Part of the summary from the official Inquiry Report for “Blantyre Colliery Explosion” of 1877. Transcribed by myself word for word for the first time appearing online, this particular detailed section summarises the exploration of the miner following the explosion:
“After the explosion, 23 survivors cam out of No 2 Shaft, and the bodes were sent out from near the bottom. In the course of the day the afterdamp became sufficiently cleared to admit of entry through the workings to the bottom of No 3 shaft. Here the three persons who have since died were found alive. The explorers, during that and one or two succeeding days, penetrated some distance into the side and rise workings, and having satisfied themselves from the surrounding gases, and the force which had been exerted that no person could be surviving, decided to delay sending out the other bodies until No. 3 shaft had been repaired.
“The furnace fires had been extinguished , but steam had been got into operation as a ventilating power, giving, as was stated, about seven tenths of the previous amount of air. A temporary partition had also been put up in lieu of the blown-out trap-doors between No 2 and the upcast shaft. There was, therefore a stated point with No 2 as a downcast, and No 5 as the upcast to penetrate from, which in the opinion of some of the relatives and friends of the deceased, should have been used in recovering the bodies. The mining engineers, however, being of opinion that No. 3 shaft might fall in and dislodge gas, and that as No. 2 south level was fallen the speediest access would be by No. 3 decided otherwise, and it was not until Saturday, the fifth day after the explosion that the sending out of the greater number of bodies was commenced.
AI imagines the rescuers working in cramped conditions to clear the debris to recover bodies. An illustration exclusively for Blantyre Project.