15 DECEMBER 1866, Page 1

Two tremendous colliery explosions have occurred this week. At 1.30

p.m. on Wednesday, the Oaks Colliery, near Barnsley, blew up, with nearly 400 men and boys in the pit, of whom scarcely fifty have been saved—the greatest loss of life ever reported in a col- liery. At least 150 of the victims were =flied men, and the distress of their families, bereaved and ruined at a blow, was heart- rending. Desperate efforts were made by descending another shaft, in the face of the smoke and foul air, to rescue any pitman who might be living, but it was found that the firedamp had followed the explosion, and choked the men as they rushed along the main gallery. Many volunteers were still in the pit when. at 9.30 a.m. on Thursday, a second explosion occurred, which killed them also; and in the evening it was discovered that the pit had caught fire, and the flames roared up the long shaft so terribly that even spectators in the open- air were driven away. Of the second catastrophe few details are yet known, but at noon on Thursday an explosion occurred in a pit in the " Talk " mine, North Staffordshire, and nearly 200 miners are known to have been killed. Great battles have been fought with leas destruction to human life than these two accidents will cause.