The search for survivors at Heaton Colliery took nine months. The last of those trapped died just weeks before their would-be rescuers arrived.
Image: Science Museum / SSPL

Disaster

The fate of the miners caught by flood water at Heaton Colliery in 1815 was grim:

'In less than a quarter of an hour... an immense torrent of water was rushing into the mine...Every possibility of retreat to those left behind was now cut off; and seventy five human beings... were shut up in the workings... , either to perish by hunger, or to die for want of respirable air.'

Who else worked alongside men in the coal mines?