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August 5, 1818
Wallsend Colliery Explosion - Caused by Davy Lamp


An explosion of inflammable air took place in Wallsend Colliery, by which four men lost their lives. This is the only explosion that is known to have been caused at the Davy lamp. It occurred as follows:-

Two men and two boys were working in an explosive mixture. One of the men extinguished his Davy in trimming it, and sent one of the boys to the ‘stationery’ light, in a safe part of the mine, to get it re-lighted. The boy returning with it in haste, fell when near to the man to whom he was carrying it, and falling with the lamp upon the corner of a cast-iron tram-plate, burst a hole in the wire gauze cylinder of the lamp, and the explosion instantly took place. The man survived a few hours, and told Mr. Buddle the circumstances, who took up the Davy on the spot where the boy was killed, and found it in the state described.


Submitted by Alan Vickers
From: Sketches of the Coal Mines in Northumberland and Durham by T. H. Hair

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