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It was found, as was anticipated, that there was the depth of 8 foot 9 inches of water, which proved there could be no chance of any of the men being still alive.
Those in authority discussed the question of attempting to recover the bodies, and Mr Walker, his Majesty's Inspector of Mines, decided that a regular shaft should be sunk as soon suitable arrangements could be made.
In both these undertakings the results yesterday were disappointing, the soil being too marshy and unstable for the sinking of a shaft, while the boring, as stated, indicated the presence of gas and water in the workings.
The other course followed, and the one which offers most encouragement, is that of driving a roadway from the main shaft by way of a disused working.
This however had to be abandoned on Tuesday night, and a new one commenced further to the south.
Iron cylinders had by this time been secured and by this means better progress was made, though it was a most dangerous and difficult task, and the water gathered almost as quickly as it was bailed out.
A rescue party from Coatbridge was summoned, and operations were at once begun to try and reach the imprisoned miners. The moving mass filled up the roads in the pit, cutting off the escape of the men. The ground has sunk perceptibly over an area about an acre in extent, and is broken by numerous fissures.The moss subsided into the roads between the pit bottom and the face of this section about 11 fathoms down, where nineteen men and boys were at work, cutting off the retreat of any who might have escaped the fall.The moss and water made its way through the break into the workings and was seen by one of the men working in one of the other sections.The rescue party set to work immediately on arrival to bore through, so that they might get into communication with the entombed men and pass food to them. The section of the pit affected is at the eastern extremity of the colliery.Subsequently an attempt was begun to reach them by sinking a shaft through the moss, but up till midnight it had not succeeded. Park (50), Greengairs; John Sneddon (34), Greengairs; James Sneddon (14), Greengairs; Bernard M'Adams (18), Greengairs; Lesley Gilchrist (15), Wattstown; Alex. The workings at this point are on a higher level than any of the other seams, the distance below the surface being about 11 fathoms.
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Good progress was made with this and by dinner time on Wednesday anxiety was at fever heat from the knowledge that it was almost through.