Full story at the Looking Back website:
The scene at the pit top, Bulli Colliery, March 23 1887. Photo: Mick Roberts collection.
By MICK ROBERTS ©
ONE of the few survivors of the 1887 Bulli mine disaster lived to tell the tale of his miraculous escape from the catastrophic explosion that extinguished the lives of 81 men and boys – Although he rarely ever spoke of the tragedy for the remainder of his life. He became known as the boy Cope.
Seventeen-year-old Herbert Cope was working as a wheeler at Bulli pit when methane gas ignited inside of the colliery, killing all his work mates, about 2.30pm on March 23 1887.
Cope literally walked away from the tragedy, and lived to the ripe old age of 84, rarely speaking of his brush with death, not even to his family.
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