Quite incredibly for 1877, the story and coverage of the Blantyre Pit Explosion is very, very well documented. The following is a direct transcript from local newspapers, the day after the accident.From 23rd October 1877:
Appalling Colliery Accident at High Blantyre – More Than 200 Lives Lost – One of the most appalling colliery accidents that have ever happened in Great Britain, and certainly the most serious that has occurred in the history of mining in Scotland, took place yesterday morning at the High Blantyre Works of Messrs W. Dixon & Co., coal and iron masters. From the nature of the case, accurate details as to the number of persons killed cannot be ascertained, but it feared that no fewer than 200 miners have had their lives cut short either from the effects of the explosion or by the deadly after-damp.
High Blantyre, the scene of the terrible affair is a mining village situated about seven miles from Glasgow, and in one of the most peacefully picturesque spots of the Vale of Clyde. It is true that the lovely landscape is now marred to some extent by scores of tall colliery chimneys perennially belching forth clouds of black smoke, and that the beautifully rolling surface is scarred by heaps of cinders or waste coal. Still, the scene is eminently pleasing, variegated, as it is, by dark green dumps of pines, or the now glowing autumnal shades of beech, oak, and elm plantations . The colliery of High Blantyre is within a few hundred yards of the village of that name, and is on the property of Stonefield. The mineral field in this neighbourhood has been worked to a considerable extent for some time, but the colliery which has now attained so mournful a notoriety is entirely a new work. There are in the immediate neighbourhood four pits, working different seams of coal but No. 1 and No. 4 are connected underground ; No. 2 and No. 3 forming a second twin working. The accident happened in No. 2 and No. 3 pits. In these mines attention is solely directed to the digging out of what is known as the lower seam of splint coal; and the vein of mineral runs underground mainly east and west, with a dip downwards from the east to the west. No.2 working lies nearest the village of High Blantyre, and is reached by a shaft which pierces the shelving side of a low gentle hill to the north-west of the village. It is connected with the Strathaven and Hamilton branch, of the Caledonian Railway by extensive sidings around the pithead. There are, in addition to the usual appliances and gearing for bringing the coal to the surface and for ventilating the mine , a number of brick-built offices , and a little way to the north-east of these are parallel rows of miners’ cottages. Standing at No. 2 pit-head, the tall winding gearing attached to No. 3 can be seen through a screen of fir trees, which all but hides No. 1 pit from the other although they are not more than half a mile apart , and are connected with railway lines. Over the shaft of No. 3 pit is a substantial wooden enclosure, which combines protection for the oversman, the justiceman, and the other operatives at the mouth of the shaft, with a covering from the weather for the railway waggons in process of being freighted with coal. No. 2 pit is what is known as the “up-cast,” while No. 3 is the ” down-cast”—that is to say, the greater part of the ventilation of the very extensive mine from the two conjoined pits comes from the air shaft of the latter pit. Owing to the dip of the vein of coal previously referred to No. 3 pit has a depth of 152 fathoms, while No. 2 is only 130 fathoms deep. The mine is worked upon what is known as the ” stoop and room” system, a method which may in popular language be described as the excavation of cool from a series of chambers,, each “face ” extending in width from nine to twelve feet, while the chambers are formed by a succession of square pillars of coal left in the seam at intervals of 90 feet to support the roof. There are in No. 3 pit —and the same plan is also carried out in the other working — two main levels running north and south , with two main “dooks” on each side , running downwards with the dip of the seam. The two “dooks” on the north level have been worked for some time, but those on the south are quite new. On either side of the “dooks’ and leveIs there are rise working, and these, again, have branches north and south. When the colliers are at work, they dig the coal from the face, and throw it behind them. The mineral is conveyed in hutches to the pit bottom, and thence to the surface; but when the end of the seam has been reached, the miners, in retiring, commence to take down the supporting square pillars of coal allowing the roof gradually to collapse upon the working. This operation is invariably attended with some danger and also frequently gives rise to a rush of foul air or gas; indeed it is often the case that by the falling in of the roof consequent upon the removal of stoops or pillars, some hitherto undetected reservoir of gas is opened, and the gas rushes down on the miners, and gives rise to such explosions as occurred with so disastrous results yesterday morning. High Blantyre Colliery has hitherto enjoyed