathgateShotts Iron CoA Marshalpitheadman31Ironstone mines – above groundFell off a wall 
1866June5StroneKilsythWilliam WallaceJohn FernsCollier45Falls of coal and roofFall of roof at face 
1866June 8Redding    Peter Maxwell   Not listed Death not listed in Inspectors reportNewspaper report- Stirlingshire pages
1866June12Kirkwood    Donald Cameron    Not listed Death not listed in Inspectors reportNewspaper report - Old Monkland pages
1866June15SpringsideDreghornArchibald KennethJames ScobbieCollier40Falls of coal and roofFall of roof at face 
1866June16PlanKilmarnockJohn McKnightJames MarshallCollier32Falls of coal and roofFall of coal and roof at face 
1866 June 21 Greenrigg Old Coal Pit, Polkemmet Whitburn  Robert Hair     Not listed Death not listed in Inspectors report.  James Hair died 23 June 1866 Newspaper report - Lothian pages
John Hair
James Hair
1866June22MeiklehillKirkintillochJames GairdnerDavid BarrSinker25In shafts Fall of stone from the side of a sinking shaft

From Main body of report:
This shaft is in the act of being sunk, and at the time of the accident it was 40 fathoms deep. The shaft fittings and general arrangements are of the usual description. The sinking is advanced with three shifts in the 24 hours. It appears that the shift of men which preceded the deceased, on the day of the accident, had their attention directed to a part of the shaft where some loose stuff had fallen from. They had examined it, and before leaving secured it with wood. The deceased and their companions who were engaged in the bottom of the shaft when the accident happened, had worked for about three or four hours, and I understand that they had not been aware of any defect in the shaft at the time. Apparently the part of the shaft where the stone fell from, and by which the two unfortunate sufferers were fatally injured, was about seven fathoms from the pit-bottom, where a small "lype," not readily observed, crossed the " dip" end of the shaft. Under any condition, sinking is a dangerous occupation, and the only security from falls of stones or otherwise is to keep up a regular and careful system of examination.
Carrick HamiltonSinker22
1866June26EllismuirBailliestonBredisholm Coal CoDennis CoogansDrawer18Falls of coal and roofFall of roof in his drawing road 
1866July10KippsbyreAirdrieRobertson & EddieE DonollyDrawer16ExplosionsExplosion. The lad had gone into a place standing ""up-stoop"" with gas in it. 
1866July11Hill of BeathDunfermlineOrd AdamsW ErskeneDrawer13MiscellaneousCrushed by tubs 
1866July16HurlfordHurlfordJohn HowieCunninghame ReidCollier24Falls of coal and roofFall of roofNewspaper report
1866July18AnnandaleKilmarnockArchibald FinnieJames NeilCollier46Falls of coal and roofFall of roofNewspaper report
1866July18ColtnessWishawColtness Iron CoR SneeldonCollier25Falls of roofFall of roof while removing pillars 
1866July18WheatyfauldBathMerry & CunninghamWm Cunninghame, boy  15In shafts Fell down the shaft by pushing the hutch in to the wrong side

From Main body of report:
The deceased was a young lad about 15 years of age, and it was his business to assist the pitheadman. On the day of the accident he had been engaged with others taking off some hutches of "redd" from the " rise" cage at the low scaffold. These hutches required to be taken a short distance from the pit-mouth to be emptied, when they were afterwards pushed back and placed upon the cage in the ordinary way, The low scaffold is from 15 to 20 feet below the upper scaffold, and I understand that the " rise" cage had been raised during the absence of the deceased to the upper scaffold. In returning with the empty hutch, unfortunately, he had neglected to observe the changed situation of the cage, and pushed the "hutch " into the shaft, and fell with it to the pit-bottom a distance of 54 fathoms.
1866July20CapeldraeLochgellyRobert AytounW Farme----4Above groundThis child was going with his father's dinner, and fell in among machinery 
1866July26CardowanShettlestonAndrew Yeates & CoDaniel HaggartyCollier13Falls of coal and roofFall of roof 
1866August2MotherwellWishawJohn Watson junR McDougalLabourer--Above groundKilled by crane running amain and the handle striking him 
1866August4Heathery KnoweBailliestonBlochairn Iron CoJohn MathiesonBottomer55In shafts Fell down the shaft from a mid working

From Main body of report:
In this case it was the duty of the bottomer to see the hutches placed properly upon the cage and to make the appointed signals necessary for regulating the ascent of the same. I understand that at the time of the accident a cage had been lowered to the level of the "mid-working," and the deceased had taken the empty or return hutch off it, but in removing a full hutch to be sent up on the cage, he had inadvertently pushed it into the wrong division of the shaft, where of course there was no cage to receive it, and fell with it to the pit-bottom a distance of 12 fathoms.
1866August6WellwoodDunfermlineThos. Spowart & CoJames ThomsonCollier42Falls of roofFall of roofNewspaper report - Fife pages
1866August14BourtreehillDreghornBourtreehill Coal CoJames Anderson, boy  14In shafts Caught between the cage and side of shaft. Cage lifted without a proper signal

