11 December 1930

Ayrshire Pit Mishap – 6 Workers Seriously Injured – Women Rush to Pithead - Shortly after the commencement of the day shift at No. 9 Pit, Enterkine Colliery, Annbank, yesterday, an alarming accident occurred in the Ell coal section, involving serious injuries to six workers, all of whom were removed to Ayr County Hospital. The injured are:-
James Reddick, Annbank (single.)
John Wilson, Mossblown (single.)
Robert White, Drumley (married.)
Daniel Vance jun., Annbank (single.)
And. M'Nellie, Tarbolton (single.)
John Gourlay, Annbank (married.)

All the injured suffer from burns and shock, and in addition M'Nellie sustained a fractured leg and Wilson a fractured arm. There were 20 men engaged in the particular section at the time and it is stated, although not definitely established, that an explosion occurred through the firing of a shot, although the official view is that the accident was caused by an ignition of gas. M'Nellie, engaged as a drawer , suffered severely from the concussion, being pinned beneath a damaged hutch, and from his perilous position he was later released. Immediately the seriousness of the accident was realised men at work in the other section were apprised, and all of them proceeded to the rescue of their comrades, who were removed to the pithead with all promptitude. Meanwhile information had been conveyed above ground, and while Dr Walter Scott descended the pit and rendered first aid to the injured, Dr M'Gill and a nurse attended to them in the ambulance room

Wildest Rumours - Unfortunately for the peace of mind of the inhabitants of Annbank village, situated about a quarter of a mile away, the wildest rumours gained currency as to the extent of the accident, a casualty list of serious dimensions being mentioned. The result was that the women folks, many of them engaged at that time preparing the children for school, flocked to the pithead, where distressing scenes were witnessed amid the dismal surroundings, rendered all the more grey and forbidding by the darkness of the morning and the rain. It was not until the injured had been brought to the surface and assurances were forthcoming that there were no fatalities that the crowd dissolved. At the time of the accident Mr Jas. Allan was in the haulage about 200 yards off. In the course of the morning and not long after the accident Mr David Ritchie, general manager of the group of collieries descended the pit; as did Mr Tweedie, the managing director, Mr John Davy, under general manager; and Mr R. L. Angus, director of Messrs William Baird & Company. Mr Jas. Brown, M.P. was at the pithead early and later visited the injured in hospital. After the accident the colliery ceased to work for the day. The pit is a very old one having been worked for over 40 years. During the recent misunderstanding it was idle for one week, and operations were only resumed on Monday.

Bencher's Experience - Two benchers employed in the pit had an exciting experience when the explosion occurred. They were awaiting a rake of hutches when one of them named Fillan was blown to the ground, and John Vance was thrown on top of him. Fillan stated that someone shouted to him to run for help and he and his companion did so and returned to the scene of the accident but were driven back by bad air. A man named Thomas Adair, however, managed to reach the face and brought out Wilson, one of the injured, whose face was covered with blood and one of his arms hung limp. On inquiring last night at the hospital it was ascertained that Wilson's injured arm had been amputated. All the victims last night were as comfortable as could be expected under the circumstances. [Scotsman 12 December 1930]

NB Andrew McNeillie died 12 December 1930, John Gourlay died 14 December 1930, James Brown Reddick died 19 December 1930