History > Coal Mining > Mining History in Staffordshire, Mining has been a crucially important industry in Staffordshire. [72] Another disaster that killed many miners was the Hartley Colliery Disaster, which occurred in January 1862 when the beam of the pumping engine broke suddenly and fell into the single shaft serving the pit. In January 2006, an explosion occurred in a mine in Copiapó, leaving 70 miners trapped underground. Coal mine legislation developed very slowly and only in response to countless numbers of pit disasters, these included fires, explosions, falls of ground, floods ( or inrushes as they were known as ), transport related deaths, and mine shaft disasters. [78], The worst Scottish mining disaster in the 20th century took place at Auchengeich by Moodiesburn in September 1959, with 47 men killed. The tunnel was supposed to have been closed in March due to dangerously high methane concentrations, but was kept active because of the value of the equipment left behind. Where annual mining deaths had numbered more than 1,000 a year during the early part of the 20th century, they decreased to an average of about 500 during the late 1950s, and to 93 during the 1990s. It remains the worst mining disaster in Australian history. [39] Between January 2001 and October 2004, there were 188 accidents that had a death toll of more than 10, about one such accident every 7.4 days. Locally, the North Staffs Miners Wives Action Group was set up in 1985 to give support to the miners sacked in the strike and their families. Thornycroft and seven men lost their lives by an inundation from the Thick Coal workings. This stated: That sufficient boreholes shall be kept in advance, and if necessary, on both sides, to prevent inundations in every working place likely to contain a dangerous accumulation of water.

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