an immunity quite exceptional for so large a working from the inroads of gas. The ventilation of the pit has always been regarded as perfect; indeed, as one man described it yesterday, so thorough was the attention given to this important matter that it was necessary to have covered lamps in the air courses to prevent their being blown out by the constant currents of fresh air which were driven into the workings. There is always some connection between the weather and colliery accidents – indeed so much is this recognised to be the case now that in connection with every well regulated mine the readings of the barometer are attended to with as much care as by the most watchful mariner, the correlation between the atmospheric pressure and the collection of explosive gas following a well-known natural law. It is to be noted that during the last week there was a rapid fall in the barometer. Additional care was therefore expected to be exercised by those responsible for the condition and ventilation of all mines, and at the High Blantyre Colliery as usual special attention had been paid to the mercurial readings. Apart altogether from the state of the barometer , regard is had to the changes of the collection of gas likely to take place between the suspension of work on the Saturday and the resumption on the Monday morning, inasmuch as there is a likelihood, from the interruption in the pumping of the water, and from other obvious causes, of the ventilation being scarcely so perfect at the beginning of the new week as at the end of the former week. The weather during Saturday and Sunday was extremely boisterous and wet, and the sudden fall in the barometer was exceptional. There was during Sunday, it is understood, an unusually large flooding of water in both pits , due alike to the downpour on the upper surface, and to the steep barometric gradient. As was usual under such circumstances, the workmen descended into the pits a few minutes before midnight on Sunday for the purpose of setting the pumps going. So far as is known , these men found the workings perfectly clear of any foul gas, although this fact was not duly or officially recognised and reported upon until the fireman and underground manager descended the pits at four o’clock on Monday morning for the purpose of examining all the workings previous to the arrival of the miners. So far as No. 2 pit is concerned , it is, alas to be feared that no statement will ever be given of the clear character of the workings , and the thorough and free course of the ventilation, for the simple reason that those who were responsible for these are amongst the dead but it is so far fortunate that a perfectly satisfactory report can be , and has been , given by the men whose duty it was to make a preliminary inspection of the works in No. 3 pit. It perhaps would be well to give the words of the man who himself had a miraculous escape from the sudden and awful death which so many of his fellow-workmen have met with. Alex. M’Call firemaster at No. 3 pit, says :-
“I descended into the pit at a quarter past four o’clock in the morning along with John Little and the underground manager , John Pictering. He explored the whole of the workings thoroughly, and found them all right, and the ventilation free. The men commenced to come down the pit at half-past five in the morning, and all were down a few minutes past six o’clock. The total number, according to the justiceman at the pit-head, including ourselves, being 107. Fires had been duly lit previous to this, and the men commenced to work as usual about half-past eight, or between that and twenty minutes to nine. Little Pickering and I left the levels and came to the pit mouth for the purpose of ascending the shaft, in order to take breakfast. We reached the pit-head, and were engaged in putting a double decker on the low side of the cage, when at ten minutes to nine o’clock we were put into terrible confusion. At that time there were about twenty men at the pit-head some drawing the hutches from there to the waggon coups , and others attending to the various duties which they find at the pit-head. Suddenly we were startled by a report like the firing of many cannons , but loader than the loudest thunder I ever heard. This was followed by dense volumes of smoke ascending the shaft, and then a vast sheet of flame rolled up with a hissing noise from the pit, succeeded by showers of wood and dirt and stones , like what have read comes from a volcano. Among the debris to our horror was the mangled limb of some unfortunate boy. This eruption was simply appalling , and lasted from four to five minutes. Then all was quiet. Many of those at the pit-head had their whiskers, eyebrows , and hair singed, and the manager Mr Watson has his face and hands scorched. We looked into each other’s faces, each fearing to say a word, because we only knew too truly what had happened. We were paralysed, but only for a minute. We ran to No. 2 pit to see what could be done there, but found the connection stopped, although some men were got out. Then we came back to No. 3 pit, all our wits now about us, unhooked the cage from the tow rope, and put on the “kettle.” The “kettle” is a barrel-like vehicle which is used mainly in sinking pits, and which from its shape will go down or up a shaft where a cage can’t go. Many men were anxious at once to descend into the pit and explore, anxious not only to save our mates, if possible, but to learn the true position of affairs. It was evident, then, from the pit-head that many slides were out of their places, and that a portion of the midwall had been broken down. John Pickering, a Cornishman named Coulter, and myself, got into the “kettle,” and were lowered down. We got about thirty fathoms deep, when we found the bell gear all broken, and the needle, or the stay in the centre of the pit which keeps everything correct , thrown right across the shaft. We were therefore compelled to ascend to the surface for the purpose of getting materials for connecting the bell wire. The next gang that went down consisted of Thomas Cox, William Mason, and a stranger, and they endeavoured to clear away part of the obstruction but found it necessary to return to the surface . After that, a man named Gilchrist, a stranger, and myself went down, connected the bell-wire, got away part of the obstruction wood, and got as far down as 120-fathoms, when we found the broken wood and blown-up mid-wall fairly across the shaft, preventing our further progress downwards. While we were debating what should be or could be done, in the silence of the shaft we heard groans of agony and loud moans coming up from the workings below. Our hearts were sorrowful that we could no further go to the help of our poor unfortunate fellow-workmen. We shouted to them that help was near, that assistance was coming, and we listened for a reply, but there came naught else but a renewal of the agonising groans. We could do no more but signal to be drawn up to the surface once more, in order to consult with the mining engineers who, we knew, must by this time have been attracted to the pit, as to the best mode of getting through the obstruction and reaching some of the poor fellows whom we were now certain yet remained alive at the bottom of the pit.
Thus so far for No. 3 pit. But it is necessary to return to No. 2. As has already been remarked , none of the firemasters or inspectors have come up alive from this mine; and it is only known by inference that from four o’clock in the morning to the time the explosion took place all went well. One man, however, who made a very narrow escape with his life – to wit, John Sharp, a roadsman, gives a narrative of what occurred under his own observation in this working . He says :—” I went down into No. 2 pit at six o’clock, according to my usual practice. Then apparently everything was all right, and along with my mates I continued working till twenty minutes to nine o’clock, having no suspicion that anything was wrong. Indeed,I had been going all through the levels, seeing that the roads were all right, and having satisfied myself of this, was returning at the time mentioned to the bottom of the shaft, for the purpose of ascending to get my breakfast. I had reached within eighty or ninety yards of the pit bottom, when I felt an awful blast coming from behind, like a storm, which intermediately returned back on my face. Our lamps were all blown out, and I knew then that the pit had blasted though I heard no noise. It may be well to state here that the reason why the blast descended with the dip of the seam and found escape by the shaft of No 3 poit instead of running upwards as one might naturally expect towards No 2 pit, is, as explained by the colliers themselves, that the flame invariably goes against the air, free ventilation being mainly provided from No 3 pit. It followed therefore, the the flame of the explosion, according to this theory, should run down the dip. Continuing his narrative, Sharp said —”I ran for No.1 communication but there felt the after-damp very bad, and then groped my way as far as the underground enginehouse. Here through the darkness I heard the oversman’s voice shouting to go directly to the big dook and open the door. This I attempted to do, but got no farther than twenty or thirty yards when I was all but overpowered by the choke-damp. Turning and crawling on hands and knees, I without great reached the bottom. which was between twenty and thirty yards distant. I had been in the south ‘dook,’ and on reaching the pit bottom I found nearly all the men who had been in the north ‘dook’ with their lamps lit standing there. I crawled over the steam pipe and on to the top of the cage. Owing to the breaking of the slides in the shaft and other obstructions, the cage had not been able to run up. The men from the north side asked me to ascend the shaft and endeavour to clear it. I rang the bell, the cage slowly ascended, and we came across some broken timbers and slides, and the needle which supported the steam pipes in the shaft. These I kicked out of the way of the cage , and by-and-by I was hauled to the top very much exhausted. The cage was sent down for the north men , who were at the bottom of the pit. I crawled home and it was two or three hours before I fairly recovered from the effects of the damp.”
