The Dreadful Mining Calamity at Abercarn, 1878

Title

The Dreadful Mining Calamity at Abercarn, 1878

Description

This article, published two days after the explosion in the Prince of Wales Colliery at Abercarn on 11 September 1878, is typical for British disaster coverage in the nineteenth century. The explosion killed 268 miners and created underground fires that could only be put out by flooding the mine.

The article focuses on the destruction of young families and the need for charity to help widows and orphans who had lost their “bread-winner.” The long list of the assumed dead and their marital status also emphasizes the personal or family side of this disaster. By contrast, this report does not mention any safety concerns or the need for improving working conditions for miners. Indeed, the article quotes the coroner's observation that “Such things will happen in places like this.”

Although the article notes that the inquest had been opened, it also reports that investgation was immediately adjourned “to give time to see whether the pit could be cleared.” At this stage, the newspapers were optimistic that the bodies could be recovered in two months. In fact, the bodies were never recovered.

Creator

The Western Mail  (Cardiff, Wales)

Source

The Western Mail  (Cardiff, Wales)

Date

13 September 1878

Contributor

Christopher Day

Format

Newspaper

Type

Text

Coverage

1800-1899

Files

WesternMail9-13-1878.pdf

Citation

The Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), “The Dreadful Mining Calamity at Abercarn, 1878,” Disaster History Archive, accessed October 23, 2021, http://disasterhistoryarchive.cynthiakierner.org/items/show/23.

Output Formats

Geolocation