Heritage

Dobson Mine Disaster, West Coast : the funeral procession of four of the victims is shown enetering the Karoro Cemetery, Greymouth.

Dobson Mine Disaster, West Coast : the funeral procession of four of the victims is shown enetering the Karoro Cemetery, Greymouth.

Dobson Mine Disaster, West Coast : the funeral procession of four of the victims is shown enetering the Karoro Cemetery, Greymouth.
[5 Dec. 1926]

On 3 Dec. 1926, about 3.05 a.m., two explosions left the Dobson coal mine engulfed in fire and 9 men trapped within. The explosions were of such terrific force that some houses neighbouring theolliery had their windows broken and their roofs pierced. About 90 minutes after the initial impact, a rescue party was able to descend to the winch-house and four men were discovered. Although only one was dead on arrival the other three perished at later stages. The opening of the mine was eventually sealed to suffocate the raging fire which was preventing the continuation of the rescue operation. More explosions, however, blew out the stoppings and the only alternative left was to flood the mine. The mine had been inspected two weeks earlier and no defects had been reported. The directors of the Grey Valley Colleries Ltd could not explain the explosion. It was generally thought to have been the result of a buildup of gases. Robert Hunter, James Richards, John Lindsay and Eric Ashton died in the disaster. Special trains brought hundreds of people from the surrounding districts and altogether over 4000 gathered to pay their respects at the graveside. The procession was headed by the Greymouth and Runanga Municipal Bands playing the Dead March, followed by members of various lodges and local bodies, mine representatives and the the general public

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File Reference CCL PhotoCD 6, IMG0032

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