Another lad, named Wm. Kirkland, who has been much burned about the face, head, and hands, says : —”I was working on the north side , running the chains”- which means that he was employed in collecting hutches from different miners, and chaining them to one another in one train to bring them to the pit mouth — “I was thirty yards from the pit mouth when I heard a noise, and looked round, I saw a great mass of flame rolling along the level. My mate, Thomas Martin, shouted to me to ‘clap,’ that is to fall on my face on the floor of the gallery, which I did, but not before the flame had struck me about the face and hands. I remembered that my brother Robert was working in the south ‘dook. ‘ and I staggered up to try and get to him, but could not advance. My mate cried to me to make for the cage, and I crawled to the pit mouth as quickly as I could, and was taken to the surface.
It will thus be seen from the narratives of these two men that the explosion was as unexpected in No. 2 pit as it was in No. 3 ; that it came upon them without the slightest warning, and that for some reason or other, which further investigation may bring out, the fire-damp is well as the flame was more severe on the south side than it was in the north ” dook,” for nearly if not all the men employed in the latter working escaped to the pit-mouth, and were, some with more or less injury, drawn to the top. So far as can be learned, not a single soul who was in the south side of the pit escaped, and there is now no hope that any have survived. It is only consistent with the character of miners to say that the moment the extent of the calamity was realised, there were many willing hands ready to embark on the dangerous enterprise of a rescue. Indeed, the question seemed to be who would have the honour of descending first. As the explosion appeared to have expended itself in the direction of No. 3 pit, it was deemed wise that a supreme effort should be made to get at the entombed men by the clear shaft of No. 2. First of all, it was necessary that ventilation should in some degree be restored and for this purpose a stream of water was poured down the shaft. An exploring party was organised , and they descended , but the choke-damp was so powerfully felt that they had to return without result. By and by Sir James Gilchrist, manager for Mr John Watson’s colliery, appeared on the scene. He had been at one time employed in the High Blantyre Colliery, and knew intimately all the workings, so that naturally he was allowed to take the leadership in the rescue party, which consisted, besides himself, of Mr Thomson. Mr M’Farlane of Allington Colliery, Mr Robeson , assistant inspector of mines , and Mr Simpson , manager of the Clyde Coal Company. Although, when they descended , the choke-damp was almost overpowering , they persevered, and got to the bottom , the after-damp which had followed the last of the rescued colliers from the “north dook” to near the pit month having by this time been all cleared away from the shaft. The gallant band of explorers when they reached the mouth of the workings, called lustily, but no reply came to their cries, and the subtle gas beginning to roll outwards again, they were forced to beat a retreat, but not before one of their number was all but overcome . Indeed, when they ascended to the surface, this gentleman had to be attended to by Dr Lennox, and restored with ammonia. Another attempt was made to penetrate to the workings , and this time they succeeded in securing one body, which was slowly drawn to the surface. Again and again they descended, and on each successive journey one lifeless or apparently dead collier was