No. 1 Mine Roof Fall, Inverness, 1924

 A photograph of the surface buildings of a coal mine in Inverness, circa 1920. Shown is a group of mine cars on a slope, coming out of a long building high off the ground, railway tracks and a pile of logs in the foreground, and to the right two buildings with smokestacks.

Inverness Mines, ca. 1920. Reference number: 79-449-3429. Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University.


Deadly Miscalculation

Four miners were crushed to death when the roof slammed down on them in No. 1 mine, Inverness, on February 7, 1924. A fault in the seam had rendered further advancement untenable in No. 1 and the mining was now retreating from back to front. The miners were “robbing the pillars”, taking down the solid blocks of coal left between rooms. Although they were timbering the roof as the 12-metre-wide pillars were being removed, the roof weight was so intense that props, timbers, and the pillar remains could not support the roof. It crashed down; the Department of Mines reported that about 100 tons of stone and coal fell into the level over a distance of 100 feet. The conclusion was that pillar-robbing this way was a dangerous practice.