Tomorrow marks 69 years since the Knockshinnoch Castle Colliery disaster at New Cumnock. The accident was caused by an inrush of peat and moss from the surface which broke into the No.5 Heading Section of the Main Coal Seam.

135 people were working underground at the time of the accident. A small number managed to escape through a downcast shaft before it became blocked, while 116 sheltered for two days, finding their way inbye to an unaffected area of the mine awaiting rescue. This left 13 men missing who had been situated at the No. 5 Heading Section.

The inrush resulted in a crater the size of 2 acres which continued to sink. This hindered rescue attempts for two days.

AA_DC97_1_11_5 Knockshinnoch Castle Colliery

Photograph of the Knockshinnoch Castle Colliery following the disaster. Reference AA/DC/97/1/11/5

Acc 09_25 Knochshinnoch Castle Colliery report list of deaths

Report into the accident by HM Chief Inspector of Mines. Accession 09/25