secured ; but at last, about 3 o’clock , the choke-damp got so bad that they were compelled to give up the effort, and then only when assured in their own minds that every person who had been in No. 2 Pit had then succumbed. Mr M’Farlane described the scene in the workings , so far as they could, penetrate , as something terrible. One man he saw lying against a stoop with his arm broken and the shoulder-bone sticking out , while his face was burnt to a cinder. Another had fallen on the road on his back, his clothing torn, and his body charred. Still another was bruised and bleeding, but lifeless, pitched against the side of the working. Two men, an ostler and a pulley drawer, had evidently been sitting together , having a smoke and a chat, when the explosion occurred. Their death had been instantaneous , one being thrown a mangled corpse to one side , and the other in the opposite direction; and so on through a fearful list. Joseph Gilmour , the oversman , who had spoken to Sharp when the latter attempted to restore ventilation by creeping to the ‘big dook” door , was found, near the engineroom with his leg broken. He had thus been unable to crawl with the others in the “North Dook” to the pit month, and had been killed by the after damp. About three o’clock , after some fourteen bodies had been recovered, the ” choke-damp” became so great in No. 2 pit that it was determined to close this pit altogether, and direct the main efforts to the restoration of ventilation in No. 3 pit, and, if possible, attempt the rescue of any men who might be alive there. Accordingly , all the rescue parties proceeded to the latter pit-head. Here, it will be remembered, M’Call and his party had not intermitted their efforts to get to the bottom. By three o’clock they had so far cleared the down shaft as to have reached within 24 fathoms of the workings. Here, however , they found their further downward progress thoroughly obstructed by the wreckage of the mid-wall and also of the slides, and it became necessary to ascend the shaft for the purpose of obtaining saws, axes, and other instruments for clearing the wreckage, while the bellgear had still farther to be repaired. Gang after gang of noble and brave men descended in the ” kettle,” and with insecure footing worked with a heroism worthy of all praise. Now and again the choke damp coming up in fitful gusts, and almost overpowering them. They had cleared a considerable distance, and had almost reached the bottom when I left the scene of operations. Latterly, however, the cries of the men below , which had been heard earlier in the day, when the cage first descended with the “kettle” had ceased, and the gravest fears were entertained that the poor fellows had either succumbed to the choke damp, or found relief from their agony in insensibility.
No definite explanation is yet forthcoming as to the cause of the accident , but a shrewd guess has been given by one of the underground managers. He supposes that a party of miners were working in No. 2 pit, about half-way between No. 1 and No. 3 , taking out the standard pillars which support the roof. During this process he thinks a fall of a roof must have taken place, and that a rush of explosive gas followed from some crevice. It is understood that the removal of the roofs should invariably be accomplished by the light of Davy safety lamps, but it may have happened that on this occasion some naked lamps were employed, and if so an explosion was sure to ensue. Mr Ralph Moore , Inspector of Mines for the West of Scotland, was present at the colliery during the day, and no doubt he will make a rigid inquiry into the cause of the accident.