From Main body of report:
The pit is 38 fathoms deep. The deceased was a young lad about 15 years of age. It appears that on the morning of the accident he had been at the pit-bottom along with others, and for the purpose of getting to the pit-head to arrange for some empty hutches, he had made the usual signal three, which, according to the special rules, is the proper signal to make when men are requiring to be raised. The engineman did not make a return signal, but commenced to raise the cage, and the deceased, when he saw that it was about to be raised, attempted to get on to it and was drawn away partly in the cage to a distance of about 10 fathoms, when he fell back to the bottom. The signal one, and afterwards the signal two, were made from the pit-bottom for the purpose of arresting the cage and causing it to be sent back, but without effect. It was wrong on the part of the boy to go on to the cage before he received a proper back-signal, but the engineman failed altogether in his duty : first, in lifting the cage without having given and received the proper signal for men to be raised ; and second, in not stopping the engine without delay, after having got the proper signal to do so. The Procurator Fiscal, Kilmarnock, charged the engineman with culpable homicide; he was tried by Sheriff Anderson and a jury, found guilty, and sentenced to two months' imprisonment.
1866August21HolmesGalstonJohn HorneWilliam NisbetCollier28Falls of coal and roofFall of roof 
1866August22High PossilGlasgowM Wallace & CoCharles AitkenCollier60Falls of coal and roofFall of coal and roof 
1866August25ThorntonKilmarnockArchibald FinnieJohn HumphreyCollier19Falls of coal and roofFall of roof 
1866August29SunnysideWishawArchibald RussellR StarkCollier45Falls of roofFall of roof while removing pillars 
1866 September 3 Townhill Fife    Alexander Beveridge     Not listed Death not listed in Inspectors report Newspaper report - Fife pages
1866September5Cadder No 9BishopbriggsCarron Iron CoJames MooreMiner36Ironstone mines – explosions Explosion of fire damp

From Main body of report:
The deceased and his boy worked in an isolated part of the mine. I understand that the fireman had examined it on the morning of the accident, and found it in a workable state. It appears that the manager had also gone into it shortly after the deceased commenced to his work, and afterwards passed up to a dislocation, which lay along the " rise" side of the place, and along which the return aircourse was formed. In returning his lamp ignited some gas which had collected in a high part of the roof by which he was slightly burned. The deceased, who it appears had left his working place and was near to the manager, was also burned. The quantity of gas in this case must have been very limited, and it is supposed that death resulted from injuries received when struggling to get back out of the airway, which being formed over a dislocation was steep and somewhat difficult to travel through.
1866September8GauchallandGalstonGauchalland Coal CoMichael McGeeCollier22Falls of coal and roofFall of roof 
1866 September 9 Addiewell     John Ralstons     Not listed Death not listed in Inspectors report NB No death certificate was located for this death Newspaper report - Lothian pages
1866September10EspiesideCoatbridgeWilliam Baird & CoWilliam AitkenPony driver15MiscellaneousFell before a train of loaded hutches and was run over by themNewspaper report - Old Monkland pages
1866September10LochsideKilburnieMerry & CunninghamJames CookMiner50Ironstone mines – falls of ironstone and roofFall of ironstone at face 
1866September13Eliza PitLochgellyLochgelly Iron CoM PowerCollier45Falls of roofFall of roof 
1866September15CleughWilsontownWilliam DarlingM MorganMiner--Falls of roofFall of roof 
1866September21Coney ParkDennyJohn BarrWilliam Hannah, boy  12Falls of coal and roofFall of coal at face 
1866September29BlairDalryEglinton Iron CoPatrick DoolanBrusher50Falls of coal and roofFall of roof while engaged working under it 
1866October1BoglesholeTollcrossJames Dunlop & CoJames GeorgeBottomer43In shaftsFell down the shaft from a mid working 
1866October3Neilston MineKilsythWilliam Baird & CoWilliam Jamieson, boy  15Ironstone mines – miscellaneousGot entangled with an empty hutch upon an incline 
1866October4CommonheadBailliestonForester & RobsonJohn EdwardsSinker45In shaftsWas injured in a sinking pit by the kettle falling upon him 
1866October16PatherWishawBoyd & SpencerR RobertsonDriver20MiscellaneousFound dead under his loaded tub 
1866October19ChapelhallAirdrieMonkland Iron CoJames SmithJoiner  In shaftsHe was taking measurements at the pit mouth, and incautiously leaning over, was struck by the descending cage 
1866November24BraidhurstMotherwellGavin AddieDavid MillarFireman--ExplosionsExplosion of fire damp 
1866November26GauchallandGalstonGauchalland Coal CoColin RankineOversman20In shaftsCaught between the cage and the shaft while being lowered 
1866November27WoodsideHamiltonJames Smith & SonJohn CurrieMiner46In shaftsA piece of wood was being sent to him on a hand line 
1866November28FauldhouseWhitburnWm DixonR WhitefieldDrawer15Ironstone mines – falls of roofFall of roof in road 
1866November29Hall Pit ShottsWishawShotts Iron CoJames GlencorseCollier45Falls of roofFall of roof at face 
1866November30Wishaw No 7 PitWishawWishaw Iron CoHugh BoydCollier30Falls of roofFall of roof 
John HitchinCollier23
1866December1CuttlehillDunfermlineHenderson & WallaceWm BrandDrawer16In shaftsA pick fell on his head while he was ascendingNewspaper report - Fife pages
1866December7StonecraigsColtnessColtness Iron CoJ McCormickCollier38Falls of roofFall of coal 
1866December8WoodhillKilmarnockMerry & CunninghamThomas Lind, boy  13Falls of coal and roofFall of roof at the face 
1866December13SummerleeCoatbridgeWilsons & CoHugh Carlin, boy  13Explosions Explosion of fire damp. Died a few days after

