Contextualising the Mount Kembla Disaster
The Mount Kembla explosion of 1902 was the greatest mining disaster in Australian history. However, the violence which it did to the miners and their families was by no means unusual. The South Coast mines also hold the unenviable record for the second greatest disaster, in terms of fatalities in Australian mining history. Only a few years before the Mount Kembla disaster, in 1887, 81 miners were killed by an explosion at Bulli. Further explosions occurred on the northern coalfields in 1896 and 1898, killing thirty. As recently as 1980, an explosion at the Appin mine killed 14 miners.