Remembering the Lofthouse Colliery disaster victims 40 years on

A rescue team returns to the surface at Lofthouse Colliery in March 1973
A rescue team returns to the surface at Lofthouse Colliery in March 1973
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The 40th anniversary of the Lofthouse Colliery disaster will be remembered with a special reunion today.

On March 21, 1973, water, slush and debris rushed into South 9B coalface, trapping and killing seven workers 750ft below ground.

Around 30 miners had been excavating a coalface near to an abandoned and flooded 19th century mineshaft when the accident happened.

And only one body was recovered after a six-day rescue operation.

Some of the rescuers and victim’s families will meet each other for the first time since the disaster during a remembrance service at Outwood Parish Church today (Saturday) from 1pm.

It will be followed by a brass band concert and reunion at Ledger Lane WMC from 2pm.

After the concert, Outwood Community Video Club will show a film about the 1973 events.

Tomorrow (Sunday) there will be a short service at 3.15pm at the Lofthouse Memorial Garden, on Batley Road, where the six bodies are believed to have been entombed.

It will be followed by a parade to St Paul’s Church, in Alverthorpe, where there will be a collection of memorabilia.

The events have been organised by Lofthouse Disaster Trust chairman Tony Banks.

For a two-page special report on the disaster see this week’s Wakefield Express.