It is agreed on all hands that the explosion was something like a salvo of artillery, succeeded by a rumbling noise like that of distant thunder. The report was heard over a wide district, of country, and gave warning to only too many households of an event which was to prove so disastrous and create so many desolate hearths. In a very short time streams of women and children were seen issuing from the “rows” adjacent to the colliery, while from the village of High Blantyre and further afield groups of men and maidens, old women and youths, many but scantily attired, and all with blanched, scared faces, came with hurrying footsteps towards the pits. According to their knowledge of the whereabouts of their friends and relations, these groups and streams wended their sorrowful way to No. 2 or No. 3 pits, surrounded the shafts , and inquired for fathers and brothers, for sons and husbands. Though those at the pithead assumed a cheerfulness which found but a hollow echo in their hearts,and bade the anxious petitioners wait with patient expectation of the happy arrival in life of those they held dear, hope seemed from the first to be crushed within these poor souls. Often piercing shrieks were heard of—”Oh my puir faither, let me hae my faither;” “My man, my bonnie man, bring him to me,” “My dear wee laddies, what am I tae dae withoot them.” “My John, will ye no bring John,” and so on. Strong men shed tears or wrung their hands in silent agony. Others looked round silent, with faces bearing traces of internal agony. Women there were too, whose looks of stolid misery betrayed inexpressible emotion . In the course of the early hours of the afternoon the harrowing spectacle acquired its most mournful and melancholy aspect, for then the efforts of the exploring parties in No. 2 pit were beginning to have some result. The tow rope moved, and in slow succession the cage was drawn to the surface, bearing as its freight the mangled or bruised remains of some poor wretch, who but a, few hours before had descended to his hard task in the pride of life and fulness of hope. Then sharp breathing and excited groups pressed round the shaft mouth, anxious to be relieved from suspense, yet fearful that their worse anticipations would be realised , and when one after another of the limp, blackened, and muddy corpses, covered by a coarse blanket for decency’s sake was borne from the cage to the weigh house, a hundred yards distant, it was painful to hear the shriek of agonised recognition from wife or mother in the crowd. The wright’s shop was converted into a morgue, and there the bodies were conveyed , and laid upon straw for identification. There, too, were a number of medical men , with every appliance known to science, ready to use the utmost efforts for the recovery of any who might still exhibit signs of life. But only in one case could even the faintest trace of a struggling spirit be recognised, the case of a man named Burns, but every effort made to bring him back to life failed. Throughout the afternoon small groups assembled round the offices, and hung about the plain hearse or straw-covered carts provided for the removal of the dead, anxious to learn if friends had been recovered or had been brought to the surface, and there, despite rain and hail, they waited – a pitiful scene. The few bodies conveyed to the morgue were dressed as decently as the circumstances would permit, and then handed over to the care of friends. It is to be noted that the bodies recovered almost all present marks of injury by burning. Some were contorted in the most dreadful manner , with the faces as black as the coal which they had been excavating. Others were torn and bruised, with dark crimson streams of blood trickling through their mud-covered and dust-begrimed clothes. A few had shreds of their pit suits torn away, while one or two were battered and bruised in a shocking manner. The small remnant who apparently had succumbed to the choke-damp wore a peaceful expression as if in sleep, and these when found were discovered lying on their faces in the levels, as if they had been making haste to the pit bottom when overtaken by the deadly, suffocating gas.
Into No. 3 pit 107 men went down to work, but, as is often the case in such collieries, the names of all were not known, because parties of two and three often join together. and the whole result of their labour is credited to one man, whose name alone appears in the books of the justiceman at the pithead.
The following is a complete list of the men known in this way to the overseer :- John Gold, William Roberts, James Irvine, John Lafferty, George Nisbet, John Hamilton, J. Cosgrove (boy), another boy, name unknown; John Crawford, James Gold and boy, William Steen, Thomas Robertson , Patrick Dolan, John Murphy, J. Murphy (boy), Thomas M’Donald, John Campbell and boy, Charles Toner, Thomas Baxter, John Dollan, William Reid and boy, William Woodhouse , James M’Gharry, James Brannagan, John Kelly, William Freckleton, John Freckleton, Edward Smith, J. Smith, Con O’DonneIl, with a mate, name unknown; James Smith, George Semple, John Stark, John Crow, William Boyle, James Wilson and son, Francis Murphy, John O’Brien and boy, James Snedden, with two sons and another boy; John Kennie, jun., and boy; John M’LauchIan, Hugh Wilson, with two sons; John Welsh, James Welsh, and Robert Welsh ; James M’Kinnon, Joseph Miller and Andrew Miller, Thomas Halliday, Francis Wilson, John Steen and son, John Crop, John Burns, John Connolly, Matthew Gemmell , J. Gemmell, James Lang and son-in-law, name unknown; Wm. Muir, James Allan, Robert Halliday, with his two stepsons, two brothers named Stewart, John M’Fadzen, John Gardner, John Caveny and his brother James Caveny, John M’Culloch and his mate name unknown; Francis Welsh, John Muir, Gilbert Murray, two lads named M’Killop, Thomas Ramsay, Hugh Larkins, James Cosgrove, Alexander M’Call, John Little, John Pickering. In addition to these there were four drivers, two roadsmen, and two bottomers.
