1973 – Markham Colliery Disaster
On Monday 30th July 1973 a terrible disaster happened when the cage carrying the miners to go underground into the pit failed to stop. It was the start of the day shift and by 6.20am 105 miners had already been lowered into the pit. Then, the overlap rope cage carrying 15 men on the top deck and 14 men on the lower deck began its descent. Sparks were seen coming from the brake cylinder by the engine winder who then slammed on the emergency stop button. Nothing happened and the cage crashed down to the bottom of the pit some 1,329 feet below ground. The ascending cage crashed through the winding house roof. 13 men died at the scene and another 5 men died later in hospital. The other 11 men in the cage and one rescue worker were very seriously injured and were taken to hospital at Chesterfield.