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London Illustrated News, February 6th, 1858


A Frightful Colliery Explosion occurred on Tuesday evening at the coalpit known as “The Diamond Pit” at Bardsley, a locality in the Knotts Lancs division of the parish of Ashton-under-Lyne, and about two miles north of that town.

About two hundred men and boys are employed in the pit. The explosion occurred just as they were leaving the pit, and about one half the number had been drawn up. The force of the explosion was so great that, although the shaft is four hundred and seventy yards deep, the rope attached to one of the cradles was blown off the pulley at the “head-stocks,” and the rope was at once taken off the drum. The conductors were also broken, and the utmost care became necessary in winding up and down with the remaining rope. As soon as it was possible to descend there was no lack of volunteers to go down and aid in bringing up the survivors. The confusion and the darkness prevented any regular muster or roll-call of the men and boys brought up before and after the explosion. It is feared that forty lives have been sacrificed. A great number of persons also have been severely burnt and otherwise injured.


Submitted by Alan Vickers

The explosion occurred on Tuesday 2nd February, and 53 men and boys were killed.

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