A stark reminder of the dangers men faced working in coal mines comes to light in this terrible story, in which the life of a Blantyre man changed irreversibly on Thursday 12th February 1911.
Alexander McComisky (41) of Greenside Place, Low Blantyre left for work as normal that day and little known to him was the fact that it would be the last time he would physically be able to see his wife and seven children.
A brusher, Alexander worked at Messrs William Baird at Bothwell Castle Colliery and he was also a certified shot firer, meaning he could officially handle explosives. You may start to see where I’m going with this story….
Whilst on his way to fire a shot, he held a battery in one hand and a shot in the other. Suddenly the other miners heard a loud explosion and rushed to the scene to see what had happened. Alex was soon found in a terrible plight, sustaining horrific injuries from the small explosion. Both his hands were blown completely off at the wrists, his eyes destroyed and face disfigured. He was quickly attended to by Dr Ross and taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary by the Uddingston ambulance.
We can’t imagine how this would have affected not just Alexander but his entire family and we have to wonder how the rest of his life panned out.