Back to top

The Hartley Colliery disaster in north-east England kills more than two hundred British coal miners

Fire and Earthquake Disasters, iconic image
One of the worst ever British mining disasters began with the collapse of the main shaft of the Hartley Colliery on the Northumberland coast in north-east England.  All routes to the surface were blocked and despite a nine day effort to dig out the obstruction, all 199 men and boys trapped below died of slow gas poisoning over several days.  Five more had died immediately in the initial accident for a total of 204 deaths that devastated the three small villages that surrounded the colliery. (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
Chronicle, The Annual Register or a View of the History and Politics of the Year 1862 (London: F. & J. Rivington, 1863), 13-14.