Mine disaster – Tasmania

On this day …….. 12th of October 1912

Located in Queenstown, Tasmania, the Mount Lyell Mine opened in 1896. In its early years, the mine suffered enough accidents and fatalities to immediately close the mine. On the 12th of October 1912, just two weeks after a partial collapse killed two miners and injured several others, a fire broke out in the pump house on the 700-foot level. Only 73 of 170 workers escaped on the first day, and the last survivors were rescued more than 100 hours after their eight-hour shift began. Forty-two men perished, one leaving this haunting note to his wife: “Dear Agnes. – I will say good-bye. Sure I will not see you again any more. I am pleased to have made a little provision for you and poor little Lorna. Be good to our little darling. My mate, Len Burke, is done, and poor old V. and Driver too. Good-bye, with love to all. Your loving husband, Joe McCarthy.”