From Main body of report:
The workings of this pit are limited, and mostly of a preparatory kind. A stone mine has been in the course of extension for a considerable time, with the view of forming a communication with a second shaft, and about 100 fathoms from the pit the coal was intersected. A level was commenced in the coal for the purpose of completing the connection, and occasionally rents or openings in the strata, apparently in connection with one of the main dislocations of the district have been opened, from which gas is freely discharged. Shortly before the accident the work was partly interrupted by a small dislocation. The contractor for the mine was the only person engaged at the "face " on the day of the accident, clearing away coals which had accumulated, and he worked with a safety-lamp. According to his information, a short time before the accident happened, the gas became so strong at the face that he left it, and went out to what he supposed a safe distance and there uncovered his safety-lamp. As to how the gas ignited is doubtful; the contractor was of opinion that one of the boys who drew the coals from the end of the stone mine to the pit-bottom ignited it when returning with an empty hutch. Six of them were burned, it was considered slightly, but the deceased, a young lad, died a few days after from the effects of it. An opening, checked by canvas, had been formed off the side of the mine by the oversman a day or two previous to the accident. It must have had the effect of diminishing the ventilation at the face, and, under the circumstances, was an injudicious arrangement. There is always a risk in working places with mixed lights, and the present case is a fair illustration. The opening has since been extended to the required limit by the use of locked safety-lamps.
1866December15ClelandHolytownRobert StewartW Adamsredsman34In shaftsHe was repairing slides, when by some mistake in signals the engineman raised cage, and he fell off 
1866December26AlloaAlloaAlloa Coal CoAllan DawsonDrawer15MiscellaneousHe was in a tub, striking his horse 
1866December26RiskendKilsythWilliam Baird & CoAlexander ConnelCollier50Falls of coal and roofFall of coal and roof 
1866December29GauchallandGalstonGauchalland Coal CoJames WhiteCollier22Falls of coal and roofFall of coal at face 
1866December29PalacecraigAirdrieWilliam Baird & CoWilliam MulliganCollier25Falls of coal and roofFall of roof 
1866December29RosehallCoatbridgeRobert AddieJohn McKayCollier17Explosions Explosion of fire damp. Died 12 days after the explosion

From Main body of report:
The deceased was employed along with two workmen (Newton and Hunter) driving a mine over a dislocation, and the air was conducted into it for a considerable distance by brattice. It appears that they had been desirous of getting to their work early on the morning of the accident, and had requested the fireman to make an early examination of their place, so as to allow them to get into it. The fireman asserts that he did make the examination and found the place in working order. From some cause they did not get to their work so early as they had anticipated; but two workmen who were employed near to this mine, when they entered to their work, observed that a fall of roof had partly destroyed the aircourse or "brattice" by which the air was conducted into Newton's mine, and they properly called the attention of Newton and Hunter to it when they were passing to their work. It appears that in working this mine a slight quantity of gas was given off, particularly at the "veise" of the dislocation, a few feet from the face, and the roof being high there, eight to ten feet, it had a tendency to collect in it. Newton and Hunter were practical men, and acquainted with the usual condition of the mine, and I understand that when they became aware of the broken brattice on the morning of the accident, they prepared to pass in to a point where they kept a safety lamp (about seven fathoms beyond the broken brattice), and one of them had reached the lamp, with a naked light, by keeping it low, and was in the act of preparing it for use when his neighbour, who followed him, carrying his light either on his head or at a higher level, ignited the gas which lay along the roof to the rise, when they were all burned less or more, and the deceased, a young lad, died from the effects of it about two weeks after.

The workmen in this case exposed themselves unnecessarily, though it is apparent that if the second had taken the same amount of precaution as the first the accident would have been prevented. However, under the circumstances the proper and safe way would have been to call the attention of the oversman or fireman to the broken brattice, and remained out of the place till it was examined and reported safe to work in.
Newspaper report - Old Monkland pages
1866December29West HurletHurletJohn Wilson & SonsAndrew Stewartassistant pitheadman33In shaftsFell down the shaft by running a hutch in to the wrong side

From Main body of report:
The deceased was an assistant pitheadman, and it was his duty to take the loaded hutches off the cage at the pithead and to return the empty ones. It appears that at the time of the accident he had been engaged taking an empty or return hutch to the pit for the purpose of placing it upon the cage, when apparently from some momentary absence of mind, he pushed the hutch into the wrong division of the shaft and fell to the bottom with it.
Renfrewshire accidents

Last Updated 24th March 2013