The price of coal: Soma and Senghenydd

Senghenydd mining disaster victim

Senghenydd disaster casualty

Senghenydd colliery disaster victim

Another disaster, another victim












The world has been shocked by the terrible coal mining disaster at Soma in Turkey. It seems incredible in 2014 that hundreds can be lost in a colliery catastrophe.

My mind went back to a small Welsh village called Senghenydd, scene of Britain’s worst ever mining disaster in October 1913, which killed 439 men and boys and a rescuer. The tragedy came 12 years after 81 men died in an explosion at the same Universal pit. How could such a small community cope with such grief? But in those days – to the mine owners – life was cheap. British mining later became relatively safer, but as recently as 1960 45 men and boys died at Six Bells colliery in Monmouthshire.

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