It is known that 126 men and boys went down No. 2 Pit between four and six o’clock in the morning. Appended are the names of those known, the remainder being accounted for in the same manner as in the case of No. 3 Pit:— Wm. Campbell, John M’Farlane, with three of a gang, names unknown; Patrick Kelly and boy, Thomas White and boy, James Ray, James Brodie, Thomas Murdoch, James Clyde and two sons, John Dobie, Thomas Dobie, Andrew Morrison, John Watson, John Moir and son, Peter Merry, Edward Moir, Robert Russel, Wm. Speirs and John Speirs (brothers), James Kemp; George Speirs, sen.; Geo. Speirs, jun, Chas. M’Quowen, Jn. Cunninghame, Thos. Hendry, John Hendry (brothers),Hector Stewart, Robert Heron, Richard Ross, J. White and boy, John O’Neil, Alex. Revie (senior), Alex. Revie (junior), Edward M’Callum, Barney Murray, Gilbert M’lntyre, John Park, James Sharp, Nicol Kyle, Andrew Robertson, Moses Roberts, Patrick M’Cafferty, John Sharp (alias James Burns), David Martin, James Liddell, Thomas Black, James Mackay, Hugh M’Gill, James Russell, Andrew Kirkwood and his son, John Cox, Peter Callan and four of a gang (names unknown), James Hastie, James Wether, Neil Ward, John Mackay, Owen Martin and mate (name unknown ), John Russell, Hugh Tonnor, Michael Cairns and mate (name unknown), Robert Kirkland, John Hill, William Hill, Hugh Brown, John Nelson and mate, name unknown ; Duncan M’Millan and three of a gang names unknown, Geo. Watson, Geo.Watt, Patk. M’Cuscar, Michl. M’Cuscar, Edward Docherty, Wm. Kirkland, Thos. Martin, John Sharp, Alex. Wood. Wm. Welsh, sen., Wm. Welsh, jun., Wm. Black, Alex. Watt, Robert M’Adam, Jas. Wright, John Wright, Thos. Gracie.
The following are the names of the dead brought to the surface from No. 2 pit.
William Bolton, Auchinraith, Hamilton Road, 13 years.
Patrick Burns, Bruce’s Land, Larkfield, 34 years.
Robert Henry, 11 Larkfield, Barronhill, 16 years.
Charles Docherty, 49 Calder Street, 27 years, married , with family
Michael Branan, Dixon Street.
Joseph Gilmour, sen., 8 Priestfield Terrace, 36 years, married, with family
Joseph Gilmour, jun., 13 years, son of foregoing.
James Macmillan, 16 Larkfield, 30 years, married.
Robert Wardrop, sen., Dixon Row, 36 years, married.
William Campbell, Smith’s Land, Kirkton, 34 years, married.
Alex. Miller, 14 Priestfield Terrace, 18 years.
Archibald Lang, Aitkenheads, Kirkton, married, 25 years.
George Todd, High Blantyre.
The following are the names of those rescued – John Hill, Wm Hill, Hugh Brown. John Nelson, Geo. Watson, Geo. Watt, Patrick M’Guscor, Michael M’Cuscor, Edward Docherty. None of them are injured.
Duncan Macmillan, slightly injured on face.
William Kirkland, burned face and hands.
Thomas Martin, do.
John Sharp, back bruised.
Donald Morrison, do.
James Steven, do.
T. Black , do.
Alexander Wood, do., with burns.
William Welsh, senior, and William Welsh, junior, burned.