On March 23, 1887 the Bulli colliery blew up, killing 81 mineworkers. It was one of Australia’s worst industrial disasters.
The explosion occurred immediately after a fuse had been fired. The blast swept up the tunnel, making the mine an inferno.
Deadly carbon monoxide followed in the wake of the fire, and few managed to get to the tunnel mouth.
Three hours after the explosion the first bodies were recovered. Rescue operations were hampered by a lack of safety lamps.